Knoxville Child Custody Attorney
Experienced Child Custody Lawyers Serving Knox County, TN
Legal disputes can be extremely overwhelming, especially when children are involved. Child custody cases are emotionally exhausting and incredibly sensitive cases. At Held Law Firm, our Knoxville child custody lawyers fight for what is right. We use the state of Tennessee's child custody factors to help develop a case for you deserve full custody of your child. In many of these cases, our job is not just to win for you, but also to win for your kids.
Our Knoxville child custody attorneys are here to advise you. We will evaluate the numerous custody factors of the court and can inform you of co-parenting options that have worked for other families. Though no two cases are the same, we handle child custody cases daily. Our family lawyers have worked with thousands of families, through thousands of court hearings. That experience has given us deep insight into the problems that parents face and how they can best be resolved.
Tennessee Child Custody Factors
In the state of Tennessee, the court system will look at various factors when determining child custody, including:
- the relationships the child shares with their parent
- both parents’ financial, psychological, and physical, health
- what is in the child’s best interest
- the age of the child
- the overall health of the child
- the child's emotional relationship with either parent
- any history of violence or substance abuse in either parent's immediate family
Our Knoxville child custody attorneys closely with you to make the best case for why you should maintain custody of your child.
What to Keep in Mind as a Parent in A Child Custody Case
As a parent involved in a custody case, keep this in mind:
- Judges generally seek to “maximize the participation of both parents.” Judges are supposed to “maximize the participation of both parents in the life of the child.” This does not necessarily mean “equal time.” Most parents know that an hour cheering their children on at their ballgame is worth more than countless hours with them shut in their room playing a video game. It’s quality time, not quantity that counts.
- Your role at home is important. In most families, one or the other parent has done at least a little more of the parenting job. If that person was you, now is your time to shine and celebrate what a great parent you have been. If your job in the marriage kept you from exercising as much of the time, here’s your chance to make a change, find balance in your life you didn’t have before, and become the parent you’ve always wanted to be.
- Talk yourself up without putting the other parent down. Children need both parents and judges do not respect any parent who attacks the other. The best strategy is to focus on your strengths, not the other parent’s failures. Judges notice and reward a positive attitude.
For more tips for parents in a child custody case, call our Knoxville child custody lawyers today.
Can a Stepparent Get Custody in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, stepparents may have the possibility of obtaining custody of their stepchildren under certain circumstances. However, it is important to note that this process can be complex and is subject to specific legal requirements.
Standing: To seek custody, a stepparent must first establish legal standing. In Tennessee, this generally means that the stepparent must have a significant relationship with the child, either as a result of marriage to the biological parent or through other factors that show a parental role or bond.
Consent of Biological Parents: Typically, a stepparent seeking custody must obtain the consent of both biological parents. If one or both parents object to the stepparent having custody, the court may be less inclined to grant custody rights.
Best Interests of the Child: As in all child custody cases in Tennessee, the court's primary consideration is the best interests of the child. The court will assess factors such as the child's emotional and physical well-being, the stability of the stepparent's home environment, the relationship between the stepparent and the child, and the child's preference if they are old enough to express it.
Parental Unfitness: In cases where one or both biological parents are deemed unfit or incapable of providing adequate care for the child, a stepparent may have a stronger case for seeking custody. This might arise due to issues like neglect, abuse, or substance abuse problems.
In Loco Parentis: In some situations, a stepparent who has acted "in loco parentis," meaning they have fulfilled the role of a parent, may have a legal basis to seek custody if it is in the child's best interests.
Adoption: In certain cases, stepparents may decide to pursue adoption to gain legal custody of their stepchildren permanently. Adoption severs the legal ties between the child and their other biological parent, granting the stepparent full parental rights and responsibilities.
It is essential for a stepparent seeking custody in Tennessee to consult with a family law attorney experienced in child custody matters. An experienced Knoxville child custory attorney can assess the specific circumstances, explain the legal options available, and provide guidance on the best course of action to secure custody in the child's best interests.
Permanent Parenting Plans in Tennessee
The final product of a custody case is called a Permanent Parenting Plan. It is roughly a nine-page document that specifically spells out the following:
- Who gets the children on which days and times
- How they will be exchanged
- How they will be financially supported
- How decisions regarding their care will be made
- Basic, mandatory ground rules for how parents will communicate and treat one another
The best parents are rarely strict about following the Parenting Plan and instead will accommodate one another’s requests. But if parents don’t agree, the Parenting Plan governs. It is a tool for resolving disputes over the children without going to court.
Our Experienced Knoxville Child Custody Lawyers Can Help
At Held Law Firm, we have helped countless families throughout the Knoxville area create workable plans for child custody. Family law is all we do, and we have more than 50 years of combined experience. Reach out to get the insight and help you need.
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