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Child Custody Attorney in Kingsport, Tennessee

Divorce is already a hard-hitting life change, and setting up child custody can be more strenuous to arrange, involving patience and communication. Parents need to answer sensitive questions about the best interest of the family.

An experienced family law attorney can help you during complicated and emotional processes. I have been practicing law in my home state of Tennessee since May of 1980. I have gained extensive knowledge regarding family court to fight for the best interest of my clients. My firm, Steven C. Frazier, Attorney At Law, is proud to represent clients in Kingsport, Church Hill, Johnson City, Bristol, and Northeastern Tennessee.

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Establishing a Child Custody Arrangement

When a couple decides to divorce, both need to establish a child custody arrangement. There are two different ways to set this arrangement.

Option 1

The first and best option is for the parents to set the custody arrangement without court involvement. Deciding on an arrangement for a child without being involved in court is the preferred option because it is the least expensive and the quickest. It also allows the couple, and the child, to avoid the experience of going to family court.

A family law attorney can help you and your ex-spouse have a productive, civil conversation and can guide you through the process of establishing your child custody arrangement.

Option 2

Even when divorcing couples try to have the help of an experienced family law attorney, some parents cannot agree on a child custody arrangement. In these situations, the case goes to family court in Tennessee. The court then sets the child custody arrangement so that it is in the best interests of the child.

Child Custody in Tennessee

In Tennessee, there are several different ways to categorize child custody. These terms are typically used in combination with each other (for example, joint legal custody) to describe the type of child custody arrangement.

Joint vs. Sole

Almost all child custody arrangements are joint custody arrangements where both parents share custody of the child. Only in extreme cases, where one parent has a history of abuse, neglect, or a pattern of seriously problematic behavior, will sole custody be awarded to the other parent.

Legal vs. Physical

Legal custody is typically given to both parents. It allows the parents to make long-term decisions about the child’s life regarding religion, health care, education, and other crucial areas. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with.

Temporary vs. Permanent

Child custody arrangements can also be either temporary or permanent. Typically, the arrangement is temporary during the divorce. A permanent arrangement is set for once the divorce is finalized.

Factors Considered in Determining Custody

Tennessee courts will consider several important factors when deciding who will have what type of custody, including:

  • A child’s wishes if the child is at least 12 years old and mature enough

  • The stability of the child’s current situation

  • A child’s ability to adjust to a new home and school

  • Testimony about the child’s best interests

  • The parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs

The court will also consider any other relevant information.

Factors Considered in
Determining Parent Visitation

In determining the parent visitation schedule, the court will consider many of the same factors used to determine custody, and:

  • each parent’s parenting skills

  • each parent’s mental and physical health

  • each parent’s work schedule

  • the parent’s wiliness to comply with a new schedule

Other relevant information will also be considered.

Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement

In some circumstances, it is possible to modify an existing child custody arrangement. It is only possible if it is in the best interests of the child.

A parent can file for a modification if there has been a significant change, for example, a job loss, a remarriage, a relocation, or another major life event. An experienced family law attorney can help you file for a child custody modification.

Child Custody Attorney
Serving Kingsport, Tennessee

Establishing your child custody arrangement can be an emotional process. As a knowledgeable family law attorney, I can help analyze your options and seek the best outcome for your family. For over 40 years, I have helped families in Tennessee with legal needs. I proudly represent clients in Kingsport, Church Hill, Johnson City, Bristol, and Northeastern, Tennessee. Contact my firm to schedule your consultation.