In every divorce case with children custody is always the most important issue facing either party. So many factors come into to play when addressing custody of the child[ren] that it is imperative that you take the time and effort to sit down and discuss every facet of the case with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
In recent years the State of Tennessee has moved towards a more centrist approach to custody and visitation of the child[ren]. Court's now are instructed to devise a custodial arrangement where both father and mother enjoy the maximum parenting time possible in the situation. These decisions are extremely factually dependent. The court's must address what is the best interest of the child[ren] and then balance a number of factors to reach their final decision. The factors the court must consider are found at T.C.A. 36-6-106 and include:
(1) The love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parents or caregivers and the child;
(2) The disposition of the parents or caregivers to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care and the degree to which a parent or caregiver has been the primary caregiver;
(3) The importance of continuity in the child's life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment; provided, that, where there is a finding, under subdivision (a)(8), of child abuse, as defined in § 39-15-401 or § 39-15-402, or child sexual abuse, as defined in § 37-1-602, by one (1) parent, and that a nonperpetrating parent or caregiver has relocated in order to flee the perpetrating parent, that the relocation shall not weigh against an award of custody;
(4) The stability of the family unit of the parents or caregivers;
(5) The mental and physical health of the parents or caregivers;
(6) The home, school and community record of the child;
(7) (A) The reasonable preference of the child, if twelve (12) years of age or older;
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