Are We A Joint Custody State?
I’m often asked if we are a joint custody state. The answer is we are not.
What we are, however, is a state that requires our courts to maximize parenting time between both parents. And in doing that, our courts must look at several factors including those that effect the parents as well as the children.
In order to determine what type of visitation schedule will be best for the child the court looks at each parent’s living arrangements, their proximity to each other and their work schedules. The court also determines if the parents are making good life choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol, as well as the type of people they are spending their time with.
The court also looks at each child and their school performance, their activities and their preferences. However, courts often point out that a child’s preference alone, will not determine who that child lives with.
Witnesses can testify on behalf of each parent including friends, family, teachers and therapists. Grades and attendance records become very important.
Decisions about custody are probably the toughest ones for both parents and Judges to make. Schedules where children go back and forth too much are often not in the child’s best interest. Then again, schedules where children only see one parent a few days a month are certainly not good either.
We handle custody matters on a daily basis and can advise, from our experience, what may work for your family and what might not.
A We A Joint Custody State?, Maximize parenting time between both parents, Tennessee is not a joint custody state