Child Custody Attorney: What You Need to Know
There are many things to consider when deciding where your children will live after a divorce. Having the best Child Custody attorney by your side can make this process as smooth as possible for everyone involved. They can also explain the various types of custody arrangements and what they may mean for you and your family.
Generally, courts will award joint legal custody to parents and sole physical custody to one parent. In this type of arrangement, both parents have the right to participate in their children’s lives. The noncustodial parent usually has rights to visitation, which can be supervised or unsupervised. A judge will look at several factors when determining which type of custody is in your child’s best interest, including the history of abuse, both parents’ abilities to care for the child, and each parent’s relationship with the child.
Sole custody is awarded when the judge finds that it is in your child’s best interests to live with only one parent. This can be in the form of sole legal custody or sole physical custody, but it is often awarded when there has been a previous history of abuse or neglect. The court will consider a parent’s ability to care for their children, any mental health issues, drug or alcohol problems, and their home life in order to reach a decision that is in the best interests of the child.
In most cases, the court will try to maximize each parent’s involvement in their children’s lives. This does not necessarily equate to equal time, but it means that each parent will have the opportunity to spend quality time with their children. For example, spending an hour cheering them on at their ball game or attending a school play will be much more meaningful to a child than staying in their room all day playing video games.
A Knoxville child custody attorney in Tennessee can help you to file a petition for custody and to get a court-ordered custody evaluation. You will need to be served with the papers and you will likely have to attend a hearing before a judge or referee. In some cases, the court will also appoint an “Attorney for the Child” (previously known as a law guardian). This person is a special representative who will advocate for your child’s best interests in court.
It is fairly common for parents to seek a change in their child custody and visitation terms. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as a major shift in work circumstances that makes it difficult to maintain the current schedule, an illness or disability that changes your abilities to care for the child, allegations of abuse or neglect, and other significant issues. It is important to have a qualified Knoxville custody lawyer working on your behalf. They can help you to prove that any requested changes are still in your child’s best interest. They will also work with the other party’s attorney to try to find a way to resolve the issue amicably if possible.