Factors Affecting Child Custody in a Divorce

By Christina Cole -

When a couple is divorcing one of the main concerns that they face is what will happen to the children. Divorce affects children in many ways, emotionally, financially and physically. Parents can ensure their children’s well being with a parenting plan. For example in the state of Tennessee, the court will decide a parenting plan that is beneficial to all parties involved, but the main concern of the court is the welfare of the child or children. A lawyer that is experienced in family law can be of great benefit to you and your child to make sure your rights and your child’s welfare are represented fairly.

There are many factors that go into the formation of a parenting plan. The relationship of the child and the parents is one of the main factors. The judge will take into consideration the emotional ties that each parent has with the child and how these ties affect the child’s emotional well being and development. If the child is old enough, the judge will speak to them directly to determine which parent the child feels closest to. The judge may issue an order for a social worker to visit the home to determine the family dynamics and recommend which parent should be the primary caregiver.

The income of each parent and the stability of their job is another factor. The judge will look at how long each parent has held their current job and their work history. The court must ensure that the child will have adequate resources to live. If the judge feels that the parent who has the least amount of income or no income should be the primary caregiver, he may order child support to be paid. The terms of child support are specified in the divorce decree and parenting plan.

The primary caregiver for the child must either have transportation or be able to provide adequate transportation for the child. This is important so that the child will be able to attend school, go to the needed medical appointments and so that the health and welfare of the child can be maintained. Another item that will be determined by a parenting plan is health care. One of the parents must provide health insurance for the child. If neither parent is able to do this, the child can obtain state funded health care such as Medicaid.

All of these factors and others determine who will be the primary caregiver. Visitation rights and a visitation schedule are drawn up as part of the parenting plan. If either parent wishes to change any part of the parenting plan, he or she must appear before the judge and request such a change. It is advisable for you to have the services of a qualified and experienced attorney to represent you while you are going through a divorce and determining your child’s custody. Your rights and your child’s rights need to be represented during this difficult and emotional time. Finding the right lawyer can help to ease some of the worry and ensure that your child’s best interests are met.


Elizabethon Attorney
Johnson City Lawyer

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