Divorce is never pleasant. No matter how amicable the parties try to be to each other, there are always issues that can make emotions run high. One of these areas is child custody. Parents who want the best for their children try to remain fair to each other and work out a custody arrangement that is best for the family even though they are getting a divorce. However, some parents use their children as pawns in the divorce without concern of how this will affect the children involved. Or one parent may be so upset during the divorce proceedings that his or her judgment becomes clouded by emotions. If this happens, you need to know your custody rights.
You need qualified legal representation during a divorce and custody negotiations. An attorney who is knowledgeable in your state laws can help you to guarantee your rights as a parent and that your children’s best interests are represented. With out proper legal counsel, you may find yourself with a less than desirable custody settlement. For example, in the state of Tennessee there are specific laws that govern the area of child custody. A Permanent Parenting Plan is normally drawn up as part of a divorce settlement. This is a plan that is put into writing and outlines such issues as who will be the primary parent, visitation rights, child support, which holidays the child spends with each parent and a residential schedule for each parent.
A primary parent is the parent that the child will live with for more than 50 percent of the year. This parent has the responsibility to provide the child with and education, food, clothing and day to day care. The primary parent will be the parent who makes the majority of decisions regarding the care of the child. Many factors go into the court’s decision about who will be the primary parent. Some of them include the ability to support the child, the relationship the child has with the parent, the parent’s ability to guide and instruct the child to become a productive member of society, the emotional dynamic in the family and other issues that will directly affect the child.
As a parent you have the right to be a part of your child’s life. A qualified family law attorney will represent you in the legal proceedings that decide child custody to ensure that your rights as a parent are taken into consideration. Don’t let emotions take over your judgment, hire an attorney and be familiar with your state laws so that you and your child will receive a fair custody settlement that protects your rights and your child’s welfare.