As a parent in Tennessee, after making the difficult decision to get divorced, much of your focus will likely fall to the care and custody of your children. If you and your child’s other parent cannot reach a decision jointly, the decision falls to the court. Therefore, it is important that you understand the factors family law courts in the state consider when determining child custody awards. 

According to FindLaw.com, to make child custody decisions, family law courts in the state of Tennessee consider the capability of you and your child’s other parent to provide for your child’s food, shelter, health care, education, religious training and other needs. Additionally, your mental and physical health, as well as that of your child’s other parent will also be considered. 

Stability is essential for children, which is why the court accounts for your child’s current home, school and community stability, and whether any changes could disrupt this for them. The court will also look at your child’s ability to adjust to a new home, school and community. Your parenting skills and those of your child’s other parent will be considered, as will each of your willingness to encourage an ongoing relationship between your child and the non-residential parent. 

The focus of child custody determinations for Tennessee courts is deciding what is in the child’s best interest. To this end, the court may also allow testimony from interested parties regarding what would be the best situation for the child, as well as take into account the child’s preferences, provided he or she is mature enough to make such a choice. 

The information included in the above post is intended for general purposes only and it should not be considered as legal advice.