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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

child custody Archives

Options for reaching a child custody agreement

Tennessee parents who are ending their marriage will probably need to discuss child custody as they get the process of the divorce underway. While going to court and letting a judge make the final decision about child custody is always an option, there are other ways that parents can work together to resolve these issues and reach an agreement that might be more appropriate for all parties involved.

Coparenting after divorce in difficult circumstances

Tennessee residents who are struggling to co-parent with a difficult ex-spouse may be able to take some steps to defuse the conflict. The first thing a parent needs to do is focus on the children and put their needs first. A parent should also consider what things are most likely to set the other parent off. This makes it possible to anticipate and better control those situations.

Shared parenting may offer benefits for everyone

Tennessee parents who are ending their marriages will need to make decisions about the care of their young children. While some courts cling to antiquated custody and visitation ideas, viewing men as breadwinners and women as homemakers, more courts are turning towards shared physical custody as the model of choice following divorces.

When child custody exchanges go wrong

When Tennessee parents of minor children get divorced, there is a chance that they will share parenting duties. If the parents do each get a specific amount of time to spend with their children, there will be a need to actually physically hand the children over from one parent to the other. While thousands of families are involved in child custody exchanges every day, there are cases where these physical exchanges can have serious consequences.

Family preparedness plans help parents transfer child custody

Undocumented immigrants who are living in Tennessee might not have already made plans for their American-born children in case of deportation. It is possible for them to make arrangements, however. Some lawyers are volunteering in different parts of the country to assist immigrants without documentation with filling out and filing the paperwork needed to transfer child custody.

The benefits of shared parenting

Numerous studies have found that children do better when they have two parents in their lives. Although courts in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. tend to give custody to mothers, this is starting to change across the nation. Missouri and Kentucky have recently introduced shared parenting bills. A similar bill in Florida almost passed before being vetoed at the last moment by the state's governor.

Virtual visitation could improve parent-child relationships

When Tennessee custodial parents relocate for a job or a new relationship, it can be difficult for the non-custodial parents to have regular visits with their child. However, "virtual visitation" could potentially allow non-custodial parents additional contact with their child through various forms of technology, including video conferencing, email and instant messaging.

What to do if one parent abuses alcohol or drugs

A Tennessee parent who is going through a divorce might become concerned about the other parent's substance abuse. If this it the case, the parent should bring it up in the custody hearing. The judge will look into the allegations and consider this information in determining which parent should get primary physical custody or whether they will share joint custody. The main concern of the court will be how the substance abuse affects the child.

Virtual visitation issues

With advances in technology, an increasing number of Tennessee divorce courts are issuing virtual visitation orders in addition to traditional child custody and visitation orders. These orders allow noncustodial parents to have regular contact with their children via Facetime, Skype, email and text messaging. In some cases, the virtual contact may lead to problems, and some custodial parents wonder whether or not they can simply block their exes to prevent the communication from continuing.

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