19 Nov 2012

Memphis Divorce Lawyer Reviews TN Divorce Laws Regarding Joint Custody & Shared Parenting

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Joint custody tends to be a more common and preferred way to settle a dispute. It is also something that courts prefer parents to work out on their own. But when they can’t agree, TN divorce laws may impact the outcome. Consulting with a Memphis divorce lawyer can help you deal with the complicated matters of a divorce and custody.

Understanding Joint Custody

Also known as shared parenting or split custody, this allows for both parents to share equally in raising of the child. Courts generally look favorably toward this option so that the child can receive the benefits of having both parents involved in his or her life as long as the parents agree and are on the same page. A Memphis divorce lawyer can assist in the process of establishing a custody arrangement to make sure your rights are properly represented.

Courts will consider the child’s ability to split his or her time between parents. Going back-and-forth between homes requires resilience, but if it can work, it is often the ideal option when it comes to establishing a custody arrangement.

Joint custody refers to two types of custody: joint physical and joint legal. Joint physical custody allows for both parents to spend a considerable amount of time with the child. This doesn’t necessarily mean the time is divided equally, but both get to see the child on a frequent basis.

Of course, this is not to say that if sole physical custody is awarded that the non-custodial parent won’t be able to see the child; he or she may still receive visitation rights.

Joint legal custody allows both parents to make important decisions in the child’s life including issues such as: 

  • religious upbringing;
  • education;
  • dental and medical care; and
  • everyday matters that may arise.

In some cases, parents share joint physical and joint legal custody.

Making Joint Custody Work

Deciding if joint custody is right will depend on several things. Although you are no longer married or romantically involved, you will need to make decisions with the other parent and cooperate with one another.

When making these decisions, personal differences must be put aside. To avoid having the court make the decision for you, do everything you can to work out a solution together that works for all parties involved, especially the child.

TN Divorce Laws Pertaining to Child Custody

The courts in Tennessee would much rather see parents work out their custody arrangements on their own without the court’s intervention. When this can’t be done, several factors will be considered in determining what is best for the child.

For instance, the relationship between the child and each parent will be evaluated. This is based on emotional ties, love and affection. Other people who will reside or visit with one of the parents will also be reviewed, such as a new girlfriend or boyfriend. But the courts will also consider the willingness of both parents to encourage the other parent’s relationship with the child.

In other words, decisions of this nature aren’t made lightly. According to TN divorce and custody laws, a number of other issues will also be factored into the court’s decision. Your Memphis divorce lawyer can review the standards that are used so you are better prepared for the case.

For more information and a detailed discussion of Tennessee custody law, see Tennessee Child Custody Laws in Divorce Answers to FAQs and Tennessee Parenting Plan, Primary Residential Parent & Divorce Law.

Talk to Memphis Divorce Lawyer Miles Mason, Sr.

According to a U.S. Census report, the divorce rate for men in Tennessee in 2009 was about 11.4 per 1,000 men; it was 11.6 per 1,000 women. Nationally, the divorce rate for men in 2009 was 9.2 per 1,000 and for women it was 9.7 per 1,000. Unfortunately, divorce has become a reality for many couples, and those who have children may be presented with unique challenges.

Along with a divorce oftentimes comes the difficult but important decision as to what will happen with the children. If you have questions concerning TN divorce laws, contact a Memphis divorce attorney at the Miles Mason Family Law Group. Be sure to check out our FREE eBook, which explains the seven most important steps when you are going through a divorce. Give us a call at 901-683-1850 to set up a consultation to discuss joint custody, TN divorce laws, and how it applies to your case.

Miles Mason


Memphis divorce and family lawyer, Miles Mason, Sr. is the founder of Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC. For more information about our professional staff, see our Meet the Team page.


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