Understanding Custody And Visitation

One of the most misunderstood concepts in family law is child custody. People think in terms of whether they will get their child 50 percent of the time or if they will just get visitation, but it is so much more complicated. The courts in Tennessee now use the terms primary and alternate residential parents to describe the share of time and decision-making responsibilities — rather than joint and sole custody.

At The Landers Firm, PLC, we urge you to schedule a consultation with an attorney rather than rely on advice from a website, because understanding residential parent determinations and parenting time depends entirely on your individual situation. Call our office in Memphis at 901-522-1010 if you would like to learn more about your parental rights and how to protect them.

Your Daily Routine Can Matter In Parenting Decisions

When parents live together, it is customary for them to split parenting duties. They may do so based on the hours they work or the flexibility in their schedules. They may choose some duties because they enjoy them. When parents separate or divorce, the reality is that this sharing of duties has the potential to affect decisions regarding primary/alternate residential parent determinations and parenting time.

Judges follow the "best interests of the child" standard to make residential parent determinations, parenting time and support decisions in Tennessee. Part of this discussion involves looking at who does what with regard to child care. The court will ask which parent or if both parents:

  • Get the children dressed every morning
  • Tuck them into bed at night
  • Bathe them
  • Feed them breakfast
  • Take them to the park on Saturdays
  • Go with them to the doctor
  • Give them their medication
  • Take them to school or after-school events
  • Coach their sports teams or watch them practice
  • Handle emergency calls when they get sick
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences
  • Address issues with other children
  • Take them shopping for their necessities

Getting Early Advice From A Lawyer Does Matter

Whether you are a married or unmarried parent, you should contact our attorneys immediately when you know that parenting time or "custody" could be an issue. They will look at your individual situation and figure out the best way to protect your parental rights and your relationship with your child.

You can reach our office in Memphis by calling 901-522-1010. You may also send us your contact information.