Practice Areas

Child Custody In Tennessee

Effective Guidance For Reaching Solutions Regarding Child Custody

Children often become the main concern when parents divorce or end a non-marital relationship. Each parent wants to protect his or her relationship with the child, yet also hopes to minimize the emotional and psychological toll that divorce or a custody dispute can have on a child. Both goals are achievable if the parents set reasonable expectations and approach the process with a focus on reaching solutions rather than "winning" a fight.

At The Waldrop Firm, P.C., in Germantown, we stand ready to protect our clients' rights through litigation if necessary, but we strongly encourage them to resolve custody issues through negotiation or, if necessary, mediation involving a specially trained, neutral third party. By working together to develop a parenting plan outside of court, both parents ultimately retain more control over the outcome.

Call or use the contact form on this website to schedule a free 30-minute consultation in which we will answer your questions and recommend an effective course of action. We work with Tennessee family law clients in Greater Memphis and throughout Shelby County.

Our role includes helping you understand your options within the boundaries of Tennessee child custody laws, as well as providing a framework of an agreement that will serve as a starting point for development of a parenting plan.

What Tennessee Courts Consider In Custody Cases

Tennessee courts must determine both "legal" and "physical" custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding a child's education, health, religious training and other general welfare matters. Often, legal custody is shared by both parents. Physical custody refers to where a child spends his or her days and nights.

Tennessee courts use the term "primary residential parent" to describe a parent who receives a greater amount of physical custody and "alternative residential parent" to describe a parent who is allotted specific days and nights to spend with a child. If parents cannot reach agreement on custody issues outside of litigation, the court considers a number of factors to determine what is in the child's best interest. These factors include:

  • The strength, nature and stability of the child's relationship with each parent, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for performing parenting responsibilities relating to the daily needs of the child
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The ability of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care
  • The degree to which a parent has been the primary caregiver before the parents' relationship ended
  • The emotional needs and development level of the child
  • The child's interaction and interrelationships with siblings and with significant adults, as well as the child's involvement with his or her physical surroundings, school or other significant activities

The Lawyer You Meet With Is The Lawyer You Work With

Attorney Waldrop handles every case himself. You are not handed off to a less experienced attorney. Mr. Waldrop listens carefully to his clients' objectives, and works to put them in the best possible situation emotionally and financially. He welcomes the opportunity to help you resolve your child custody issues and other family law matters.