Maryville Child Custody Lawyers

Maryville Child Custody Lawyers

Helping to obtain clear legal and physical custody orders for children in Maryville

Children need parents who are both actively involved in all aspects of their lives. Parents need child custody orders that precisely spell out where their children live and attend school each day of the year, including holidays. The orders need to determine broad issues such as the religion of your child and specific details such as how the transfer of a child from one parent to the other will occur. At LaFevor & Slaughter, our Maryville child custody lawyers are skilled at negotiating child custody agreements and litigating child custody cases in court. At all times, we prioritize the best interests of your children. We obtain orders that provide for sole or joint legal custody and physical custody. We constantly strive to ensure your child’s health, guidance, love, and future.

How do you fight to ensure my kids are protected by Maryville child custody orders?

Divorce and separation are rough on parents. They’re emotional rollercoasters for children. Young children worry that they’re the cause of the separation. Older children want to focus on their friends, schooling, and the current trends – not feel like they’re being used to settle their parents’ differences.

At LaFevor & Slaughter, our Maryville child custody lawyers understand the trauma of divorce for children, the need of former couples to prioritize the best interests of their children, and the many practical issues involved when children move back and forth between parents. When necessary, we work with child psychologists who help your children adjust. We work with the Blount County family court system to minimize the need for your children to testify. Our family lawyers develop parenting plans that help parents raise, love, and guide their children while ensuring conflicts are kept to a minimum during the divorce and during your child’s lifetime.

What are the different types of child custody orders in Maryville?

Tennessee has two types of child custody orders:

  • Legal custody. A parent who has legal custody makes decisions about their child’s educational, medical, religious, and other major life decisions. Often, legal custody is shared between both parents. There are some instances where one parent has full legal custody because the other parent has substance abuse problems, is imprisoned, or for other serious reasons.
  • Physical custody. This type of custody determines where your child lives each day of the year, including holidays. Physical custody determines which parent cares for each child on a daily basis, including providing for the child’s clothes, housing, and food. Physical custody also includes ensuring the child attends school, does their homework, is engaged with friends, is disciplined, and other daily routines.

Each type of custody can be held by one parent (sole) or shared by both (joint). Generally, a parenting plan is prepared that establishes the precise physical custody schedule, the right to visitation, how the parents can communicate with their children while their child lives with the other parent, and many other legal and practical issues.

Our Maryville child custody lawyers are skilled at negotiating legal custody, physical custody, and parenting plan agreements which are made part of a court order. We also litigate child custody decisions in court if you and your spouse cannot agree to custody terms.

What factors determine legal and physical custody in Maryville?

Tennessee law requires that the following factors be reviewed when deciding legal and physical custody:

  • Each child’s relationship with their parent, based on the strength, nature, and stability of the relationships
  • The ability of each parent (based on past performance and future potential) to meet their parenting responsibilities, including the willingness and ability of each of the parents to encourage continuing a strong parent-child relationship between the child and the co-parent.
  • Whether a parent refused to attend a court-ordered parent education seminar
  • The “disposition” of each parent to provide clothing, medical care, food, education, and other essential care
  • How much each parent has already acted as the primary caregiver
  • The bond, love, and affection that exists between each parent and child
  • The developmental and emotional needs of each child
  • The “moral, physical, mental and emotional fitness of each parent as it relates to their ability to parent the child.”
  • How each child interacts with siblings, other relatives, step-relatives, and mentors, along with the child’s involvement in school and other activities
  • The need for stability
  • Any evidence of physical or emotional abuse of a child
  • The involvement of other people who live in the parent’s home
  • The work schedules of each parent
  • Other relevant factors
Child Custody Lawyer Maryville TN

In addition, the preferences of a child 12 or older are considered. The preference of younger children may also be considered on request – though the preferences of older children are given more weight.

In Maryville, both parents need to attend a four-hour parenting seminar. Parents will also need to attend mediation to develop a parenting plan with their co-parent.

If the parents can agree to a parenting plan, our family lawyers will submit the plan to the court for approval. Otherwise, if you can’t agree, a judge (someone neither parent knows) will make the child custody decision for the parents. Remember, the judge doesn’t know your kids like you do. At best, the judge will spend a small amount of time talking to your children. Parents who care should take every step possible to reach their own parenting plans. Our Maryville child custody lawyers help parents prioritize the needs of their children.

Parents should also know that there is no longer any preference to grant legal or physical custody to the mother.

What are the important terms of Maryville child custody orders?

Our Maryville child custody lawyers are skilled at drafting and negotiating parenting plans with your spouse’s lawyer and through the mediation process. Parenting plans should address a full range of custody issues, including:

  • Physical and legal custody
  • Where your child will spend each day
  • How your child will spend time with one or both parents during children’s birthdays, parent’s birthdays, and holidays
  • A vacation schedule
  • Visitation schedules – the time the noncustodial parent or the parent with less custodial time spends with the children
  • School vacation schedules
  • How you can communicate with your child when your son or daughter is with the other parent
  • How each child will be exchanged and transported
  • Any special needs of your child
  • How disputes should be handled
  • All other relevant issues

How can I protect my children when child custody orders are violated?

Parents are required to comply with the terms of the Maryville custody orders. If a parent isn’t complying with a parenting plan, you should try to communicate and work things out with your ex. If communication isn’t working, then our Maryville child custody orders will file a petition with the family court seeking enforcement of the child custody order.

Parents who refuse to comply with a child custody order may be deprived of custody or visitation time. They could be held in contempt and jailed if they continue to fail to comply with the child custody order. They could lose their custody rights altogether.

What happens if a parent needs to relocate from Maryville?

A parent can relocate on his/her own. If that parent wants physical custody or visitation rights, then the current child custody order needs to be modified. The modification must be approved by the family court to protect the best interests of the children

The court will review if the relocation is for legitimate purposes, such as for a new job or to remarry, or for improper purposes such as to make life inconvenient for you or to try to change which state decides custody.

Our Maryville child custody orders fight to protect your parental rights and protect your child. We work to ensure that child custody decisions stay in Tennessee – unless you want them to change to a different state. We negotiate the terms of a new parenting plan depending on whether you’re the parent moving or the co-parent is moving.

Do grandparents have child custody rights in Maryville?

Grandparents may be able to petition for visitation in certain situations, including when the grandchild’s parents are divorced. The family court will review various factors, including whether the child will suffer emotional harm if the visitation request is denied. If the parents cannot agree to include either parent’s grandparents in the grandchild’s life, the grandparents should contact our Maryville child custody lawyers to discuss their rights.

If the parents are deceased or unable or unfit to care for their child, grandparents may be able to seek custody of their grandchild.

What practical suggestions help parents implement child custody orders?

We’ll help you understand some of the many practical issues that can help parents and children when parents live apart. For example, we’ll explain how Christmas is usually divided, when vacations should be taken, and other issues.

One new type of practical solution is the use of technology. New software:

  • Helps parents message each other
  • Create schedules
  • Track costs
  • Share contact information
  • Communicate with co-parents and children when the other parent has physical custody

There’s even software that monitors whether a message is “emotionally charged.”

Do you have a Maryville child custody attorney near me?

At LaFevor & Slaughter, our Maryville child custody lawyers meet parents and children at our office located at 317 Ellis Ave., Suite 317. We do conduct video conferences when necessary. We promptly answer your questions. We’ll explain how to maximize your time with your child. We’ll explain how the child custody process works in Maryville.

Contact us today. Talk with our respected Maryville child custody lawyers today

Child custody orders can’t wait. When parents divorce or separate, the children need to know immediately which parent they’ll live with and who will make decisions for them. At LaFevor & Slaughter, our Maryville child custody lawyers have the experience to help ensure your desire to raise your child is prioritized in every way possible. To schedule a consultation, please call our Maryville child support attorneys or complete our contact form today. We’ll fight for your child’s happiness.