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How to File for Full Custody in Nashville, TN

Building your best case for physical and legal custody of your children

Perhaps the most emotionally difficult issue in any divorce is the dispute over custody. In the worst cases, parents who cannot bear to be separated from their children fight for sole custody for their peace of mind, rather than their children’s best interests. Others, still angry over the dissolution of the marriage, refuse to let the other spouse “have the kids,” without pausing to think that the children need to maintain contact with that parent to minimize the emotional impact on him or her. However, there are cases in which one parent must assume full custody for the good of the children. At The Law office of Karen Cain, I try to help clients understand how the court is likely to view the objective truth of their circumstances and work within those parameters to negotiate the best agreement for all involved. However, when it is clear that the best interests of the children demand that one parent exercise full custody, I fight effectively to see that happen.

Understanding the duties of full legal and physical custody

Parents going through a divorce include their custody requests in the divorce papers they file with the court. Simply put, there are two types of –custody — legal and physical — and each can be shared or exercise by a single parent.

  • Legal custody The authority to make decisions regarding the health and welfare of a child, including medical treatment, education, enrichment activities, socialization and athletics. The parent exercising legal custody has a duty to make decisions based on the best interests of the child.
  • Physical custody The parent exercising physical custody has the duty to provide the child with the necessities of the body, including shelter, clothing and meals. Again, the parent must exercise this responsibility in a manner consistent with the child’s best interests.

When will the court in Tennessee support a petition for full child custody?

Courts in Tennessee favor shared or joint custody, except in cases in which that arrangement would not be in the child’s best interests. What that means is, it’s not enough to show that you are the better parent; you must show that the other parent is so deficient that living with that parent will have a negative effect on the child. The court recognizes limiting factors that prevent a parent from exercising parental duties. Some of these are:

  • Immaturity
  • Anger issues
  • History of domestic violence
  • Drug or alcohol impairment

If you have a well-grounded fear that your ex-spouse cannot perform as a parent, I can help you take steps to obtain full custody. Your spouse could still enjoy parenting time with your children and would also be responsible for child support payments.

For help obtaining full custody in your Tennessee divorce, call on Karen Cain

Contact The Law Office of Karen Cain for experienced, efficient, cost-effective representation on all family law issues, including child custody disputes. It should not cost anything to determine which attorney is right for you. Therefore, all initial consultations are free. I answer your questions, evaluate your case and provide an estimate of fees. My Nashville office is easily accessible by public transportation and local interstates.

Karen Cain, Attorney at Law serves clients in the metro-Nashville Davidson County area and all middle Tennessee counties.


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