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Factors Tennessee considers when awarding child custody

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2023 | Family Law

When it comes to child custody in Tennessee, the courts take various factors into account in their efforts to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child. These factors play a key role in determining who gets custody of the child or children when the marriage ends.

While parents may have differing views on custody arrangements, the court’s goal is to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the child to grow and thrive.

The child’s age and needs

The age and specific needs of the child play important roles in custody cases. Younger children often require more care and attention, making their primary caregiver an important consideration. Additionally, if a child has unique needs, such as medical or educational requirements, the court takes this into account.

Parental stability

The court also assesses the stability of each parent’s living situation and lifestyle. This includes factors such as a safe and suitable residence, consistent routines and the ability to provide a loving and nurturing atmosphere.

Parental fitness

The physical and emotional well-being of each parent also comes into play in a custody case. Courts assess whether either parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence or any other behaviors that could potentially harm the child. A parent’s ability to provide for the child’s basic needs, including food, shelter and healthcare, also carries weight.

Geographic proximity

The court also considers the distance between each parent’s residence, as well as the distance between each home and the child’s school and extracurricular activities. It aims to minimize disruptions to the child’s life, so proximity can be a significant factor.

Research shows that about one-third of American children born into marriage will see their parents divorce. These factors help courts figure out what type of living arrangement gives children their strongest chance at a successful and happy future, post-divorce.