Custody cases take an emotional toll
on both the parents and the child. Child Custody cases can also
be expensive. To help make your custody case easier on you and
your child, trust the Putnam Firm.
The first thing to understand about any custody case is that
a judge will rule by looking at what’s in the best interest
of the child.
The criteria for custody are set out in a statute, TCA 36-6-106.
They include the following:
- The love, affection and emotional ties existing between the
parents or caregivers and the child
- The disposition of the parents or caregivers to provide the
child with food, clothing, medical care, education and other
necessary care and the degree to which a parent or caregiver
has been the primary caregiver
- The importance of continuity in the child's life and the length
of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment
- The stability of the family unit of the parents or caregivers
- The home, school and community record of the child
- The reasonable preference of the child, if twelve (12) years
of age or older. The court may hear the preference of a younger
child on request. The preferences of older children should normally
be given greater weight than those of younger children;
- Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the
other parent or to any other person; provided, that, where there
are allegations that one (1) parent has committed child abuse,
or child sexual abuse against a family member, the court shall
consider all evidence relevant to the physical and emotional
safety of the child, and determine, by a clear preponderance
of the evidence, whether such abuse has occurred.
- The character and behavior of any other person who resides
in or frequents the home of a parent or caregiver and the person's
interactions with the child
- Each parent or caregiver's past and potential for future performance
of parenting responsibilities, including the willingness and
ability of each of the parents and caregivers to facilitate
and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship
between the child and both of the child's parents, consistent
with the best interest of the child.
- The court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination
regarding a minor child or may modify a prior order of child
custody upon finding that the custodial parent has been convicted
of or found civilly liable for the intentional and wrongful
death of the child's other parent or legal guardian.
Remember, if there is custody litigation,
you must be able to show the judge that the child’s best
interests are in being with you. To be sure you and your child’s
interests come first, contact the Putnam