Child Custody Attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee

A divorce or breakup can be devastating, especially when children are involved. It can be difficult to share parenting time with your estranged partner, especially on a schedule. However, you’re not alone.

According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, Tennessee has more than 460,000 single-parent households. As such, child custody arrangements are faced by many but each person’s situation is unique. Further adding to complications, arrangements may be modified as the children grow or circumstances require.

If you live in Chattanooga or its adjacent counties, the Law Offices of Fisher Wise can help you to create an equitable parenting plan. I also serve mothers and fathers in Hamilton County, Bradley County, Meigs County, Marion County, Sequatchie County, and Rhea County.

Differences Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody

Legal custody and physical custody are different, and a parent could have neither or both. To have legal custody means that a mother or father has the right to make long-term decisions for the child, such as where they will go to school or which doctor they will visit. Often both parents are afforded legal custody of their children.

Whenever a parent is in the actual presence of their son or daughter, they have physical custody of them. This may be because the child lives with them, or it may occur during parenting time. When a parent has physical custody, they can make everyday decisions about their child’s care, such as what to eat, where to play, or how to render first aid. 

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Child Custody Agreements in Tennessee

When forming a child custody arrangement in Tennessee, couples generally have two choices. The first option is for the parents to compose their own terms and present them to the court for approval. Whenever possible, this is the quickest, least expensive, and most painless option. An experienced attorney can help you keep the conversation productive and on track.

If parents cannot create a joint child custody agreement peacefully, then option two is to go before a judge in family court. After hearing both positions, the judge will rule in the best interest of the child. A family law attorney can assist with custody hearings to help you fight to gain a more favorable outcome in your child custody case.

Modifying Your Child Custody Arrangement

When circumstances have changed with the children or one of the parents, there may be a need for a modification to the current parenting time agreement. Situations that might necessitate a modification include:

  • A change of income of one or both parents;
  • Job loss;
  • A new child;
  • Significant changes in how much time the child spends with each parent; or
  • Changes in the child's needs (costs for child care, health care, or education).

Additionally, if your ex is not following the visitation schedule, you may want to seek a change to the arrangement.

Let a Child Custody Attorney Help You

A divorce can be filled with conflict, and when there are kids involved, the battle may continue for years. Having a knowledgeable family law attorney can help you obtain the best outcome for you and your family. If you need to make or modify a child custody agreement, call the Law Offices of Fisher Wise. I will guide you through the process with compassion and expertise. I am proud to serve clients in Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy, East Ridge, Red Bank, Hamilton County, and the surrounding counties of Tennessee.