Change Child Custody and Modifying Shared Parenting Plans
There are a variety of issues that arise in the lives of divorced families with children. And in families of single parents living separately sharing the custody of one or more children. Raising a child is a trying task even for married parents. Shared parenting or joint custody arrangements tend to be even more difficult to parent a child through. But, most divorce, separated or single parents can successfully maneuver the ups and downs of shared parenting. There are times when problems arise that seem impossible to resolve. These may need to addressed in a court action or mediation. When you believe such an issue involving child custody has arisen, it is best to seek the advice of a family law attorney. Do this before proceeding with any action to change child custody. With the wise counsel of a divorce lawyer you will be able to make the proper decision of how to proceed to modify or change child custody.
What leads a parent to seek a change in custody?
Tennessee law and the courts provide a process for a parent to change child custody decrees under very limited circumstances. The threshold or initial issue must involve a material change in circumstances which negatively impacts the child (children). In recent years the courts also recognize the changing needs of the child in considering a a request to change child custody arrangements. Often times a parent seeks a modification or to change child custody when a situation arises that is in that parent’s opinion – intolerable. Some of the issues that bring a parent to a family law attorney about changing custody are a new live-in boyfriend or girlfriend of the other parent. Drug or alcohol use by the other parent. Consistent problems with bringing the children back late. Or not allowing the children to spend time with the other parent. Child abuse (physical, emotional or sexual abuse) is a serious problem which needs to be reported to the appropriate authorities, and carefully reviewed by a divorce lawyer.
Change Child Custody or Another Solution
Sometimes the child custody issues are a little less dramatic, but involve serious problems. Like education problems with the child. Where the primary parent is failing to properly meet the parental obligations of the child’s education. Or perhaps the “non-custodial” or alternate residential parent (often times the father) is failing to ensure the children does his/her homework while with him. Parents even believe that custody of the child should be changed because of a disagreement over something relatively minor like involvement in sporting activity, discipline issues (non-abusive) or other seemingly minor issues. These are by no means issues that should be ignored. But, may be able to resolved without the ultimate conclusion of changing child custody. Be sure to speak openly with your child custody attorney about these type of issues. The divorce lawyer will properly advise you and help you take the right course of action. Obviously, if the parents are unable to resolve their conflicts over custody of the child or parenting decisions then legal action will probably be necessary. Make this decision after receiving legal advice from a family law attorney.
A family law attorney or divorce lawyer and change in child custody.
Purple Law Firm’s Chattanooga divorce lawyers are experienced in divorce, and all family law matters like child custody and child support. If you believe that a change in custody may be necessary, or just want to know your rights as a custodial -primary residential, or non-custodial parent -alternate residential parent, contact a child custody attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a consultation. If the matter is of an urgent or emergency nature contact an attorney for immediate resolution.
Change Child Custody in Tennessee – The Options
You have now reached the decision that you need to speak to a divorce lawyer about changing child custody, but what are the options that lie ahead. There are two basic options for changing child custody: 1) return to court on a petition to modify custody or 2) attend mediation. Keep in mind that most Permanent Parenting Plans in Tennessee contain a requirement that the parents attend mediation in order to attempt to resolve their differences involving custody of the child or parenting decisions before going to court. Mediation, however, is not always the appropriate step to take in child custody changes. Certainly issues like child abuse, or drug/alcohol abuse are not issues that can be effectively resolved in mediation. Don’t make this decision alone. Consult with a family law attorney and allow the lawyer to advise you regarding the issue of change child custody.
Mediation or Court to Resolve Child Custody Issues?
These are times when the court will need to become involved before the parents attend mediation to attempt to resolve issues and the question of whether to change child custody. Certainly emergency type custody issues usually go to the court immediately. The court may issue a temporary restraining order or other emergency order – if appropriate. These type of change child custody situations need to be handled by a child custody attorney. Sometimes parents with disputes over custody or parenting of their child are able to attend mediation And successfully resolve the issues, and move on without the intervention of the courts. The court must be involved if custody or parenting conflict involves anything that requires a change in the Permanent Parenting Plan or other child custody orders. After successful mediation an agreed custody order needs to be submitted to the court for approval by the judge. Have a Tennessee family law attorney draft this child custody order for you. The attorney fees for agreed custody orders are typically relatively low, and well worth the cost. Obviously, if the parents cannot resolve their dispute over custody of the child or parenting issues through mediation then the court will be the only remaining option. Consult with a lawyer in family law practice before proceeding to resolve a child custody or parenting issue.
Get Legal Advice about Child Custody Issues
This article is not intended as legal advice about “change child custody” in Tennessee. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice about Tennessee child custody issues. Have a child custody or parenting issue? Need to know your legal rights and options? Then consult with a Tennessee divorce attorney who is experienced in family law and child custody issues. Legal advice can only be given by an attorney at law, and usually will only be given after consultation.
Purple Law Firm family law attorneys in Chattanooga serve clients with child custody or divorce issues in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Cleveland, Bradley County, Dayton, Rhea County, and surrounding Tennessee areas. Our Chattanooga divorce lawyers are licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
Read this: Attorney Profile of Jim Purple, Chattanooga Family Law Attorney