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What to consider when planning to co-parent

Tennessee parents want what is best for their children, and this includes co-parenting after a divorce or separation. However, even with the best intentions, co-parenting can be challenging. A good plan can help the parents create a balanced, healthy environment for their children to grow.

How a parent's substance abuse may affect child custody

In some child custody cases, parents in Tennessee may be worried about the safety of the child with the other parent if that parent abuses drugs or alcohol. In assessing whether that child can spend time with the parent, the judge will consider two elements: One is the allegation of substance abuse, and the other is whether that substance abuse means the parent is not able to care for the child. A court always uses the standard of the best interests of the child in making a decision.

Advantages and disadvantages of joint legal custody

People often think of child custody as being about where children live, but there are actually two types of custody. While "physical custody" is about who a child lives with, legal custody is about who has the decision-making authority about issues such as the child's education, religion and health care. It is not uncommon for parents to share legal custody while one still has primary physical custody and the other has regular visitation rights.

Child visitation schedules often demand creativity

When parents divorce in Tennessee, they may have to develop a child visitation schedule that's suitable for everyone involved. In most situations, a child will have contact with both parents. Creating the right type of child visitation schedule is often a way to help ensure the child's happiness and best interests. In addition, a child visitation schedule offers peace of mind for both parents. The alternating weekend schedule is a popular choice with many parents.

Alternatives to traditional custody and visitation arrangements

Parents in Tennessee who split up may have many more options for custody arrangements than they did in the past. Courts used to have a tendency to award custody to mothers, and fathers would have limited visitation rights. However, this is changing, and couples are exploring options that allow children to spend more time with both parents.

When parents interfere with custody rights

If a Tennessee parent tries to disrupt the custody rights of a former spouse, that is referred as custodial interference. In many cases, parties will be encouraged to resolve the matter on their own outside of court. However, it may be necessary for such cases to come before a judge. Those who engage in custodial interference could be charged with a crime and spend time in jail if convicted.

What research says about shared parenting after divorce

Parents in Tennessee who are getting a divorce might be interested in what research says is the most beneficial arrangement for children after the end of a marriage. There are a number of myths about child custody arrangements that may sound reasonable but are not supported by research.

Types of custody arrangements available after divorce

For parents in Tennessee who are getting a divorce, child custody may take many different forms. There may be either sole, joint legal or physical custody. Legal custody grants a parent decision-making rights about major aspects of his or her child's life, such as health care. Physical custody refers to where the child resides.

Carry on tradition with these bilingual picture books

You probably remember grabbing a book and curling up on your mother's lap. She'd read picture books to you. Your favorite part was when she spoke in funny voices for different characters. Now you have a little niño of your own and want to carry on this tradition.

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