How to Find a Qualified Child Custody Attorney
Whether you have recently separated and are seeking legal assistance to determine custody or have been involved in a divorce for years and need to rework visitation agreements due to significant changes, hiring an experienced Child Custody attorney is vital. A lawyer can explain the laws in your state, review your situation, and guide you through your options.
The right lawyer will focus on ensuring that your parental rights are protected. They will also understand the emotional and financial toll a custody case can take on you and your family. An effective Child Custody attorney will be able to help you navigate this complex and difficult process with as little disruption to your children as possible. Click here to contact the #1 Child Custody Attorney in Knoxville, TN.
Generally, courts prefer to preserve parents’ equal rights where possible. However, the court’s ultimate goal is to determine what will be in your child’s best interests. The age of your child at the time of your separation and their sex, the living arrangements you have in place now, your ability to care for your child, any allegations of abuse or neglect and many other factors will be taken into account when determining your custody arrangements.
There are several different types of custody arrangements, including sole legal custody (where one parent makes decisions for the child) and joint custody (where both parents make decisions). Sometimes, you may be awarded with a combination of these types of arrangements. In this case, you may have sole physical custody but share joint legal custody with your ex-spouse.
If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will hold a hearing to review the circumstances of your case and determine what is in your child’s best interests. During this hearing, the judge will take testimony from both parties and often hire an expert such as a psychologist or social worker to interview your child, the other parent and any other individuals who are in the child’s life.
Depending on your situation, the court may also order a forensic evaluation. During this type of evaluation, the individual conducts interviews and administers tests to both parents and children. They will then prepare a report for the court, which the court will use as a basis for making a decision regarding your child’s custody.
Nonparents, such as grandparents or friends, can seek custody of a child if they can show that it is in the child’s best interests. To do so, they must prove that a parent is unfit to provide a safe and loving home. They can also request custody if they have a substantial connection to the child. However, they must prove that their relationship is close and that the child will be safe in their care. They must also prove that visiting with the other parent would not interfere with their bond. Changing custody and/or visitation terms is usually fairly easy in amenable arrangements, but it can be more challenging in contentious cases. A Knoxville Child Custody attorney can guide you through the process and ensure your child’s best interests are met.