Family Law Child Custody: The Different Types of Child Custody

Updated: Mar 27, 2019


Family Law Attorney in Nashville Child Custody


In any family law case like divorce, it is always the children who become the worst victims. Aside from battling who gets the house or the car, parents also split their children’s time among each other. They enter a child custody battle. I am Family Lawyer Jefre Goldtrap in Nashville, Tennessee and here I’ll share to you the information you need to know about custody arrangements.


What is child custody definition?


It is the legal process in relation to guardianship which pertains to the legal and everyday relationship between a child and a parent or a guardian. Each state practices nearly the same provisions regarding custody dispute. This is because of the child custody laws Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act(UCCJEA). It allows each state like Tennessee to determine child custody through family courts.


The Different Types of Child Custody


Divorced parents can agree whether to have sole or joint custody of their child. But if not, Family Lawyer Jefre Goldtrap can help you fight for your child's best interest.

Sole and Joint Custody


I’m sure you have heard these terms many times already, whether in the movies or in real life. During divorce or annulment, parents can fight or agree in taking sole or joint custody of their child or children. Sole simply means only one parent has the legal, physical (or both) custody of the child. Joint refers to both of the parents can have legal and physical rights to the child.


Child Physical Custody


When a family court decides to give physical custody to a parent, the mother or the father will have to take care of the child on an everyday basis. This determines where the child would live most of the time.


Child Legal Custody


When you’re awarded legal custody, you get to decide on things that are significant in your kid’s life. This includes their education religious beliefs, psychological needs, and medical needs. One concrete example is deciding if a child gets an operation or child transfusion.


Sole Physical Custody and Joint Physical Custody


Custody decisions normally become sole physical if the court sees the parent will be not of the child’s best interest. Example of this case is if the mother or the father is alcoholic, drug dependent, or has been charged with domestic violence like child neglect or abuse. The noncustodial parent can request the court to give him or her parenting time or visitation rights. They set and agree for the schedule but if not, the court decides.


Joint custody does not guarantee an equal split of rights and responsibilities. It will still depend on the child custody arrangements. Let us say for example the parents live miles away from each other. Then it is good for the child to travel that far every three or four days. In this case, the child can go either of the parents every weekend instead.


Sole Legal and Joint Legal Custody


Most states prefer joint legal custody as a parenting plan after divorce. However, the judge may award sole legal custody if the other parent is neglectful or abusive, lives far, and does not participate in the child’s everyday life. There are also custody decisions that assign one parent to be the tie-breaker in decision making.


Joint legal custody is ideal if the parents are still in good terms after they separated. The children may still feel they have a whole family when parents work together for their good. But if not, they might just get confused and troubled just the same situation when their parents are still together.


How does Tennessee Child Custody Laws determine child custody?


If the parents cannot agree on their parenting plan, the Tennessee family court would decide to whom the “care, custody, and control” of the children would be. The custody decisions should only consider the child best interests, nothing more, nothing less. Here are the factors affecting whether sole or both parents are granted custody:


  • Child’s choice given they are matured enough to decide

  • Child’s permanence and stability in relation to his current home, school, and community, and if the change will interrupt that stability

  • Child’s capability to adapt to changes

  • Parent’s resources to provide for the child’s needs

  • Parent’s ability when it comes to parenting and his or her desire to have a continuous relationship with the child and the other parent

  • Records or history of crimes like domestic violence, negligence, substance abuse or child abuse

  • Parents’ mental and physical health status

  • Willingness to abide by new child custody arrangements of parenting time schedule

  • Testimonies which can affirm what’s the best decision for the child.


Child custody should always be about the child's best interest.

Do you need Family Law Child Custody Lawyer in Nashville?


Custody battles are difficult for the parents, let alone for the child. Here in Goldtrap Law, we believe that it is not about the father or mother’s rights, it is all about the child’s right to a safe, secure, and happy life. I can help you get that for you and your lovely children. Just comment below, call me or send an e-mail for child custody or child support services here in Nashville, Tennessee.

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