An essential part of promoting healthy parent-child relationships is setting aside time for each parent to spend with their children. When parents are no longer together, setting up visitation is a crucial part of any court-approved parenting plan. If you have questions or worries about visitation and your children, you may wish to meet with a Chattanooga visitation lawyer.
Emotions often run high during break-ups. These feelings sometimes cloud the ability of both parents to make decisions on visitation that are best for their children. A family lawyer could explain the rights of each parent to time with their children and address any concerns that you may have about visitation.
Tennessee courts have full discretion in crafting parenting plans that resolve custody and visitation issues for separating and divorcing parents. While the hope is that parents are able to reach agreements on their own, that is not always a possibility. In some cases, courts have no choice but to intervene and devise a parenting plan that they believe is in the best interests of the child.
Under Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-6-301, courts making custody awards must generally grant visitation to non-custodial parents on request to allow them to maintain a parent-child relationship. Parenting plans typically contain provisions addressing visitation that specifically designate with which parent a child should live with on specific days of the year. These plans should include provisions for holidays, birthdays of children and family members, vacations, and other special occasions.
Court orders require parents to comply with parenting plans concerning the exchange of children for visitation purposes. If parents fail to comply with the parenting plans, then they may face various sanctions from the court. A visitation lawyer in Chattanooga could be instrumental in helping parents both establish and enforce parenting plans concerning their children.
A judge is not obligated to question a party in a child custody or visitation case if that party is represented by an attorney. However, a parent’s attorney would ask applicable questions and perhaps ask the judge if they have any questions for the parent. The judge may ask clarifying questions after an attorney’s line of questioning, but a judge’s questioning depends on the facts of the specific situation.
In many situations, parents may become concerned that visitation with the other parents of their children is physically or emotionally harmful to them. If the court finds that visitation is likely to endanger the physical or emotional health of a child, the court is not required to grant visitation. Likewise, if the court finds that parents have physically or emotionally abused their children, they may require visitation to be supervised or terminated. This suspension or prohibition on visitation could continue until the abuse has ceased, or there is a reasonable likelihood that harm would occur in the future.
Disputes over custody and visitation sometimes lead to exaggerated or flat-out false claims of abuse to gain a competitive edge or make the other parent look bad. When this situation occurs, getting the advice of a visitation attorney in Chattanooga may be crucial.
Regardless of the situation, parents may not take matters into their own hands and unilaterally deny visitation. In some cases, parents may be justified in seeking restrictions on visitation, but they must take steps to change the order through the court system, rather than making their own decisions. For parents who have experienced denials of visitation by the other parents, enforcement mechanisms do exist.
A parent’s financial status does not typically impact the awarding of child custody or visitation in Chattanooga. However, if their financial status impacts their ability to provide the child with basic necessities, it could influence the outcome of the case. It is wise to ask an attorney about the facts of a specific case to understand how financial factors may affect the outcome of a visitation determination.
Disputes over custody and visitation are some of the most contested legal issues. These disputes are often heated, emotional, and challenging for all parties involved, but especially for the children. A Chattanooga visitation lawyer may be able to assist you in obtaining a parenting plan that truly is in the best interests of your children.
Various factors go into the determination of what type of parenting plan is most suitable for your children. Every case is different and depends upon facts specific to that case. Having legal counsel to help you navigate through this often grueling process may be advantageous to you.
By: Matt F.
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