When you are thinking about a parenting plan for your children, you may wonder what types of custody are available. There are several types of custody in Red Bank, but no matter the circumstances, both parents almost always get some custody or visitation rights with their children.
There are two overarching types of custody in Tennessee: Legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make decisions that affect the children, such as where they will go to school or what kind of medical care they will receive. Physical custody describes where the children live. In most cases, the court will order a joint custody plan for both types. A seasoned child custody attorney could explain the different types of custody in more detail during an initial consultation.
The terms “full” and “sole” are rarely used when discussing types of custody in Red Bank. It is more common to hear “primary” custody discussed, in which one parent gets more than 50% of the time with the children. The terms “sole” or “full” custody seem to imply one parent will have total control over the children while the other is stripped of their rights, but that is rarely the case.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-402 describes a primary residential parent as a parent the child lives with more than 50% of the time. It is worth noting that “non-primary” parents often still have the right to spend a significant amount of time with their children.
Most parenting plans are joint, even if one parent is awarded most of the time with the children. Joint custody covers many parenting arrangements, ranging from 50/50 (equal time) plans to parenting plans that only allow the non-primary parent to see the children once or twice a month.
Types of joint custody plans in Red Bank vary as much as the families that utilize them. In the past, it was common for the primary parent to get most of the time with the children, and the other parent would only see them every other weekend. Today, it is common to see more creative parenting plans that give both parents significant time with their children.
The courts in Red Bank usually order joint legal custody, i.e., mutual decision-making authority. Mutual decision-making means the parents must work together when making big decisions that affect their children’s lives.
Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-407, the only time the court will not order joint decision-making (or joint legal custody) is if one parent’s decision-making authority is limited by statute, if both parents are against mutual decision-making, or if one parent is opposed to joint decision-making and their objection is found to be reasonable.
An order of joint decision-making still gives both parents the freedom to make day-to-day decisions for the children when they are with them and make emergency medical decisions. Joint decision-making is for major decisions, such as education, religious upbringing, and non-emergency medical decisions.
If the parents cannot agree on a major decision, the parenting plan usually requires them to go to mediation, arbitration, or return to court.
It can take time to decide on the right custody arrangement for your family. Sometimes it is necessary to try a parenting schedule temporarily and see if it works for the children. In some cases, it is necessary to fight for a type of custody arrangement that will protect children from an abusive or neglectful parent.
Schedule a consultation with a local attorney to discuss the different types of custody in Red Bank and get help deciding which plan is the best fit for your family.