If you are interested in filing for divorce or modifying a current child custody order in Tennessee, contact our Jackson child custody attorney at Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC today.
When two parents file for divorce and are unable to determine a mutual agreement in regards to a parenting plan, then they have no other choice than to go to court to seek a child custody order. When this occurs, the judge has the final decision on the child’s future.
According to laws in Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-6-406, a parent may be considered unfit to provide for the child. Therefore, the courts can limit rights to custody and visitation. A parent with a history of misconduct, for example, is one of the many valid reasons that can be presented to the court.
The courts will always consider what would be in the child's best interests. To aid in this analysis, family law courts often appoint child custody evaluators to assess each party’s claims and figure out a recommended custodial plan.
What Is Considered an Unfit Parent in Tennessee?
Unfortunately, there are many times when a good parent ends up being classified as unfit or neglectful due to the following simple and avoidable mistakes:
One of the most obvious ways one parent can be seen as unfit is by getting arrested while the custody dispute is pending. Even if the parent is not charged or convicted, the other parent has proof that they are more qualified to be the custodial parent.
Disobey the court’s temporary custody orders
The court may issue temporary interim custody orders that will remain in place until trial. Disobeying or disregarding the court’s temporary orders can give the parent the ability to show the judge that other does not respect the court’s authority.
Refuse to communicate and co-parent with the other party
If parents cannot agree on joint custody, then the judge may determine that one parent should have sole decision-making authority due to the other’s refusal and inability to co-parent.
Display poor judgment on social media
In many cases, parents will go on social media while in the midst of a custody dispute to vent their frustrations, insult the other parent, or even show off to their friends about how fun the newly-single life can be. However, information and imagines on social media can be available to the public.