Dedicated Clarksville Father’s Rights Attorneys Ready To Fight For You
Our lawyers understand the importance of a father in a child’s life
Research demonstrates that a father’s nurturing presence in a child’s life has a major impact upon the child’s development, both cognitive, socially and emotionally. It is universally accepted among experts that children who have a meaningful relationship with their father statistically have a greater chance of achieving success and happiness as adults. A skilled Clarksville father’s rights attorney at Batson Nolan PLC understands how important a father’s role is when raising a child. We act with the best interest at heart for everyone involved in the legal matter.
Most people assume that in cases which involve issues of child custody or visitation, that courts favor mothers or give them more rights to the children as compared to fathers. Fortunately, this presumption is inaccurate. Tennessee, like many other states, has done away with such unfair legal biases against fathers. Just because you may be going through a divorce does not mean you have to forego your paternity rights or lose your relationship with your child.
First and foremost, a father must establish his status as the legal parent of the child in order to have the standing to petition a Tennessee court for parenting time and physical or legal custody of a child. In Tennessee, when a child is conceived or born during the marriage, the husband is legally presumed to be the child’s father. Such legal presumptions can be refuted or disavowed by genetic testing. Once paternity is established, the focus then turns to matters of child custody and visitation. Let a knowledgeable Clarksville father’s rights lawyer help you out today.
Father’s Rights in Tennessee
A Tennessee court’s determination of child custody or child visitation arrangements is predicated upon what are determined by the court to be the best interests of the child. In Tennessee, the trial court will make its determination of which parent will be declared the child’s primary residential parent after considering some of the following child custody factors: [a] the strength, nature and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent; [b] whether one parent has performed the majority of parenting responsibilities relating to the daily needs of the child; [c] each parent’s past and potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities including each parent’s willingness to facilitate and encourage a close relationship between the child and the opposite parent; [d] each parent’s history in providing food, clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care for the child; [e] the love, affection and emotional ties existing between each parent child; [f] the moral, physical and mental and emotional fitness of each parent as it relates to their ability to parent the child; [g] the importance of continuity and stability in the child’s life; [h] evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child; [i] the character and behavior of other persons who reside with or frequent the home of each parent and such person’s interactions with the child; [j] the location of the residences of the parents and their respective employment schedules.
It is no surprise that determinations of child custody and visitation are often the most emotional and difficult aspects of any divorce. Fathers often fail to realize that their failure to fight for their parental rights during the initial custody determination may have lasting long-term negative effects upon their ability to ever re-petition the court to change custody, to modify visitation, the calculation of their child support obligation, or their ability to ever challenge the other parent’s efforts to relocate with the child.
In cases which involve issues of child custody and visitation, it is imperative that each father vigorously advocates for their rights to have fair and equal access to their children. In such cases a successful outcome is often contingent upon whether or not the father retains an experienced attorney who will zealously advocate against the unfair presumptions against fathers; and who is skilled in uncovering and presenting the evidence necessary to demonstrate to the court that the child’s best interest requires that the father be awarded either primary custody or significant meaningful visitation with the child.
Our Legal Services for Fathers in Tennessee
Our Clarksville father’s rights lawyers assist fathers in Tennessee with all aspects of establishing their legal rights and preserving their relationships with their children. This includes providing legal representation for matters including:
- Establishing Paternity – In Tennessee, a man is presumed to be a child’s father if he is married to the child’s mother (i) when the child is conceived, (ii) when the child is born, or (ii) any time during the 300 days that precede the child’s date of birth. In all other scenarios, it is necessary to establish paternity before you can establish your parental rights.
- Establishing a Parenting Plan – When going through a divorce or separation, parents must establish a parenting plan that serves their children’s “best interests.” There are several options available, and fathers and mothers start on equal ground.
- Establishing Child Support – Similarly, fathers and mothers start on a level playing field when it comes to establishing child support. Our attorneys can make sure you have access to the information you need in order to accurately calculate your (or your spouse’s or partner’s) child support obligation.
- Enforcing or Modifying Your Parental Rights – If your former spouse or partner is not adhering to the terms of your parenting plan, our attorneys can utilize the available legal means to enforce your parental rights. If you need to seek a modification to your parenting plan, our Clarksville father’s rights attorneys can help you demonstrate that an appropriate modification is necessary.
Father’s Rights Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the difference between sole custody and joint custody?
In sole custody, only one parent has parenting time with the child. In joint custody, both parents are allowed parenting time, although the amount of parenting time might not be exactly equal. Sole custody is the exception – most divorcing couples have joint custody.
What is a Permanent Parenting Plan?
A Permanent Parenting Plan (PPP) is a legally binding document that deals with all issues regarding the child, such as
- Which party is the Primary Residential Parent;
- The parenting time of the Alternate Residential Parent (ARP); and
- Child support.
A Permanent Parenting Plan is mandatory in all divorce cases with child custody issues. Ideally, the parents will create the document on their own and the family court judge will approve it. In practice, the judge may modify it or even finalize it without the parents’ input (if the parents cannot agree on anything, for example).
How does custody affect child support?
The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines calculate child support, in part, based on the number of days the child spends with each parent. The more days of parenting time you have, the less child support you will owe (and the less likely it is that you will owe anything at all). One of the main reasons for this preference is that, on your parenting days, you are likely to be spending money on the child out of your own pocket.
The number of days you spend with your child is not the only factor used to calculate child support obligations, however.
Is the selection of a Primary Residential Parent a permanent arrangement, or can it be changed?
It can be changed if there is a “material change of circumstances,” and if the best interests of the child require that the other parent be named Primary Residential Parent instead. A judge is likely to order a change if the parent originally named Primary Residential Parent doesn’t do a good job of raising the child.
How much does the child’s preference to live with his father matter in a custody decision?
A child’s preference matters under Tennessee law, but it is not the only factor that is considered. Generally, the child’s preference will be given greater weight if he is over 12 years old. Ultimately, though, a judge is free to disregard the child’s preference if he determines that, given the totality of the circumstances, honoring the child’s preference would not be in his best interests.
Call a Clarksville Father’s Rights Law Firm Today
At Batson Nolan PLC, our Clarksville father’s rights lawyers take pride in our results, both in and out of the courtroom, representing fathers and advocating for their parental rights. It is never too early to initiate a strategy or plan of action tailored toward developing the evidence you will need to be successful in the courtroom.
Our experienced legal team also handles other family legal matters cases, including:
- Child Custody/Visitation Issues
- Mediation Services
- Divorce Of Military Couples
- High Net Worth Divorces
- Orders of Protection
If you are a father who seeks custody of equal visitation with your child, you should not be deterred by gender stereotypes or by any presumption that a mother has more rights than you do. Contact one of our dedicated and experienced Clarksville father’s rights attorneys so we can fight for you.