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Murfreesboro Family Law Attorneys Defend a Father’s Rights to Custody and Visitation


Staying connected to your children after a divorce

When spouses divorce with children in the state of Tennessee, they must set up a Permanent Parenting Plan. This plan establishes the amount of time and type of custody both parents receive following the divorce. At Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law, we respect the idea that fathers have an equal right to care for and visit their children as mothers, and we will fight on your behalf to ensure that every relevant factor is taken into account when determining legal custody.

Agreeing upon a parenting plan

In a particularly amicable divorce, both spouses may be able to agree upon a schedule for custody of children. In these cases, the spouses decide among themselves who will get custody and when. It’s important as a father to assert how much time you want for custody in these cases. Agreeing to less time than you’d like can be just as bad as having the court deny your claim for custody. Also, be sure to have the agreement signed and notarized to ensure that it will hold up in a court of law should a conflict arise later.

Child support and visitation

Whether one parent gets sole custody of children, or the parents share joint custody, there can be confusion, disagreements and even arguments that occur regarding both child support and visitation rights. As a father, you are not inherently obliged to pay child support. The court will decide upon a reasonable amount of child support to be paid, based on factors set forth in the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, including:

– The amount of parenting time for which each spouse is responsible

– The income of each spouse

– Special needs of the child

– Insurance obligations of the parents

– Child care expenses

It’s important to note that child support and visitation are two separate issues in the eyes of the court. This means that even if you cannot pay support due to a lost job or other circumstances, you do not lose your visitation rights. Your spouse may file for a change to the Permanent Parenting Plan to accommodate for the new financial situation, but as a father you retain whatever rights to visitation the court grants.

Children’s preference in custody

Children over the age of 12 may give their preference for custody during divorce proceedings. According to Tennessee statute, this preference shall be taken under consideration if deemed reasonable by the court. A court may also choose to listen to the preferences of children under 12, but is under no legal obligation to do so, or to follow these preferences.

Your attorney can help you determine what your best course of action is to secure the custody you would like with your children and to secure a reasonable amount of child support, whether it’s to be paid to you or by you.

Our Murfreesboro divorce attorneys work tirelessly to help fathers stay connected to their children

Don’t let your spouse take your children away from you without cause or reason. At Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law, our law firm is built on the commitment to fight for your rights until there is no legal course of action left. We investigate every case on your behalf and represent your interests as a responsible parent. Call us at 615-890-1982 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located next to the historic City Café, close to the courthouse in downtown Murfreesboro.