Freeman and Fuson represent clients who are fighting for their children. Mark and Joseph are both trial lawyers and parents. Mark has 8 children and Joseph has 2 children. Together, they have tried cases involving child custody all over Middle Tennessee. Child custody issues can be found in divorce cases, post-divorce cases, order of protection cases, and juvenile cases. Mark and Joseph are familiar with the law regarding child custody or parenting time and will sit down and find out your expectations and develop a strategy to accomplish your goals. At Freeman and Fuson, fighting for children is a passion and a job and they take it seriously. If you have a question or want to consult with a child custody attorney, call Mark or Joseph.Child Custody Factors
In a suit for annulment, divorce, separate maintenance, or in any other proceeding requiring the court to make a custody determination regarding a minor child, such determination shall be made upon the basis of the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors including the following where applicable:
- The love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parents and child;
- The disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care and the degree to which a parent has been the primary caregiver;
- The importance of continuity in the child's life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment; provided, that where there is a finding, under § 36-6-106(a)(8), of child abuse, as defined in §§ 39-15-401 or 39-15-402, or child sexual abuse, as defined in § 37-1-602, by one (1) parent, and that a non-perpetrating parent has relocated in order to flee the perpetrating parent, that such relocation shall not weigh against an award of custody;
- The stability of the family unit of the parents;
- The mental and physical health of the parents;
- The home, school and community record of the child;
- The reasonable preference of the child if 12 years of age or older. The court may hear the preference of a younger child upon request. The preferences of older children should normally be given greater weight than those of younger children;
- Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent or to any other person;
- The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the home of a parent and such person's interactions with the child; and
- Each parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities, including the willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, consistent with the best interest of the child.
It is the legislative intent that the gender of the party seeking custody shall not give rise to a presumption of parental fitness or cause a presumption or constitute a factor in favor or against the award of custody to such party.
The court shall approve agreements of the parties allocating parenting responsibilities, or specifying rules, if it finds that the agreement is consistent with any limitations on a parent's decision-making authority mandated by §36-6-406; the agreement is knowing and voluntary; and the agreement is in the best interest of the child.
TENN CODE ANNOTATED §36-6-101, §36-6-106, and §36-6-407.