Don’t Move Forward Without Putting Up A Fight! Let Our Lawyers Protect Your Rights!

Can You Still Get Primary or Sole Custody If You’re Active Duty?

Latest News

Short Answer: Absolutely. The judge will not punish you for being active duty. And a good attorney will have the experience and foresight necessary to fight for primary or sole custody on your behalf. Our attorneys recognize the demands of military service, but your service should not affect your rights to your child.

What Will The Judge Consider When Determining Custody?

If both parties can come to an agreement on who gets primary custody, you can avoid a trial. However, if there is a disagreement about custody, then the case will likely go to court. Once in court, the judge refers to a list of “Best Interest Factors” to determine which parent gets primary custody.

“Best Interest Factors” are listed under Tennessee code 36-6-106. These factors consist of items like “the stability of the family unit” and “the love, affection, and emotional ties existing between the parents or caregivers and the child.” The court uses the items on this list to determine custody, and you will want a strong lawyer prepared to fight for you.

What Can My Lawyer Do About It?

Your trusted family law counsel will gather comprehensive information about your circumstances, your relationship with the other parent, and your child. They will then use this information to tailor your case according to the Best Interest Factors mentioned above.

**First consults are usually free of charge (a bit of good news). Our office offers free consultations for all family matters (even better news!). Get more info on our attorneys here.

Some Final Thoughts & Resources Related To Getting Primary or Sole Custody As A Military Parent:

Bottom Line: Your military service should not impact your ability to obtain primary or sole custody. Our attorneys have clients that are both active duty and primary caregivers, so it is certainly possible. The best next step is to book a consultation with a family lawyer to get a better understanding of your case.

If you or your loved one are in need of legal representation in a criminal defense or family matter, reach out to us today.

For additional updates and information on our local court, their departments, as well as our elected officials, visit the Montgomery County Circuit Court Clerk website.

What Does A Judge Look For In A Custody Case?

Custody matters can be highly stressful–for you and your child. There are so many unknowns, and we know that complex legal codes and terms make the process that much harder. You certainly don’t need to know all of the details. However, we do think it’s important that parents understand what the judge considers when determining custody. Whether you’re dealing with a custody matter now or worried you might face custody issues in the future, this breakdown is for you.

During a custody hearing, the judge considers what are called “Best Interest Factors” (listed under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-6-106). The descriptions of these factors are dense and often confusing. To give you some clarity, our legal team summarized each of the 15 factors below.

So, What Does A Judge Look For In A Custody Case?

  1. The strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with each parent, including whether one parent has performed the majority of daily parenting responsibilities
  2. Each parent’s past & potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities, including their willingness to facilitate a relationship between the child and both of the child’s parents
  3. Refusing to attend a court-ordered parent education seminar may be considered by the court as a lack of good faith effort in these proceedings
  4. The parent’s ability to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education, etc.
  5. The degree to which a parent has been the primary caregiver (defined as the parent who has taken the greater responsibility for performing parental duties)
  6. The love, affection, and emotional ties existing between each parent and the child
  7. The emotional needs and development of the child
  8. The moral, physical, mental, and emotional fitness of each parent – **Note: The court may order an examination of one or both parties
  9. The child’s relationships with siblings, other relatives, and mentors, as well as the child’s social involvement (for example, school participation and extracurricular activities)
  10. The importance of continuity in the child’s life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment
  11. Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent, or to any person (when appropriate, the court will refer issues of abuse to juvenile court)
  12. The character & behavior of any other person who resides in (or frequents) the home
  13. The reasonable preference of the child if twelve years of age or older–the court may hear the preference of a younger child upon request, but preference of older children will usually be given greater weight than those of younger children
  14. Each parent’s employment schedule (the court may choose to make accommodations)
  15. Other factors deemed relevant by the court depending on the details of your case

Some Final Thoughts & Resources Related To Custody Cases:

This breakdown is simply for reference. An attorney that specializes in family law will be best equipped to explain your options and guide you through the custody process. Our attorneys have assisted in countless custody cases involving one or both of the parents, including adoptive parents. They also have experience working with parents that are active duty. Regardless of your specific circumstances, an initial consultation is your best next step.

If you or your loved one are in need of legal representation in a criminal defense or family matter, reach out to us today.

For additional updates and information on our local court, their departments, as well as our elected officials, visit the Montgomery County Circuit Court Clerk website.

Related Articles

So You Missed A Court Date. (Help!)

Read More

What You Should Know About Joint Custody in Tennessee

Read More

Can a Parent Refuse Visitation If Child Support Isn’t Paid in Tennessee?

Read More