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Child Custody Attorney in Shelby County, Tennessee

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to establishing a child custody arrangement. Every family has its own story, and that's why I tailor my approach to fit my clients' particular situations.

Whether you're shooting for sole custody, joint custody, or seeking changes to an existing agreement, you can count on me to guide you through the legal process, stand up for your rights, and make sure your needs are heard.

As your dedicated attorney at Attorney Theresa D. Childress here in Shelby County, Tennessee, my mission is to offer top-notch, personalized legal services that cater to your unique needs. With a successful track record across a range of practice areas, including child custody, I know just how intimidating the legal system can seem, especially when it hits close to home. That's why I'm committed to supporting you every step of the way.

I'll help you understand your rights, consider all your options, and build a solid legal strategy. Ultimately, I want you to feel empowered and confident in making decisions that lead to the best possible outcome for you and your kids. You can trust me to provide strong, assertive representation that puts your interests first and makes sure your voice rings loud and clear in the courtroom.

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Understanding Child Custody

Two primary options exist, each with its unique circumstances:

Firstly, you and your co-parent could create your own terms and present them to the court for approval. This method is often less stressful, cost-effective, and quicker. With my counsel, we can ensure productive discussions that keep your child's best interests at heart.

On the flip side, if you find it impossible to reach an agreement, the case will have to go to family court. A judge will establish a custody arrangement based on what they decide is best for the child. Having me by your side, you can be confident that your case is presented effectively.

Joint Custody vs Sole Custody

The terminology used in custody arrangements varies by state, but generally, there are two types: joint custody and sole custody.

Joint custody refers to shared responsibility and decision-making between both parents. It means the child will spend equal or significant amounts of time with each parent, and both parties must agree on important decisions affecting their child.

On the other hand, sole custody is when one parent has full physical and legal custody of a child. This means the child primarily lives with that parent, and they have the final say in all decisions concerning the child's well-being.

As your attorney, I'll guide you through these terms and their implications in the context of Tennessee law.

Factors Considered in Determining Custody

When it comes to determining custody, several factors come into play. These include the child's age, their relationship with each parent, each parent's ability to provide a stable environment, the child's preferences, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

Strategies to Increase the Likelihood of Having Custody

Boosting your chances in a child custody case, whether it's about gaining, keeping, or modifying it, can feel overwhelming, but you have rights. Some of the ways that you can have custody include maintaining a consistent and safe home environment, stay present in your child's life, show financial ability, and more.

When possible, being amicable and cooperative with the other parent can work in your favor. Courts often look at which parent is more likely to encourage an open and loving relationship between the child and the other parent. Avoiding confrontational behavior, both in and out of the courtroom, reflects well on your ability to foster a positive environment for your child.

Lastly, securing convincing character references from unbiased parties who can attest to your parenting skills can influence a judge's perspective. Although no outcome is promised, engaging in these strategies may help increase the likelihood that the court will view you as the parent better suited to serve the primary role in your child's life.

The Child Custody Process

The child custody process in Tennessee is designed to protect the child's best interests while providing fair treatment to both parents. It begins with either parent filing a petition for custody as part of a divorce proceeding or as a separate action. If you and your co-parent are unable to agree on a parenting plan, the court will intervene.

During the court proceedings, both parents will have the opportunity to present their case. This may include testimonies from each parent, witnesses, and sometimes, professionals such as a child's teacher or a psychologist. Considerations for custody decisions encompass the child's well-being, emotional ties with each parent, and the child's wishes if they are of sufficient age and maturity.

As your skilled attorney, I will assist in compiling evidence, preparing for your testimony, and advocating on your behalf throughout these proceedings. My role is also to help mediate and negotiate terms outside of court when possible, always aiming to find the best possible solution for you and your child. I'm dedicated to ensuring that every aspect of the process is handled with diligence and sensitivity, reflecting the gravity and impact these decisions will have on your family's future.

Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement

Life is unpredictable, and significant changes can warrant modifications to an existing custody agreement. Job loss or significant changes in financial circumstances, instances where the co-parent isn't fulfilling their obligations, among others, are grounds for seeking modification. As your legal counsel, I'll guide you through this process, helping you gather the necessary evidence and presenting a compelling case that will show why the modification is in the child's best interest.

Child Custody Attorney in Shelby County, Tennessee

Remember that you're not alone in this situation. I'm here to provide the support, guidance, and aggressive representation you need. If you're facing child custody matters, reach out at (901) 265-2656 or email me at Let's work together to secure the best future for your child.

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