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Child Visitation Attorney in Shelby County, Tennessee

Work with a family lawyer who takes the time to understand your unique situation and provides you with personalized legal advice. Every family has its unique dynamic, and that's why I tailor my approach to fit my clients' situations.  

Whether you're aiming for a structured visitation plan, modifying an existing arrangement, or resolving disputes, 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 in Shelby County, Tennessee, my mission is to offer personalized legal services that cater to your unique needs. With a successful track record across a range of family law matters, including child custody and visitation, I understand just how complex and emotional these proceedings can be.

That's why I'm committed to supporting you and advocating for your children's best interests every step of the way. 

Call or message my Memphis firm today to set up a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your case and options. 

Your Visitation Rights as a Parent in Tennessee

In the state of Tennessee, both parents are generally entitled to visitation rights, unless there are specific reasons that make visitation contrary to the best interests of the child.  

The state prioritizes the protection of the rights of non-custodial parents and children. Therefore, the court is obligated to grant visitation rights to the parent unless there is a compelling reason to believe that such visits would harm the child's well-being.  

Tennessee has implemented a visitation code that outlines the rights of both parents, which includes: 

  • The right to send mail to the child(ren) without it being opened by the other parent. 

  • The right to speak with the child(ren) on the phone at least twice a week. 

  • The right to access school and medical records. 

  • Mandatory notification of illness or death within 24 hours. 

  • Mandatory 48-hour notification of extracurricular activities. 

It's crucial to remember that every family's situation is unique, and visitation arrangements should be made with the child's best interests in mind. Understanding your rights and obligations under Tennessee law can help you navigate these complex issues more effectively.  

As your legal advocate, I will provide the support and guidance you need to protect your parental rights and ensure that your child's best interests are upheld.

You Deserve Genuine Support


Understanding Child Visitation in Tennessee

Two primary options exist when establishing or modifying a visitation schedule: 

  1. You and your co-parent could collaborate to 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. 

  1. If an agreement can't be reached, the case will proceed to family court. A judge will establish a visitation schedule based on what they deem to be in the best interest of the child. Typically, the custodial parent has the child for 285 days a year, while the non-custodial parent gets 80 days. 

Having me by your side ensures that your case is presented effectively and that your interests are well-represented. 

If a Parent Doesn’t Pay Child Support, Can Visitations Be Denied?

No. The connection between failing to pay child support and the right to visitation is legally non-existent. Should the noncustodial parent neglect child support payments, the custodial parent, with the guidance of a family law attorney, is advised to submit a Petition for Contempt to the court. Withholding your child from scheduled visitations can lead the other parent to file a Petition for Contempt against you.  

In Tennessee, a contempt ruling can result in a penalty of up to ten days in jail and a $50 fine for each offense. Judges rigorously enforce their court orders, exhibiting minimal tolerance for parents who either interfere with visitation rights or neglect child support obligations. 

Modifying an Existing Child Visitation Arrangement

Circumstances can change, often necessitating modifications to an existing child visitation arrangement. Parents might need to adjust the schedule due to changes in their work hours, relocation, the evolving needs of the child, or changes in the child's extracurricular activities. Recognizing that life is dynamic, Tennessee law allows for modifications to visitation arrangements when there has been a significant change in circumstances. 

To modify an existing visitation agreement, parents typically need to follow these steps: 

  1. Understand the grounds for modification: The parent requesting the change must demonstrate a substantial and material change in circumstances since the original visitation order was established. Examples include one parent moving to a different city or state, changes in the child's health or educational needs, or alterations in a parent's work or living situation. 

  1. File a petition: The parent seeking the modification must file a petition with the family court outlining the reasons for the proposed changes. The petition should include specifics about the existing arrangement and why it's no longer appropriate or beneficial. 

  1. Notify the other parent: The non-filing parent must be formally notified about the petition for modification. This step ensures that both parties are aware of the proceedings and have the opportunity to present their perspectives. 

  1. Attend a hearing: The court will generally schedule a hearing to review the petition and assess whether the requested changes serve the child's best interests. Both parents will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. Legal representation can be vital during this stage to ensure your case is effectively communicated. 

  1. Court decision: After considering all evidence and testimony, the judge will make a determination. If the court agrees that there has been a significant change in circumstances and that the modification would benefit the child, a new visitation schedule will be established. 

As your attorney, I will provide support throughout this process, from filing the petition to representing you in court. My goal is to advocate for an arrangement that reflects your child's best interests while accommodating your family’s changing needs.  

By ensuring you're well-prepared and informed, we can work towards a visitation schedule that is both fair and beneficial for all parties involved. 

Child Visitation Attorney in Shelby County, Tennessee

If you're sorting out child visitation matters or dealing with a dispute, reach out to my Memphis firm today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, and let’s work together to build the best possible future for your child. I’m located in Memphis, Tennessee, and I serve clients throughout Shelby County, including the areas of Lenox, Nonconnah, Germantown, Bartlett, Arlington, Millington, and more.