Memphis Parenting Time Attorney

Tennessee firm represents parents in custody and visitation matters

Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law in Memphis provides comprehensive counsel for Tennessee parents during divorces and other legal proceedings relating to custody and visitation terms. Whether you are seeking to be the primary residential parent of your son or daughter or are looking to establish a parenting time order that gives you frequent, meaningful time with your child, my firm strives to achieve a favorable result.

Developing a parenting time schedule

When a child resides primarily with one parent, a fairly normal parenting time schedule might mean the child spends every other weekend at the noncustodial parent’s house along with extended time during the youth’s summer break from schools. Holidays and other school vacations are typically divided evenly through the year, with the schedule reversed in the ensuing year. Days with special significance to one parent would usually be spent in that parent’s home, so a child who lives primarily with their mother would go to their father’s home on Father’s Day and his birthday. Of course, there might be many reasons why this standard framework does not work, including extracurricular activities and the distance between the parties. You can rely on me to take a detailed look at your needs, as well as your child’s, in order to pursue an optimal parenting time agreement.

Tennessee law favors substantial participation for both parents

Nothing in Tennessee law favors either the mother or father in child custody determinations. Rather, the statute states that parenting time decisions should maximize the participation of both parents in their child’s life when that is safe and practicable. However, judges are aware of how disruptive a divorce can be for young people. If one parent is the primary caretaker for the children, that parent might be more likely to have primary physical custody so that the child’s routine can be maintained during a difficult time.

Factors reviewed by the court in parenting plan decisions

Any factor that the judge deems to be important can be used in the evaluation of custody and visitation matters. Specific factors that must be reviewed under Tennessee law include:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s performance of their responsibilities
  • The time each parent must be away from home because of work
  • The child’s preference if he or she is at least 12 years old

There is no set formula to determine what type of parenting plan is best for a given situation. I work personally with clients and advocate for a schedule that gives parents substantial, meaningful time with their son or daughter, and sets for clear terms regarding holidays, school breaks and transportation between the two homes.

Modifications and enforcement of parenting time orders

Both parents are required to honor the terms of a parenting time order. There might be situations where a visit must be rescheduled, but these instances should be rare and communicated well in advance whenever possible. If a change in circumstances makes adhering to the existing schedule difficult, parents should seek a change to the order rather than adjusting terms informally. Modifications to parenting plans are possible if the judge believes them to be in the child’s best interests. When parents disagree, my firm seeks to find an effective compromise, but the issue might have to be decided in court. Parents who violate custody or visitation terms could face a fine, an adverse revision to the existing order or even jail time.

Contact a Tennessee lawyer for a free consultation about parenting time arrangements

Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law assists Tennessee clients with legal matters concerning parenting time. Please call my firm at 901-233-3474 or contact me online to make an appointment for a free consultation. My office is in Memphis.