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Obtaining Fair Child Custody And Support Orders

Child custody and support, whether handled during a divorce or between two unwed parents, can be an emotionally demanding process. Child custody attorney Matt Maniatis can assist you in reaching an agreement in the best interests of your child and amicable to both parties. If no agreement can be reached, attorney Maniatis can effectively represent you in court, doing what is necessary to help you achieve the best possible outcome regarding your custody rights.

Paternity, Visitation And Child Support

Nashville child support lawyer Matt Maniatis can assist parents with all sorts of family law concerns such as establishing paternity, negotiating and setting visitation agreements, explaining potential child support payments, and arguing for child custody and primary visitation.

In addition, Mr. Maniatis represents parents seeking support and custody modifications and enforcement after the initial agreement has been approved. He is committed to protecting the best interests of your child and promoting fair visitation and support arrangements.

  • Establishing paternity: For children born out of wedlock, the mother is vested with full custody in the child, and the father’s rights need to be established through a court order. Paternity can be established through agreement of the parties or by DNA genetic testing.
  • Setting a parenting plan: Parenting plans can be through agreement of the parties, but the judge will ultimately have to approve any proposed plan with the goal of maximizing each parent’s time with the minor child. A day-to-day schedule and a holiday schedule will need to be worked out with clear language so both parties understand their rights and responsibilities. An experienced attorney will use the right language when drafting your agreement to avoid misinterpretation of the parenting plan. If domestic violence or drug issues are present, the court can also order parenting time to be supervised.
  • Child support: Once a parenting plan has been set, the court is required to order child support payments, unless the parties are living together. Under the Tennessee child support laws, an “income shares” model is used where both parents share in the financial support of the minor children. Child support payments will be determined primarily by the income of the parties and the amount of time spent with the minor child. Other factors affecting child support include health insurance and child care payments as well as credits for other children in the home.
  • Contempt: If one party fails to abide by the terms of the parenting plan or child support order, attorney Maniatis can assist you in filing a petition for contempt. In this proceeding, the nonabiding parent can be subject to fines and/or jail time if it is proven he or she willfully failed to perform his or her duties under the court order.

Safeguarding The Best Interests Of Your Child In Davidson County Juvenile Court And Other Area Courts

In determining the best interest of your child, upon an initial custody determination, the court will look at a range of factors that include:

  • The parent-child relationship
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a suitable home
  • A stable living arrangement
  • The parents’ mental and physical health
  • The child’s preference, if over 12
  • Past emotional or physical abuse.
  • Each parent’s commitment to raising the child and meeting the child’s needs

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody And Support

Two of the most important aspects of family law are child custody and support. While both of these matters relate to the best interests of the child, it’s important to remember that they are legally separate issues. Here, we provide answers to some of the most common questions we hear on these topics.

Can I take my child out of the country if I have shared custody?

When parents have shared custody, this means that they both have a say in key issues in the child’s life. This includes where they live and where they travel with the other parent. In terms of relocation, a parent cannot move more than 50 miles from the other parent’s residence without permission from the court.

For traveling and vacations, a parent with a shared custody agreement will usually need to obtain written permission from the other parent to travel outside of the country. They will need to tell the other parent where they are going, the purpose of the trip and how long they will be away.

Can I get permission from the court for my child to get a passport?

Children must generally have both parents sign an application for a passport. If one parent refuses to sign, or is unable to be found, you may petition the court to grant you sole authority to obtain your child’s passport from the appropriate agency.

What factors influence custody decisions in Tennessee?

The deciding factor in all custody cases in Tennessee is the best interests of the child. There is no single answer as to what this is, but the court will consider the following:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s physical, mental and emotional needs
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs

The court will also look at whether there are any safety concerns, such as abuse, neglect or substance abuse

How can I modify a child custody agreement?

Typically, a child custody agreement can only be modified if there has been a material change in circumstances for either parent or the child. Before any modification is approved by the court, it must meet the best interests of the child.

Do non-US citizens have to pay child support?

Yes. All parents, including non-U.S. citizens, have an obligation to support their children financially. Immigration status has no impact on having to pay or being entitled to receive child support.

For More Information About Child Custody And Visitation

Attorneys can assist you in formulating a compelling argument to assist you in your child custody, visitation or child support needs. For a phone consultation about the divorce process, your child custody, visitation or support issue, or to set up an appointment at the law firm’s Nashville office, contact the firm online or by calling Call today.