Protecting Your Children, and Protecting Your Relationship with Them

Protecting Your Children, and Protecting Your Relationship with Them


Legal matters involving family can be emotionally trying, especially when children are involved. J. Steven Anderson strives to educate you on the factors that the courts will consider in making decisions regarding custody of your children, and to counsel you on presenting your best case to achieve a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children...which is ultimately in the best interests of the entire family.

Each parent generally has the right to spend equal time with their children. Ideally, parents can maintain control over their relationship with their children by agreeing to a parenting schedule that works well for the children and for the parents. If parents can agree on a schedule of parenting time, most to the time the court will approve it. Mr. Anderson can assist you in coming to an agreement by helping to develop a parenting schedule that meets the requirements of Tennessee law, that helps to minimize stress associated with moving the children between homes, and which will maximize the likelihood of being approved by the court.

Helping you get through the complex legal process

If parents cannot come to agreement, the court will make the decisions about when each parent spends time with the children for them. In doing so, the judge is required to look at a number of factors to determine the amount of time that children spend with each parent. In summary, those factors are:

1. The strength, nature, and stability of the child's relationship with each parent, including whether one (1) parent has performed the majority of parenting responsibilities relating to the daily needs of the child;
2. Each parent's past and potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities;
3. Attendance of a court ordered parent education seminar;
4. The disposition of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, and other necessary care;
5. The degree to which a parent has been the primary caregiver in the past;
6. The love, affection, and emotional ties existing between each parent and the child;
7. The emotional needs and developmental level of the child;
8. The moral, physical, mental and emotional fitness of each parent;
9. The child's interaction and interrelationships with siblings, other relatives and step-relatives, and mentors, as well as the child's involvement with school and other 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 others;
12. The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the home of a parent and such person's interactions with the child;13. 13.The reasonable preference of the child if twelve (12) years of age or older. The preference of older children may be given greater weight than those of younger children;
14. Each parent's employment schedule; and
15. Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

It is always better for parents to decide for themselves how their children will be raised. Except in very unfortunate circumstances, it is better for children to be able to spend significant time with both of their parents. J. Steven Anderson has decades of experience helping parents craft sensible, workable parenting plans. When parents simply cannot come to an agreement, Mr. Anderson's years of experience working with Guardian ad Litems, Mediators, Child Psychologists and Judges will give you every advantage in preparing for and presenting the best possible case to the court.

Helping You Understand Tennessee Child Support Guidelines

The amount of Child Support that one parent pays to the other is determined by the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines. Understanding those Guidelines and knowing how the factors are applied is essential to protecting your children and your future. If you are receiving child support, J. Steven Anderson can help make sure that you are receiving benefits that you are entitled to for your children's benefit. He can also help make sure that you are not being forced to pay more than the law requires if you are paying child support to the other parent.