Chattanooga Child Custody Lawyer

Most parents' primary focus while going through divorce is minimizing the impact it will have on their children and creating a plan that will allow them to maintain a strong parent-child relationship.

At the Law Office of Sam Byrd in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I work to protect the rights of my clients while ensuring that the parent-child bond can remain intact through a parenting plan that is tailored to each family's unique circumstances.

Tennessee courts base child custody decisions on what is in the best interests of the child. They consider a number of factors, including:

  • Each parent's ability to financially support the child
  • The stability of the family or living situation
  • The parent who primarily provided for the daily needs of the child
  • The love and affection between the parent and child
  • The character of others who frequent the home where the child resides
  • The parent's ability to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent

Hamilton County Child Support Attorney

Child custody orders make the important distinction between physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines where the child will primarily reside and how much time he or she will be under the care of each parent. Legal custody involves maintaining your parental rights and the ability to make major decisions involving the child's health, education and religious matters. Legal custody may be shared between the parents (joint custody) or may be allocated to one parent only (sole custody).

I encourage my clients to work out a parenting plan with the other parent through mediation whenever possible rather than turn these important decisions over to a family court judge. By agreeing to a plan that the court will approve, both parents keep control over the structure of their children's post-divorce lives. Of course, if a plan cannot be worked out, I am always prepared to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in court.

Determining Child Support

In Tennessee, the amount of child support a parent pays is calculated by a standard formula that takes into account each parent's gross income and child-related expenses such as costs for day care, school and medical insurance. There are circumstances in which the court can increase or decrease the amount calculated. I can review your situation and protect your rights, whether that means determining the correct amount of income to use in the formula or helping you decide if circumstances have changed to justify a child support modification.

Child custody and child support matters are critical to establishing a fulfilling life after divorce. It's important to rely on a lawyer who will take the time to listen to your goals and create a legal strategy to achieve them.

I offer a free consultation in which I can answer your questions and help you set realistic expectations regarding your child custody situation following divorce. Call 423-954-7949 or email me to schedule an appointment.