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What it means to have sole custody or joint custody of a child

One of the hardest aspects of ending a marriage is figuring out how two parents will share the custody and enjoyment of their kids. In Tennessee parents may be granted sole custody of their kids or joint custody, and these designations may apply to both the physical and legal custody of their kids. The following paragraphs will attempt to provide more clarity on these terms but readers should discuss their individual legal questions with their attorneys.

Sole custody occurs when one parent is granted the exclusive custodial power over a child. That parent may have sole physical custody, which means that the parent is the only one with whom the child will live. If a parent lacks physical custody of their child then they may be able to have visitation time with them. A parent may also have sole legal custody, which means that they are the only one who can make important decisions about the child's upbringing.

Joint custody can also apply to both physical custody and legal custody, and it involves both of a child's parents having the right to have the child live with them and the power to make decisions about them. Courts will look at the needs and interests of a child before making important decisions about their custody.

A parent who fears that they may not preserve their custodial rights during a divorce can find strong legal representation to support their goals. Family law attorneys can advocate for their clients' rights when it comes to whether joint or sole child custody is ordered during their divorce proceedings.

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