There are several prevalent myths surrounding child custody. Parents in Tennessee who have unresolved child custody issues should know what is and is not true about the matter before they go to court.

Parents who are considered to be ideal parents can lose custody of their children. The legal system is not infallible, and judges are often tasked with having to choose between two very capable parents when making child custody decisions.

Being open to compromise in child custody matters does not make parents appear weak. In fact, it shows the court that they are willing to place the welfare of the child above their own interests. In some situations, the courts have awarded custody to the parent demonstrating an accommodating attitude instead of the parent who indicates that he or she may not support the child’s continuing relationship with the other parent.

The role of child support payments in determining whether child custody will be granted to a parent is another misconception. The courts consider child custody or visitation and child support payment as two distinct issues. Parents who owe back child support are not automatically denied custody of their children.

The courts have the options of awarding both legal and physical custody to one parent. They can also decide to grant both parents legal custody and physical custody to one parent. A parent who does not reside in the same household as his or her child but who has joint legal custody is entitled to take part in important decisions concerning the child’s well-being.

The resolution of child custody matters often requires the assistance of an attorney who practices family law. The attorney may assess a client’s situation and engage in negotiation or litigation to resolve custody issues between unmarried couples or to modify a current custody order.