Fathers in Tennessee generally have the same rights as mothers as it relates to being in their children's lives. Therefore, it's possible for a father to obtain either joint or sole custody of a child. If a father doesn't get physical custody of a son or daughter, he may be entitled to visitation. Furthermore, he could still be entitled to legal custody of the child. This will give him the ability to make certain decisions about how that child is raised.
There are many factors that go into determining if a father is granted joint or sole custody rights. For instance, a judge may consider the parent's income or general financial ability to raise a child. A judge could also consider a father's relationship with the child and his ability to raise the kid in a safe and caring manner.
A child could also have some say in how the decision is made if he or she is old enough. Ultimately, any decision made in a custody case will reflect the child's best interests in the matter. Prior to seeking custody, a father may need to establish paternity if he isn't married to the child's mother. Once paternity is established, a child support order might also be created.
The way a child custody case unfolds may depend on whether the parents were ever married. For unwed couples, paternity must be established before custody can be determined. For married couples, questions about custody may be resolved as part of a larger divorce settlement. While parents can create their own parenting plans, a judge must generally approve them. However, courts generally prefer that parents share custody or create plans that allow both to be in a child's life.