Parents in Tennessee may be granted custody or visitation rights to a child after a divorce or separation. While these both involve being able to spend time with a son or daughter, they aren’t the same. One of the key differences between custody and having visitation rights involves the power to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. Another key difference is that parents who only have visitation rights may not be able to have said visitation at their home.
In situations where one parent is given primary custody of a child, the other parent might still play a significant role in the child’s life. In some cases, both parents will divide parenting time and other responsibilities in half. It is also possible that a parent will have limited visitation based on a schedule created by a court. It is not uncommon for a noncustodial parent to see a child on weekends and one night a week.
A parent could be granted legal custody but not physical custody of a child. This means that the parent can see a son or daughter and make some decisions about how the child is raised. However, the child lives with the other parent, and the noncustodial parent may still have to follow a predetermined visitation schedule.
While emotions may run high during or after a divorce, it is generally unwise to let them dictate any part of the child custody negotiations. Generally speaking, both parents are allowed to see or be a part of the child’s life if they are fit to do so. An attorney may be able to explain what the law says about child custody and visitation rights for each parent. This could be helpful in creating a parenting plan in a timely and civil manner.