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Parental rights to a child after a divorce

After parents in Tennessee or other states get divorced, they may be able to retain custody or visitation rights to their children. The two types of custody are physical and legal custody. Children will typically spend most of their time living with the parent who has physical custody while legal custody gives a parent the ability to make decisions about the child's upbringing. These decisions may include how a child is educated or what religious beliefs a minor is exposed to.

It is possible for a parent to have legal custody without having physical custody. It is also possible for an individual to have sole physical custody while sharing legal custody with the child's other parent. Parents who are not given physical custody are generally still allowed to see their children. Visitation can be either supervised or unsupervised depending on the circumstances in a given case.

A noncustodial parent may be allowed to choose who will provide supervision if necessary. However, a court may also appoint an individual to oversee interactions between a parent and child. Virtual visitation can also be an option if a parent and child don't live in close proximity. However, parents are encouraged to spend time with their children if they are able to do so instead of relying on video chats to visit with a son or daughter.

Individuals who are interested in obtaining parental rights to their children may want to consult with a family law attorney. Doing so may help a parent take the steps needed to convince a judge that obtaining these rights is in a child's best interest. These steps may include moving closer to the child or attending parenting classes. Generally, family courts prefer to give both parents joint custody rights whenever possible.

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