CHILD Custody

Establishing child custody and parenting plans can be one of the most difficult times in the lives of parents and children and can take an emotional toll on everyone. Our family law team specializes in helping clients through this time of transition. We help clients reach a parenting plan and custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children, so that they thrive in the stable, healthy, and supportive family environment we helped create.


CHILD CUSTODY & Parenting Plans

In Tennessee, child custody and visitation can be set by the juvenile court, if the parents are not or were not married, or by the court or other court having appropriate jurisdiction over the children and the parents. A visitation or parenting schedule must be reflected in a Permanent Parenting Plan, which provides for the custody, care, and support of the children. The Parenting Plan designates the Primary Residential Parent and sets out parenting time (previously called visitation) with each parent.

To make a custody and parenting time decision, the court will determine an arrangement that is in the best interests of the children, taking into consideration numerous factors and considering each child and family’s personal and unique needs. The court will craft a parenting plan that maximizes each parent’s time with the children.

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factors: What is in the best interest of the child?

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Modifying permanent Parenting Plans

Once custody has been established, the Tennessee law governs how and when a court can change custody between the parents and whether a Permanent Parenting Plan can be modified. Generally, the court must find that there has been a material change in circumstance that affects the child or children before custody can be changed or a Parenting Plan can be modified. The Court also must determine that any change is in the best interests of the children.
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Establishing Parentage

When a child is born to married parents, the child is presumed under the law to be the legal child of the husband and wife. But, when unmarried parents have a child together, or a woman has a child by someone other than her husband, paternity, or parentage, must be established under the law. Legal parentage can be established voluntarily using a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity when the child is born or by conducting DNA testing through a lab or testing center and seeking a court order establishing parentage. Biological fathers typically have no rights until legal parentage is established.
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what to expect

At Collins Legal, we understand the seriousness of legal family matters. The stakes of a family law case are incredibly high and often involve matters such as the rights to your children, divorce terms, or whether or not a spouse will need to pay support. Our firm is dedicated to pursuing the best interests of our clients and their families. With over a decade of experience to back us, our family attorneys in Nashville can provide legal guidance through the duration of your case—from start to finish—and aggressively secure your rights to family, support, and assets.

Our firm recognizes that every family is different. When a client comes to us, we make the effort to learn each detail of the case and craft personalized legal strategies, ensuring the best possible outcome. We take pride in instilling confidence when clients put their case in our hands.

If your case did not end well or if your situation has changed since your case was handled, Collins Legal can also handle appeal or modification cases. Things happen in life and changes sometimes have to be made. Whether you need to modify your child support due to the loss of your job or you would like to appeal for visitation rights, our family law attorneys in Nashville have the know-how to help.


Read about Family Law representation at Collins Legal.

For more information about Child Custody and Parenting Plans, head over to our blog.

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