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5 factors that could jeopardize your parenting time and rights

Tennessee parents go to great lengths to protect their children. They make sacrifices, take risks, make difficult decisions and put their child's needs ahead of their own. In the end, the hope is that the child will benefit from these positive acts.

However, there are things parents do that can negatively impact a child. In these situations, a parent can wind up losing custody or parenting time and having their parental rights changed by the courts. But it is important to understand that slight missteps or minor mistakes will generally not jeopardize a parent's rights. Below are some examples of the actions and behaviors that could have a negative effect on a parent's rights.

  1. You left your child for at least 18 months. Under Tennessee custody laws, this can be considered abandonment and result in a reduction in your parenting time.
  2. You were convicted of a crime involving a sexual offense and a minor.
  3. Your child prefers to be with the other parent. Your child's wishes take on considerable significance when it comes to custody. If a child states that he or she wants to live with just one parent, the courts will take that preference seriously.
  4. You have not complied with an existing parenting plan. If you have repeatedly failed to show up for custody exchanges or you have refused to observe rules set in your parenting plan, the courts can penalize you by reducing the time you can spend with your child.
  5. There is evidence that shared or joint custody is not in your child's best interests. This evidence could include allegations of violence or abuse, drug addiction or other situations that put your child in danger.

If you have concerns about these or any other serious parenting issue, it can be crucial that you consult with an attorney. Not only can they affect your parental rights and custody arrangements, they could also affect the relationship you and the other parent have with your child.