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Would you leave your custody case in the hands of a jury?

It can be very frightening for parents to learn that custody of their children could be left up to a stranger. This person, the judge, only has access to the information given to them by you and your ex, which isn't always an accurate depiction of a parent-child relationship or a parent's capabilities.

However, this is the way many custody cases in Tennessee are resolved. Parents each present their case to a judge who will also examine many other factors, and then that judge makes a decision on legal custody, physical custody and a parenting plan. But should there be another in-court option for parents? According to supporters of one initiative, the answer is yes.

The initiative, which is gathering support for a potential vote in 2018 in another state, would allow a parent to demand that a jury make the decision on custody, not a judge.

While this initiative is being explored in another state, it does raise some interesting questions for parents right here in Tennessee. Do you think a jury would make different decisions than a judge? Do you think that having more people weigh in on your parenting plan could ultimately help in assigning more balanced and/or better custody rights, or would it only complicate the issue further?

Whether you think a jury would be a more favorable option than a judge when it comes to resolving custody matters or not, the fact is that you could avoid the courts altogether if you can work with your ex to establish your own custody plan. The two of you know your child and your situation best, and this could help you work out the best arrangement through mediation and/or collaboration.

Regardless of how your custody issue is ultimately addressed, be it on your own or in court, having legal guidance in your corner can be crucial. Custody and visitation matters are very complicated, and there is a lot at stake for you and your family. With the help of your attorney, you can seek a fair and satisfactory resolution.