There are many factors that may come into play in a child custody proceeding. For instance, parents who don’t act appropriately in court could lose the opportunity to obtain joint or sole custody of their sons or daughters. Tennessee residents who are seeking sole custody of their children will need to prove that they are the better parent. An attorney may be able to explain what a judge is looking for when making such a determination.

However, it should be noted that the law prefers that both parents share custody if possible. Regardless of the type of custody a parent seeks, that person should be ready to show that he or she is fit to raise a child. Individuals can use phone logs, child support payment records and other documents to show that they are making a good faith effort to be in their kid’s lives.

Generally speaking, child custody hearings are formal affairs, and parents are encouraged to dress nicely and remain polite throughout the proceeding. Unlike a criminal or civil case, there is no jury assigned to weigh the evidence presented. In most cases, a judge will issue his or her ruling shortly after both parties have had a chance to make their case. It is possible to appeal any decision that is made at the conclusion of the event.

Individuals who are seeking greater parental rights may want to hire a family law attorney who has experience with child custody and visitation cases. Legal counsel might tell a parent what to bring to court, how to act in court and how to dress for a hearing. Following an attorney’s advice may maximize a parent’s chances of obtaining custody of a child or obtaining greater visitation rights to a son or daughter.