You have filed for divorce and you have serious concerns about the custody of your child. You want to file for sole custody, but you’re worried about your soon-to-be ex’s response. They tend to be explosive when things don’t go their way. You’re not sure how to proceed and you want to do what’s in the best interest of your child.
In Tennessee, the judge uses Tennessee CodeTitle 36 to help them decide whether or not a parent is unfit to have custody of the child.
Criteria for determining if a parent is unfit
A parent is considered unfit in Tennessee if they fit one or more of the following criteria:
- The parent in question is a convicted criminal and is unable to care for the child because they are in jail.
- The parent purposely abandoned the child for an extended period of time.
- The parent has established a pattern of sexual or emotional abuse with the child or any other person living with them.
- The parent has been found guilty of committing an adult sexual offense.
- The parent has no emotional connection with the child.
- The parent neglects their duties as they pertain to raising a child as a result of alcohol, drug or substance abuse, or due to a physical or emotional impairment.
- The child’s psychological growth has been damaged due to abuse by the parent.
- The parent has been vengeful in not allowing the other parent to see their child when there is no known legal reason for this behavior.
While most judges want to see both parents involved in their child’s life, the circumstances listed above are cause for concern.
Should you decide to seek full parental custody of your child because your spouse is unfit, contact an experienced legal guide to review your options.