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Does state law encourage a cooperative approach to child custody?

Tennessee lawmakers clearly hope that parents will continue to cooperate after a divorce for the sake of their children. For example, recent amendments to the Parental Bill of Rights contemplate the involvement of both parents in a child’s life, regardless of custodial or non-custodial status. 

Traditionally, the parent who was awarded legal custody was the primary decision-maker for matters such as a child’s education and daily well being. The new amendments require schools to give the non-custodial parent access to his or her child’s school records, as well as the right to visit the child at school. The law also ensures that both the custodial and non-custodial parent may attend a parent-teacher conference. In fact, a legal cause of action may be available to a non-custodial parent who is denied these rights.

Yet how can a divorcing couple get to this place of cooperation? Relying on the advocacy of a skilled family law and divorce law firm can be a starting point. An attorney understands the logistics involved in creating a workable schedule for child custody and visitation. That prospective focus can remind couples of the benefits that can come from working together.

For those who married younger, a divorce can actually be an opportunity to really come into one’s own. In fact, divorce may provide the space needed to view a former spouse’s reactions more objectively, akin to colleagues. The bottom line is that cooperation and co-parenting, rather than conflict, will benefit the child. Parents that can rally behind this goal will lay the foundation to an amicable future, albeit lived apart.

Related Post: “Changes to Tennessee’s Parental Bill of Rights affect visitation,” copyright 2016, Runyon & Runyon

Source: Washington Post, “Podcast: Divorce done well. How to be an excellent ex.,” Lisa Bonos, April 14, 2016

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