Is Financial Stability a Factor in Tennessee Custody Cases?

an image of mother with child blowing bubbles from the Memphis, TN Child Custody and Family Law Firm Rice Law

Financial stability is undoubtedly considered when determining the outcome of a child custody case in any state, including Tennessee. Parents may hear that and become distressed if they know their child’s other parent makes more money than them. However, you can be assured that just because you make less money than your child’s other parent does not mean you will not receive custody.

Being financially secure is necessary not only to survive but to live comfortably. Children thrive off of stability during their youth. This means that, yes, income is taken into account during child custody cases. But stability generally refers to so much more than just money. If you are currently going through a custody battle, have our skilled Memphis, Tennessee child custody lawyers evaluate your case to ensure your parental rights are protected.

Does the Wealthier Parent Have an Advantage?

Income is considered during custody cases only to determine if a parent can meet a child’s needs. Money is needed to provide a safe living place, food, clothes, school supplies, and more. It can feel like the wealthier parent has an advantage over the other. However, this is not necessarily true.

A court cannot determine whether or not a parent is suitable for custody based solely on how much money they make. That is why many other factors are considered during the decision-making process. A parent may have a higher income but lack other necessities for raising a child. That is why a court needs to have a complete picture of each parent’s situation and attributes.

What Other Factors Are Considered in Tennessee Custody Decisions?

A Tennessee court will examine several elements to determine which parent is most suitable for custody. Some of the factors a court will consider are:

  • If one parent has been the primary caregiver thus far.
  • The child’s age and preference of who they want to live with.
  • The willingness and ability of the parent to provide the child with all needs, including a home, clothes, food, and education.
  • If one parent is not fit to take on custody due to their physical or mental well-being.
  • The child’s relationship with each parent.
  • If the child has special needs, which parent is better equipped to tend to those needs?
  • If either parent has a history of substance abuse, physical abuse, negligence, abandonment, or any similar history that may be dangerous for the child to be around.
  • Whether or not each parent lives near the child’s school or family and friends.

A court will consider many components, and finances are just one. If the lower-earning parent is determined to be best suited for custody, the other parent may pay child support to ensure the child’s financial stability. Every case is different, but the common denominator is that the judge’s priority is doing what is best for the child.