Child custody is the legal matter that determines which parent has the right and obligations to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, and time split with each parent. Tennessee courts must make all child custody decisions based on the best interest of the child. A judge will perform a comparative fitness test based upon a number of custody criteria to determine child custody.
Tennessee law recognizes two types of child custody:
- Physical custody determines with which parent a child resides
- Legal custody determines which parent is responsible for making major child-rearing decisions, such as those related to education, religion and healthcare
The PRP is the “custodial parent” and the ARP is the parent with “visitation.” Tennessee courts must select who is the PRP and who is the ARP while creating a Permanent Parenting Plan (PPP).
The court generally names the parent who has been the primary care giver to the minor children as the Primary Residential Parent (PRP).