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Brentwood Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Child Custody > Does A Parent’s Income Play A Role In Child Custody Decisions?

Does A Parent’s Income Play A Role In Child Custody Decisions?


Disputes over child custody are some of the most heated in the Tennessee family courts, and they tend to become quite emotional. If you earn a lower income than your spouse, you may worry that you will lose child custody based on this fact alone. On the other hand, if you earn more than your spouse, you may think that will give you an advantage in child custody disputes. So, does a parent’s income play a role in child custody decisions? As with most legal issues, the answer is that it depends. Below, one of our Brentwood child custody attorneys explains more.

The Role Income Plays in Child Custody Disputes

The Tennessee family courts will consider the income of both parents when making child custody decisions. The reason they do this is because parents must be able to financially care for their children and meet their basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing.

However, parents who earn a lower income will not automatically lose their child custody case. If a judge determines that it is in the child’s best interests for a lower-earning parent to have custody, they will usually also order the higher-earning parent to pay child support. With the child support, the lower-earning parent is then able to financially provide for the child.

Other Factors Considered in Child Custody Disputes

Income is a factor considered in child custody disputes, but it is not the deciding factor. When making child custody decisions, the court will consider many factors and make a decision based on what is in the child’s best interests. A few of the other factors a court will consider include:

  • The mental stability of each parent and their capacity for taking care of a child,
  • The physical health of each parent,
  • The preference of the child, if they are of a certain maturity and age and the reason for the preference is reasonable,
  • Which parent primarily cared for the child during the marriage,
  • Any history of alcohol or substance abuse by either parent,
  • Any history of child abuse, domestic violence, or abandonment by either parent, and
  • The relationship the child has with each parent.

Although income is considered in child custody disputes, there are clearly many other factors involved. Ultimately, parents should try to show the court they are acting in the child’s best interests and will continue to after the child custody dispute has been resolved.

Our Child Custody Attorneys in Brentwood Can Help with Your Dispute

Child custody disputes are some of the hardest for any parent to go through. If you are getting a divorce or have a child custody dispute, our seasoned attorneys can help you resolve it. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our Brentwood child custody attorneys have a long track record of successfully helping parents with their legal issues, and we can put our experience to work for you, too. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.



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