High-income earners in Tennessee who are going through a divorce know their income affects many aspects of the divorce. It is a factor in alimony and child and spousal support orders. In some situations, it can even impact property division, for instance, if some of your income comes from your assets.
With your income being such an important factor in your divorce, you might believe that it can also affect your custody order.
How a court decides on custody
Your income generally has no affect on a custody decision. When deciding custody, a court uses a “best interests of the child” standard.
There is a list of factors that a court examines when determining what custody schedule is in the best interests of a child. Your income is not one of these factors.
Therefore, the short answer to this question is no, you cannot get custody simply because you make more money.
Income and the custody factors
However, one of the factors a court looks at is the household environment of each parent. A higher income can allow you to provide a more physically comfortable home environment.
It may also mean you can offer your child more opportunities to participate in things like sports or extracurricular activities. This means your higher income could indirectly benefit your chances of getting custody.
How income affects the custody process itself
Having a higher income can provide you with various other advantages as you go through the custody process. If you and your spouse cannot agree on custody, you will litigate custody in a custody trial.
This can be quite an expensive and lengthy process. Sometimes, one spouse can afford an attorney, while another cannot. Sometimes, even if both spouses have attorneys, one decides to stop fighting for custody because they do not or cannot continue to pay for litigation.
Child custody decisions are based on the unique circumstances of each case. Learning about the different custody factors and how to advocate for the best outcome can increase your chance of getting the custody schedule you desire.