Governor signs child custody bill

Friday, June 3, 2011, Vol. 35, No. 22

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that would require judges to consider how to maximize a parent's involvement in a child's life when making custody decisions.

Although not the only factor to be considered, legal experts say the call for "maximum participation possible" could lead some judges to increase visitation time or divide custody 50-50 more often.

Supporters of the measure say judges should be given tools to do what they think is in childrens' best interest.

The law will only apply to new custody orders going forward. Parents under older court orders still have to show a significant change in circumstances to change their visitation and custody schedules.