Jonesborough, TN asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee

Q: In Tennessee can health issues prevent the father from visitation out of the state?

She is 8mths old he is filing for paternity and visitation. I live in Tennesssee and he lives in Virginia! She has heart and urinary tract issues! She has regular heart doc appointments and had to go to er frequently since birth over her urinary issues and needs to be close to her doctors! Also with her heart I have to keep an eye on physical changes etc.. I know when she has a fever without feeling her just by the way she acts. He hasnt tried much at all to be in her life! He has seen her less than 2 hours total in 8 months! Can he take her out of state for visitation?

1 Lawyer Answer
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Brentwood, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Tennessee Courts use the best interest of the child analysis to determine custody and visitation decisions. The health concerns of the child are important and should be taken into account under Tennessee law. You mention that the Father lives in VA. Thus, I am not sure if the Father filed this petition in VA or TN. Under Tennessee law, custody and visitation decisions are highly discretionary. The main goal of the law is to ensure the best interest of the child. It is often assumed that this goal is furthered by allowing the child to build a relationship with both parents. Specific concerns that the father is an unfit parent could be persuasive in convincing the Judge not to allow the father any parenting time.

I recommend you consult with an experienced family law attorney located near the court where the Father filed his petition. Good luck.

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