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Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on

Q: The co-parent and I do not have a custody agreement. Live states apart.

She only let's me talk to them if I send her money. I am behind on child support but working and paying it off. It takes 50% of my income. I have receipts where I have sent the co-parent thousands of dollars outside of child support, but I have not been allowed to see them in 2 years. Now she says... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on May 23, 2019

Although it will take time and a lawyer, you need to file court papers to set up a "parenting plan" or schedule of visitation. You are required to pay child support, but at the same time , she is required to allow you to have time with the children. If you get a Judge to order the scheduled... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for Tennessee on

Q: Can I take custody of my biological child if I divorce the bipolar mother?

I am unhappily married and would like to get a divorce. I have two children with this woman and she is mentally bipolar and refuses to take meds or get counseling. 9 years ago she cheated on me and got pregnant by another man. I have taken care of her and baby and call him my own son. She refuses... Read more »

Bennett James Wills answered on Apr 17, 2019

If you file for divorce it is possible to obtain a divorce even though the spouse does not want one. You may have grounds to gain custody of a biological child. If you are attempting to get custody over a non-biological child you'll run into some problems. Consult with a local attorney to discuss... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Criminal Law and Divorce for Tennessee on

Q: What to do abut my husbanD assault me an one of our children and the judge gives him temporary custody

My husband which assault me an our 12 yr son still has charges pend. In one county an my husband goes an gets his lawyer to reopen our divorce case which is in amother county and tells that judge that I made all that up and some more lies so while I was on the hospital the judge goes my husband... Read more »

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Apr 13, 2019

At this point in time, your case is far more factual than legal. On this question and answer forum, we attempt to help individuals by providing simple explanations about the law. Your issue needs the attention of local counsel, who can ask you the appropriate questions to communicate with the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: If the primary physical custodial parents refuses any and all contact with children what can I do

Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 9, 2019

You have to file a Petition For Contempt against the custodial parent for disobeying the Final Decree that awarded child custody and parenting time. It is much better to hire an attorney, but you could file pro se.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Tennessee on

Q: If a mother did not complete anything asked and judge issued no contact order, how hard would terminating rights be

Children are with father, this has went on a year. She didnt know to court, father has proof of her being high and passing out at supervised visits when she got them. Stepmom wants to adopt

Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 1, 2019

Terminating a Parent's Rights is always difficult. The Couple can file a Petition for Adoption which must be served on the Mother as it is attempting to terminate her rights. The Couple must also be fit and proper Parents as they will be scrutinized also by various Parties, Agencies, etc. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on

Q: My parents have custody of my sister's kids. Can the judge order the 150,000 in child support from their father to them?

DCS placed the kids with my parents because of truancy and my sister's drug addiction. After a year, my parents were awarded custody. My sister was ordered the $150,000 in child support before that happened. My sister has co-occurring disorders, but hasn't gone to rehab and does not provide for the... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 28, 2019

Yes, the child support should and can be paid to whoever has custody of the children. However, you will likely need a lawyer to get it done correctly- a petition to modify will need to be filed, court papers served ( delivered) on the mother and a hearing scheduled. I assume the father is paying... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on

Q: In which state should a motion for modification of custody be filed?

Current custody order was finalized in GA approx 9 years ago, but minor child and CP have resided in TN since 2015. NCP has had no contact and provided no support for the last two years. NCP still resides in GA, but is currently incarcerated (in GA) awaiting trial regarding felony drug charges,... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 21, 2019

Since the child has resided in Tennessee for the past few years, it seems to me that Tennessee has jurisdiction. However, it also seems likely tome that you would need to "domesticate" the Georgia custody order in Tennessee. there is a process for doing that which allows one state to enforce the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: My ex wife is leaving our four year old daughter alone with a convited felon is there anything I can do

He has several different convitins

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 13, 2019

Perhaps? - your question does not provide enough information to answer accurately. You would need to be able to prove to the Judge that the child is being adversely/negatively affected by her exposure to this person. What were the convictions for? Leaving a sex offender alone with a 4 year old is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Is there a way to give up my parental rights without having to involve the other parent?

I told my ex that I wanted to give up my rights after she mentioned me doing so herself and she responds with a lawyer serving me with child support that I can't afford. If I pay child support it's going to make my family lose everything.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Feb 13, 2019

No, Tennessee law requires parents to support their children. The only way to escape that obligation is to have another person assume it - by adopting the child. An adoption will terminate the parental relationship and establish a new parental relationship. The other parent will have to consent to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on

Q: I got my parent plan adjusted with my ex husband and now he keeps calling me multiple times and being demanding and

Controlling In regards to our son.He’s been doing this after we left court on January 17th,2019.This was helpful my ex husband was there during to parent plan adjustment.He got 89 days out of 365 and only gets to decide extracurricular activities.He gets supervise visits every 2 weeks.I think the... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 22, 2019

Harassing phone calls can be a criminal offense. At the same time, your parenting plan requires you to make a good faith effort to work with the other parent to resolve minor disputes ( that is what is BEST for your CHILD). If the plan was changed on 1/17/2019- your ex still has time to appeal the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Tennessee on

Q: What can/should I do if my wife took our two children and left the state, and won't let me have any contact. Options?

On Dec 25, 2018 my wife left our home to visit family in KY with a verbal and mutual agreement to return home on the 27th. Long story short sometime on the morning of the 27th she inexplicably decided not to do this and filed for an order of protection alleging violence and abuse. This order was... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 17, 2019

File for divorce, ask for an emergency hearing, get her served with the papers and go to court. you need to establish jurisdiction here in your home county. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there aren't any other "options"-- for sure, don't try to take matters into your own hands or "steal" the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on

Q: If a father gives mother money before court order receipt is wrote child support and or dr bill. Does it count or gift?

Unwed father mother took kids we agreed to amount before court papers was filed if that money is paid until court will the courts look at that see it says for child support on the receipts and or dr bill halfed and it not be counted as gift? Have court in February also have got visits and bought... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 4, 2019

It is most likely a gift.

The child support order is a court order where the Judge has ordered the father to pay an amount of money, ( in order words, CASH or funds ). The judge did not order the father to buy clothes or pay doctor bills. As a result, unless the Mother just agrees to allow...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Do I half to let my daughters dad know my address? I told him we can meet somewhere for him to pick her up and off.

He says no.he wants to pick her up at my house.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 4, 2019

Probably yes. In my opinion, every parent is always entitled to know where their child is at all times. Don't you want to know where the child is when he/she is with the father? Trying to keep your residence a secret will probably cause the father to have even more suspicion, so unless you can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on

Q: I have primary custody of my son. I have told my ex-wife that our child is not suppose to go to her mothers house.

Her mother does drugs and she left my son with her. What should I do? Isn’t this child endangerment?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 4, 2019

Unfortunately, if your parenting plan does not currently contain this restriction, the mother can do as she pleases with her parenting time. If the situation represents a real danger to the child ( and keep in mind that you will need to convince a Judge of the danger) you should file a petition to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: I am a grandfather that has full custody of my grand daughter and the mother has taken her out of school without permiss

Under no emergency circumstances can anything be done or police be informed and prosecuted

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 20, 2018

Very possible- call local law enforcement and make a report. It may be called "custodial inference" or "parental kidnapping"

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for Tennessee on

Q: In Tennessee can a mother keep the children from the father if there is NO divorce or parenting plan

Can she legally take them to another state to keep them from the father

Thank you. My son went and filed for a divorce today. So hopefully he will get to see his girls soon.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 7, 2018

Probably YES, she can move. In Tennessee, children born "out of wedlock" ( the biological parents are not married) are deemed to be in the sole custody and control of the MOTHER since there can be questions about exactly who is the father. The only way to change this is for the father to file court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Ramifications to allowing my children to live with their father and his addict wife?

I have sole custody of my children. They're wanting to live with their father. His wife will be released from jail next month. She lost her parental rights due to her addiction last year. She hasn't been able to stay clean for any long period of time in the past 3-5 years.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 29, 2018

I am not sure I understand your question: in my opinion, it would reflect badly on any parent who would allow their children to be around drug use and drug addict behavior. However, you do not specify the age and maturity of your children. That age and maturity is also important when evaluating... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on

Q: Is it legal for a 16 year old to leave home without parental consent?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 19, 2018

Your question is unclear- when you say "leave home," I assume you mean to move out with the intention of staying forever or indefinitely. If so, this would not be "legal." This child still under age 18 is a minor and could be considered a runaway or unruly by a Juvenile Court Judge.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Thanksgiving is divided by agreement but papers dont say who gets them first. How do we know?

Papers dont state mom or dad or odd or even so how do we know who get them wed thru Thursday and Thursday thru Friday and no it cant be just talked out? Is there a statue about this like there is in some states?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 16, 2018

There Is no Tennessee Statute, If the papers are truly ambiguous, I suggest that whoever is named primary residential parent should pick the day they want, and the other parent gets what's left. Or maybe just flip a coin to decide who gets to pick.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: My daughter's biological father (never married no parenting plan) is refusing to let her go on a camping trip.

The leader is not wanting to get in the middle of it (cant blame him) and now want proof of custody. I have no documents saying I have 100% custody. Would showing the leader Tennessee Code Section 36-2-303 be enough or do I have to call down to the Child Support Court and ask for documentation?... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 25, 2018

You are correct on the statute- however, if there was a child support case, there may be an order confirming paternity and that order might also state you are the primary residential parent. If his name is not on the child's birth certificate, you might show him that also along with the statute.

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