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Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: How does a father get full custody in Tennessee?

My boyfriends children (3 and 2) have been with him over a year now, only seeing the biological mother 3 times in one year.

He is wanting full custody of them.

Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 15, 2019

He would file a complaint for custody and child support with the circuit court in the county where he resides. There are forms available online from the State of Tennessee - but it would be wise to consult with local counsel to determine his best course of action. These cases can be complicated.

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

Q: My daughter is pregnant and unmarried. She lives in Bradley County, Tennessee and he lives in Walker County, GA. He will

still be in high school when the baby is born. My daughter is in college. She will be living with my husband and I. We are stable and able to help her financially with the bab . My question is since he is still in high school would it be who of her to establish a custody agreement prior to the baby... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 14, 2019

In Tennessee, I do not think it's possible to establish "custody" of an unborn child. Think about that- who else can have custody of an unborn child? Additionally, Tennessee law no longer favors the use of the word "custody" - the preferred term is "primary residential parent." Once the child is... Read more »

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

Q: Can I overturn a verdict based on the service of process. Hearing stated my whereabouts were unknown.

Emergency custody hearing.

Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 12, 2019

The timeline of events is important. An attorney would need much more information to evaluate your case and determine your options. Consult with a local attorney asap to determine your rights.

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

Q: If my son's father is paying child support but there is no custody order at all, can I move from tennessee to florida?

Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 12, 2019

It is possible. You must comply with the statutes regarding relocation including given the proper notice. See, e.g., TCA 36-6-108. You would be wise to consult with a local attorney first to make sure you do it correctly.

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

Q: In tennessee can a women sign as the father on a birth certificate when the child is born?

Will they get the "fathers" last name and rights to the child?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 7, 2019

Only the father can sign a V.A.P. ( voluntary acknowledgement of Paternity). If not signed by the father at the time of birth, the only way to established parentage for a child born out of wedlock is for either parent to file paternity proceedings and have DNA testing done.

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

Q: I got someone pregnant but am married to someone else. She is in Tennessee and I am in Alabama.

She says she will sign away me having any responsibility for the child including child support for a sum of money. Can this be done?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 5, 2019

Not under Tennessee law. Parental rights can be terminated only if another man is willing to adopt the child.

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

Q: I've been trying to find a lawyer for quite some time now. I need a lawyer to petion the court for custody of my niece

She was born 11-05-2016. I had her until 03-2018. Which her biological mother had another baby born positive for drugs. Crittenden county DHS TOOK custody of both children. I've went to all court dates until crittenden county dhs supervisor told me to petion the court and has not given me... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 31, 2019

Apparently Jurisdiction lies in Arkansas, not Tennessee, at least at this stage. So you are asking for help in the wrong State. Start calling Arkansas Attorneys.

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

Q: What do I need to do to be emancipated in Williamson county TN

What extra steps do I need to take as a 16 year old if my Guardian denies me permission to be emancipated, but my biological father agrees and my biological mother is missing? My guardian is my great aunt, I have a job at a sushi place, my father is offering me a home with him, and I do not have my... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 19, 2019

You state no reasons for needing Emancipation, which is rarely a good status. But virtually any lawyer can file the Request with Juvenile Court. Without a Driver's License and transportation, it will probably be denied.

You will have plenty of time to be a responsible taxpayer in two...
Read more »

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

Q: As of 6/29/19 I will be a resident of TN for 6 months and need to have my custody case transferred.

Additionally, I need to see what can be done to hold my ex in contempt for not returning my son by the date/time he was supposed too, not allowing a family member to pick up my son and bring him to me on the date he was due back, not allowing him to speak to me while he was gone for 43 day (maybe... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 17, 2019

From that description, you have a significant number of potential legal issues. I recommend you consult with a local family law attorney. You would need to transfer the case to Tennessee before you could file for contempt. Your easier route for the contempt action could be filing for contempt in... Read more »

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

Q: Can you sue the DHS if they caused financial hardships due to negligence on their part?

Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jul 16, 2019

It would be difficult to sue a government entity. You would likely need a lawyer as a result of the defenses to any such action.

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

Q: My daughter’s father and I have an established parenting plan. He comes and goes as he pleases and also does not pay

His child support. He also doesn’t have a place to live or a car. He was arrested for a felony drug charge recently. Is that enough to file a request to stop visits or ask for supervised visits?

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 15, 2019

Those are certainly reasons to be concerned, but since your question doesn't mention the age of the child ( and lots of other factors the Judge has to consider) no lawyer can provide a guaranteed result. Will cutting off the child's relationship with her father truly benefit the child? If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: can I use a Tennessee attorney who is licensed in FL, for FL case

It is to change my time sharing with my children, originally filed in FL, I live in TN

Bennett James Wills answered on Jul 10, 2019

If an attorney is licensed in both states then yes, you can use the same lawyer. But your expenses and attorney's fees may significantly increase if the Tenn. lawyer has to travel to Florida for hearings and such.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Do judges ever grant full custody back to a parent who currently has supervised visitation only?

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 3, 2019

I am unaware of a case in which that has happened. I imagine there may have been some cases in which that has happened though. Tennessee child custody law is concerned with the best interest of the child. If the parent who currently only has supervised visitation can show changed circumstances that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Abusive ex re-opening custody case

A judge found my ex abusive of our children during his visitations with them and issued a restraining order and court-ordered therapy. The case was closed. It's two years later and my ex is re-opening the case. What is the process? My oldest is 11 and wants nothing to do with the visits. She has... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 2, 2019

If a Judge made a finding of fact that your ex was abusive, then your ex should have quite an uphill battle in convincing any Court that he is rehabilitated enough to have visitation at any point in the future. I recommend you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area.... Read more »

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

Q: How would one prove or disprove a parents mental state?

Parent married someone with a record and her state of mind is being called into question because of it

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jun 26, 2019

This sounds like an area where "EXPERT" testimony is needed- for example, a doctor ( like a psychiatrist) could interview and examine the person and based on that exam, the doctor might be able to give an opinion about any mental illness or disorder. However, not every case needs an expert,... Read more »

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

Q: Can my sister get custody of her daughter back from me if she was charged with severe Child abuse?

She has 5 kids ages 13y-6m and lost each one in the first year of their life and has nothing to do with none of them. She has seen the one I have in over a year and half.

Bennett James Wills answered on Jun 24, 2019

An attorney would need many more facts to answer your question. She could probably file for custody - whether the court would grant her petition is another issue. Consult local counsel to address your concerns.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: Can you file harassment charges for constant threatening texts, calls, and random drop by’s?

This woman won’t leave me alone because she’s in a custody battle with my fiancé and my fiancé has full custody of the child. The child’s mother has made false allegations to CPS and when that didn’t work she showed up with police at early hours in the morning. She has sent nasty texts.... Read more »

Bennett James Wills answered on Jun 24, 2019

You may have grounds for a protective order. But you would be wise to consult with local counsel to best determine your options.

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

Q: If someone is adopting the child and they say they don’t want the back child support?

Does the child support still have to be paid? In Chattanooga TN

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jun 24, 2019

The termination of parental rights required in an adoption will terminate the current child support obligation, but it does NOT terminate any arrearages or past due support. However, it would be up to the recipient to take action to collect it, and if they are not very aggressive in doing so, it... Read more »

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

Q: I had a visitation order and the other party moved 3 hours with no notice to me. I had every other weekend visitation.

Visitation was every other weekend an i have only seen my children 3 times in 11 months

Bennett James Wills answered on Jun 13, 2019

There are provisions in the law that prevent a parent from moving more than 50 miles or out of state without proper notice. Consult a local attorney to determine your best options.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: If I file for a custody modification. Will I be responsible for ex-wife’s attorney and my own?

My ex-wife received primary custody of my son during our divorce 9 years . Then,last year, she indicated she was getting married and leaving the jurisdiction. My son indicated he did not want to go and I didn’t agree for him to leave either. She left anyway and my son stayed with me. Although... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 11, 2019

Tennessee follows the American rule for attorney fees. This means that ordinarily each side is responsible for paying their own attorney. There are only 2 exceptions to this rule: contractual basis or statutory basis. I am unaware of a statutory basis for fees in custody modification cases. Your... Read more »

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