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Tennessee Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Will my spouse of one year have any legal right to a home purchased by me prior to marriage in the event of divorce?

We reside in TN. I bought a house before marriage in my name only. I have always told my spouse that the home will always remain in my name only because I will pass it down to my child. He was aware of this prior to getting married.

Lived together there for 2 years before getting married.... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jan 16, 2023

Although the house is your separate property, he will have a claim (marital property) to an equitable portion of the appreciation in value of the house since the marriage. It could be a substantial claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: What do I do about my husband's death without a will in TN?

What is probate and is it required in TN?

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jan 16, 2023

If everything your husband owned was owned jointly with you, then most likely it was owned as tenants by the entirety and you are now the sole owner by operation of law. Most of the time all you have to do to remove your husband's name from those titles is provide a death certificate to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How to change the last name of my 5yr old. She has my ex husbands last name but he is not the biological father

Needing to change the last name of my 5 ur old daughter. She has my ex husbands last name but he is not the biological father. No father is listed on her birth certificate. How do I go about getting this done?

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Jan 11, 2023

In Tennessee you would file a petition with the chancery court in the appropriate county and serve notice on any interested party. Typically, the chancery court clerks have forms you can fill out; but not always. Contact the clerk in your county to see if they have forms. Or consult counsel to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Civil Litigation for Tennessee on
Q: Out of three beneficiaries can one of them be the trustee

My aunt has weaseled her way into being the trustee because the original trustee not one of the beneficiaries turned it down and named her. My aunt named her husband as her successor trustee and her husband named the original trustee who turned it down.

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jan 4, 2023

Who created the Trust? The Settlor appoints his Trustee/ Successors in the Trust. Have you read it? The Trustee may be able to appoint his Successor. Are you a Trust Beneficiary? If not, you lack standing. Otherwise you can file suit in Chancery for an Accounting, Removal For Cause, etc.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: In Tennessee, what does it mean for the survivor if the deed shows "tenants in common with the right of survivorship"?

This is for an unmarried couple who own a home together. Will the heirs of the deceased have any rights to the home?

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jan 1, 2023

It means that if one of the tenants in common passes, the surviving tenant in common will become the sole owner of the home by operation of the survivorship interest without having to go through probate or any other kind of legal process. The heirs of the deceased would have no claim to the home.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: if someone lives with you and has went to jail do you have to let them back into your home when they get out

my nephew has lived with me for 18 years and I have had some problems and have wanting to ask him to leave. He does not pay rent and does not contribute towards household expenses. He was recently arrested and has been in jail for about 2 months. Do I have to let him come back in to my home when... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 20, 2022

Obviously not unless he is a co-owner.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My daughter lived for five years with a man. He died suddenly, his family threw her out the day he died. Is this legal?

They reside in Memphis, Tennessee.

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 19, 2022

From your facts she had no legal right of possession. She could have stayed until served with a Detainer Warrant, but ultimately would have been run out.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Q: How does the respondent pay for court costs in TCA-36-3-617 and what happens if they don’t pay
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Dec 14, 2022

Costs are paid to the clerk's office. Failure to pay could result in further penalties.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My wife is keeping my daughter from me we're separated but in good terms and she won't let me see her or talk to her.

She lives in her parents basement with her now boyfriend and her parents won't let me see her either. I did nothing to her or her parents for this to happen. Her boyfriend has brain washed her. Whats my rights

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Dec 14, 2022

Sounds like its time to file for divorce, custody, and visitation. Seek a local attorney to assist you with the process.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: I slapped my 20 yr son across the face during an argument and got charged with domestic assault X 2 for daughter too

Yet I never touched my 19 yr old daughter. Any advice?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 12, 2022

Domestic Assault is a very serious offense, worse than some Felonies. Hire an attorney to prepare for a Preliminary Hearing. This is a public forum. Do not contact your Son under any circumstances. Diversion, Dismissal and Expungement should be sought if not Dismissed initially.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: without a search warrant cops got a name and number off cell when it rang. Is that legal?

After arrest cops took cell into office and when it rang they got a name and phone number off it and portal this person. I have it on audio recording as well as them talking horrible about my physical looks and kept us 25 mins before drug dog came. i have 3.5 hrs of info including arrest and bad... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 7, 2022

Hire a competent attorney to file a Motion To Suppress Evidence. The pat down and inventory subsequent to arrest are probably legal, but you can try, especially if such information is critical. Time for a new phone and number.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can a will be contested if the deceased was not competent while signing the will? Example: dementia.
Nathaniel R Ogle
PREMIUM
Nathaniel R Ogle
answered on Nov 21, 2022

Yes, one can contest the probate of such a will under those circumstances in Tennessee. I would suggest you speak to qualified legal counsel to pursue this action.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: I live in TN and wanting to file for divorce. We have a marital home but I am not on the mortgage. Can I be evicted?
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Nov 16, 2022

If you are named as a grantee on the Deed(not the Deed of Trust), then you have no ownership. Owner can file a Detainer Warrant unless you have a spousal support Order from the Divorce Court.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I let my nephew stay in my house he agreed to pay 100a month now he is behind 5months and tearing up my home I need him

Him to move and he won't

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Nov 7, 2022

Hire a competent attorney to file and prosecute a Detainer Warrant at General Sessions Court. Do not get in a fight with him. Sue for possession only.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Q: If someone is accused of choking their spouse, even if it's he said/she said, will that person automatically be arrested

After the choking incident, the very next night in fact, there was another incident. He was not arrested or held the mandated 8 hours. Is the police department negligent in this case?

Cayley Turrin
PREMIUM
Cayley Turrin
answered on Nov 4, 2022

Depends on a wide variety of factors. The hold is a mandatory 12 hours.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My dad passed away and he has a will his wife left town with will we haven’t seen it can we see it with his attorney
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Oct 18, 2022

Without physical possession of a Will it is very difficult to prove its existence. You may wish to start an Intestate Administration, but first consult with a competent attorney to see if Probate is needed. Remember a surviving spouse cannot be disinherited, and is entitled to a large amount of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I need help regarding a parenting plan, a written agreement and a motion for contempt.

We have an active parenting plan, he is not following, we have a written agreement between us regarding my son’s marching band and cross country that he violated this past weekend, he kept our children past the drop off time and law enforcement refused to help, along with him speaking Ill of me... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Sep 20, 2022

Use the search function on this site to find a family law attorney near you for assistance.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Where can I locate a statute from the 1993 Mississippi Code concerning power of attorney?
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 7, 2022

Some law libraries will have a Mississippi Code. Or you might find it on the internet. It may be tricky finding what statute was in effect in 1993, but subsequent laws may supersede an earlier one.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: What type of POA do I need to get before spouse becomes completely unable to answer for themselves?

Person is getting dementia

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Sep 6, 2022

You'd be wise to discuss these issues with an attorney to make sure you and your spouse are fully covered. The usual documents are a will, durable power of attorney, and medical power of attorney. But your particular situation may be different.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: I have concerns about visitations resuming with NCP in TN.

I have had custody of 13y/o daughter since 2013, NCP recently relapsed and is back in rehab. I have questions about visitations now as she lost her home and states visits have to be at her parents again. However, visits at her parents are part of the reason our child ended up inpatient at... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Aug 19, 2022

Consult with counsel. This seems to be a complicated situation that you may want to consider going to court over to modify the current plans.

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