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Tennessee Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law and Business Law for Tennessee on
Q: If I completed my ordination online, can I officiate a wedding in the state of Tennessee?
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Apr 9, 2020

No. T.C.A. 36-3-301. Persons who may solemnize marriages.

(2) In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Temporary Parenting Agreement Question about possible contempt

In our temporary parenting agreement it states “both parents agree child’s time spent with mother will be with mother, I.e Mother will not leave child in the care of any other individuals during her time with child” but is it wrong for a stepfather to take the child to run an errand (grab... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Apr 7, 2020

You may want to consider consulting with an attorney. Based on that specific language quoted above, it seems the agreement is that Mother will have custody of the child during all her parenting time. Thus, if the stepfather took the child without Mother for any period of time, no matter how short,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My ex has remarried, but the kids don't want to be around his wife anymore. They say they are being being called names.

Their step brother was hit with his phone and has bruises on his head. At what point do they not have to go over there? Their dad is not listening to their concerns. He has let them come home early though. I am primary and he gets them every other weekend.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Apr 7, 2020

You may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area. The parenting plan governs. If you would like your children to see your ex's wife less often really the only way to do that is to modify the parenting plan so that your ex does not have as much parenting time. Tennessee... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: im 16 and want to go to a friends house but my mom said she'll call the cops on me, would they be able to do anything?

There has been a lot of fighting and yelling at my house and i want to get away for a few days but my mom said if i leave she will call the cops and have them bring me back home, like i said i am 16 and wanted to know if they can take me back home. My friends mom said she has no problem with me... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 31, 2020

I am sorry for your having to go through this. However, yes your mother can call the cops. Also, your friend's mother could be could be charged with harboring a runaway which is a crime. Your friend's mother could file a petition for dependency and neglect if the abuse rises to that level.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I have a parenting plan with my ex husband, I am concerned about travel from home to home due to COVID-19.

I have offered to give him days if I hold onto the kids until COVID clears, he declined and wants to pass them from house to house. What are my rights? He and his wife are currently working, his wife works in healthcare, and they have 2 additional daughters who attend daycare. I have a daughter and... Read more »

Bob G Huddleston Jr.
Bob G Huddleston Jr. answered on Mar 29, 2020

To answer your question, you have a right to seek an Emergency Protective Custody Order that may or may not be granted.

Once filed, you would be set for an Emergency PCO hearing. At the hearing you would need to establish that the facts and circumstances are sufficient to lead an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How does one go about filing a due process violation in Tennessee?
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 25, 2020

I am sorry, but your question needs a lot more detail to be address it.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: My fiance's ex wife is keeping his son from him on his weekends due to the coronavirus. Is there anything we can do?

She is threatening him with child support court and saying he will be in jail all because he wants to see his son and she is scared he will catch the virus. She isn't allowing him to pick his son up this weekend and she didnt give him his 1/2 of spring break. This is not this first time she has... Read more »

Shanone Emmack
Shanone Emmack answered on Mar 24, 2020

We are in new times with the coronavirus and people are scared and anxious. However, if the ex wife is going against the custody agreement then she could be help in contempt. I would suggest talking to a family law attorney and , if needed, set a court date to go in front of a judge and discuss the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I file a subpoena to obtain criminal trial transcripts for the use in a custody battle ???

In 2015, I was charged with aggravated sexual battery which led to divorce. The criminal charges went to trial where I was found not guilty. The allegations were made by my ex-stepdaughter in which I was found not guilty. I believe that my ex-wife is still pushing at the belief that I am still... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Mar 23, 2020

Go to the Criminal Court where you were prosecuted and ask the Clerk to help you go through the entire Court File. Be patient. The Court Reporter's name may be there, or ask the Clerk who it might have been. But most importantly, get a certified copy of the Acquittal. It is self-authenicating... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Can I have my case payments split between my kids father and I?

My mother had custody of my 2 daughters because I was incarcerated but when I got out of jail, I got full custody back. My mom received family first. Why does the child support office only come after me to pay the state back and not their father?

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 23, 2020

If the father has legitimated the children, then he should pay child support. If not, then a petition to establish paternity should be filed and child support ordered.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Tennessee on
Q: How does an unmarried father reinstate parental rights when baby was placed for adoption in Tennessee?

A termination of parental rights was signed thru an agency before baby was born, upon realizing the child was his he has changed his mind and wants to father the child. He was not present when the birth certificate was signed. Mother can still revoke decision until 23rd but would rather not

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 20, 2020

He needs to register with the putative father registry. Information can be found at

https://www.tn.gov/dcs/program-areas/foster-care-and-adoption/fca/adoption-records/alleged-putative-fathers.html

He also needs to retain a seasoned local family law attorney, like yesterday.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: how can i force an inmate to give me a dna test in TN?

He's my dad. he murdered my mom. I have reason to believe he is not my biological father and want to know and if he is not then remove his name from my birth certificate and tell the state of TN he's been lying abt everything (even more than we knew already)

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 18, 2020

Depending on your age, you can file a petition to disestablish paternity. If you are not of age, another person, particularly another family member can file on your behalf as a "next friend." However, I do not advise taking such action without first consulting an experienced family law attorney in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: what are my rights for visiting with my son? i have custody but he lives with my brother in law. i have custody.

the brother in law says he cant come home for spring break.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Mar 12, 2020

Is there a parenting plan or other court order in effect regarding the child? To be understand this issue, you should consult with a family law attorney and bring all relevant documents to the consult. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I have a custody case in TN but I reside in FL, do I need to attain a TN lawyer ?

The children were taken to TN supoosed to be temporary for their fathers funeral but their older brother from a previous relationship from their father, is trying to keep them and get full custody . I signed a custody agreement that the grandfather made himself and had notarize that they will be... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 12, 2020

You need to hire an experienced family law attorney from around Nashville. There are several issues presented in your question that you most likely cannot address without legal representation. I suspect a dependency and neglect petition has been filed against you. The burden of proof is high,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I am a father in the state of Tennessee wondering will the state of Tennessee allow me to give up my parental right
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 9, 2020

In Tennessee, you cannot voluntarily give up your parental rights. There are things that could happen to cause them to be involuntarily terminated, none of which are good.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do you get a court ordered DNA test?

I am 80 years old and have just found out that the birth certificate father is not the real father. I know the real father, but he refuses to be tested. I have written and called him. He does not reply or hangs up. What is my next step? My daughter, who is 52, is anxious to know the truth. She... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 6, 2020

I am afraid you cannot. An action to establish paternity is governed by Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-2-306. An action to establish parentage may be brought before or after the birth of the child until three (3) years after the age of majority. Therefore, the action must have been brought on or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: 16 yr wants to move in with my family because she is treated badly at home can she legally without parental consent
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Mar 6, 2020

Until she is emancipated by the Court, or is subject to a dependency and neglect petition, she remains in custody, care and control of her parents. If you take in a minor without Court permission, you could be charged with harboring a run away.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Cannabis & Marijuana Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: If a mom used marijuana and is now going through a custody battle, how likely is she to lose custody? Never married.

I’ve used thc and cps has closed my case after successfully passing random drug screens. I failed the first one but cps still closed the case. How likely is it for I, the mother to lose custody of my 2 year old child? Also, I have proof (pictures and messages of him advertising) of the father... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 25, 2020

From your question it seems as if there is no current court case. If that is the case, then you are probably fine. If here is a court action currently lodged with the court, then you need to revise your question and add additional detail to allow attorneys to better respond. Good Luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My husband’s daughter has lived with him until she was 13. She’s lived with the mom the last 2 yrs. She wants support

The mom never financially supported the cold while she was with the father. Will he have to pay? Can he get back support?

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 25, 2020

I will assume from your question that mother and father were never married, because your question does not reference any previous divorce. As such, it is unlikely he will be able to get back child support as there is no current order on which to base such an award. This may be a case of no good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: What todo if a father voluntarily terminated his rights for a stepparent adoption the mother asked for never happen?

If a father voluntarily terminated his rights after being asked by the mother claiming her current husband is wanting todo a step parent adoption then she never does the adoption then the father is left to pay child support is there away to Address the child support court with this matter to stop... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 21, 2020

I gather from your question that you were asked to sign over your parental rights for a prospective stepparent adoption and termination of parental rights case. It is not the mother who files the petition, but the stepparent. If the petition was never filed and granted, then you are still on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: I am a single father, never married, and have been the pro since 2012, and joint prp from2009 till 2012.

My son was born in 2006 in TN. long story short my sons mother got word in TX, which is where she lives and has lived since around 2009, that i was arrested for simple poss and on a separate date arrested for p.i. i was acquitted i think is the word for the simple poss which i was never arrested... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 21, 2020

First, if your son has lived in Texas since 2009 and that court has exercised jurisdiction, then most likely your case is in Texas. This is really not a case to be handled on your own. You parental rights are at stake. I advise you to consult with an experienced family law attorney in the Texas... Read more »

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