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Tennessee Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: I’m the dad was not ever married daughter is now 16 lives with 21 year old I wasn’t informed what is my options

Do I still have to pay child support she will be 17 in 8/10/2020 what’s my legal opt I do have visitation rights

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Jul 28, 2020

Hire a local family law attorney and proceed according to their suggestions.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My husband had me served with divorce papers and he keeps messaging me to sign them. My appt w/att is July 29

I suffer from mental health issues and feel I need legal advice before signing anything.

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Jul 19, 2020

You don't have an obligation to sign papers that you are not comfortable with. However, if your Husband has filed a Complaint for Divorce against you, then you do have an obligation to have the Complaint answered. I would consult immediately with a competent local divorce attorney. If you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Would I file a Legal Separation using the Separation agreement if we weren't married?

We were together two years, we had a minor child during our Domestic Relationship. We were never married.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 10, 2020

Not sure of what you want to do, but you cannot get a legal separation if you were never married. Child support and visitation would probably be handled in the Juvenile Court System.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: To file a Proposed Parenting Plan do you have to file with the Circuit Court Clerk?
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Jul 7, 2020

It depends on whether your divorce is filed in Circuit Court or Chancery Court. You can't just file a Permanent Parenting Plan unless there is a divorce action begun with a Complaint. I would consult a local divorce lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is an unmarried minor automatically emancipated if she gets pregnant?

Not married, still living at home, 17 years old.

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

The simple answer is no.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
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... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 17, 2020

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can a mother (never married) move out of state with child? There is no court custody arrangement or parenting plan.

My step-daughter lives in Martin TN with her 11 month old daughter. The child's father also lives in the area, but they do not live together. Due to financial strain, she would like to move back home to Georgia. There is no court signed custody arrangement or parenting plan in place, so can... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 17, 2020

Most likely, yes. The parental relocation requirements under TN law to seek court approval to relocate only applies when there is a court ordered parenting plan in place. TN is known as a Mother's state because if the parents are unmarried, the father does not have rights to custody until... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Hello my name is Alecia and I live in Tennessee. I currently live in my mother and adoptive fathers house but want to...

Live with my biological father. He has no legal custody since I was adopted. Does this mean If i were to live with my biological father my parents could press charges against him?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 16, 2020

If you are a minor, then yes. He could be sued civilly and possibly prosecuted criminally. He needs to file a Petition For Custody.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Lived with someone who owned their home. We didn't marry. 3 years later im moving out now can't get my belongings?

I lived with someone almost three yrs in a relationship that has now ended. I have two kids who came with me into the home, I paid bills, received mail etc. Now I'm being told I cannot retrieve mine or my kids belongings. Not sure where to turn or whom to ask how to proceed much less... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 16, 2020

You can file an Action To Recover Personal Property in General Sessions Court. This can usually be done without an attorney in your type of situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Are guardians allowed to open mail of the minor ?
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 5, 2020

If the minor is the ward of that guardian, then yes, the guardian can monitor the mail correspondence of the minor ward. The guardian has a fiduciary duty to take care of his ward's affairs, and he should have already known that.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Tennessee on
Q: I will be 18 tomorrow and I want to move in with my girlfriend tomorrow and she's 17 and her parents are okay with it.

My parents are not okay with it and say I can't because I'm still in high school but I will be a senior and I'm in Tennessee but I don't know if I can move out help pleae.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 3, 2020

That is called Statutory Rape in Tennessee.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Can I get my daughter taken of I don’t have a job right now but her paternal father does? She’s has everything.

I had a baby 7 months ago and I’m not ready to go back to work yet My boyfriend works and pays the Bills and gets everything we need I have a 6 year old daughter with my Ex and he and his girlfriend have jobs with me not having a job and staying home with my children make me an unfit parent and... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Jun 3, 2020

Just because you are unemployed does not in itself make you an unfit parent. You have to engage or allow a child to be danger of severe harm to be declared unfit.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My marriage was never consummated. He married me to try and get citizenship while being untruthful about It. Anullment?

He has abandoned me and I want to have this marriage annulled. How long would this take to get done? Will I need him to sign? I don’t know where he is. He could be back in Palestine.

I really need help with this. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on May 28, 2020

If your marriage was never consummated, then that is a ground for an annulment in Tennessee. You should seek a local family law attorney who has experience with your situation. If the marriage was a result of fraud on his behalf, you can report him to ICE. You can find their information at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Family Law, Personal Injury and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: I am search of a TN lawyer that can help me with a unique situation involving my disabled, elderly, veteran father.

He may be being neglected and or abused and seems to be being help captive by his wife. Who herself has never shown the mental or physical capacity to care for another individual let alone one who is not ambulatory or verbal.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 26, 2020

I'm sorry for your difficult situation. Your post remains open for a month and you may be better off simply reaching out to Tennessee attorneys here (Find-a-Lawyer) or searching independently on your own. This isn't really a lawyer referral service - it's only a Q & A Board. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Child is mine, ex husband on birth certificate. Divorce papers state he’s not the father. I need paternity!

In divorce papers he admits he’s not the father. I have raised him for 4 yrs. He’s never had any part in raising my son. They are divorced but apparently a step was skipped. State will not allow us to change birth certificate.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 25, 2020

You will have to file a Petition To Establish Paternity. All interested parties must be joined. I recommend you file in Chancery. One of the things you are trying to get the Court to do is to order the issuance of a new Certificate of Birth.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Hello, dhs sent me the wrong paternity test and had made me believe that the wrong person is my babies father for weeks

They sent me a paper saying a man was my babies father and I got a letter today saying they made a mistake and he in fact is not after about 3 weeks. I told the father and who I thought was my sons grandmother and they were so thrilled. Now I have to tell them he isnt. Is there a way to sue over... Read more »

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

I am really not sure what your question is. You need to inform them that DCS sent the letter to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: How do you justify that a home is "otherwise harmful to you" in terms of getting emancipated?

I have all the other necessary requirements: job, money, living situation, maturity, transportation, etc., but if my parents don't agree to emancipation, how do I justify that it is necessary for me to be emancipated? I know it is, but how is it objectively determined? In other words, when I... Read more »

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

As a minor, you cannot file the petition yourself. You must have some adult or what is referred to as a "Next Friend" file it for you. It can be anyone familiar with your circumstances.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My husband gave his daughter power of attorney over him before we got married does a power of attorney override me now
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 22, 2020

Not sure what you mean by override you now. But the POA is not affected by the Principal's subsequent matrimony. You might ask your Husband to revoke that POA now, and to possibly appoint you as his Attorney-In-Fact. The POA might actually be a health related instrument, dealing with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My question is am I legally responsible as a Surrogate Decision Maker for financial occurrences incurred by the Patient?
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on May 21, 2020

I am not sure what you mean by surrogate decision maker. Are you referring to SURROGATE DECISION MAKING FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL RETARDATION

OR MENTAL IMPAIRMENT RELATED TO DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Daughter's friend kicked out of her mother's home she is 17. Asking to move in with us. What are steps to make legal?
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on May 19, 2020

You are in a precarious situation. Harboring a runaway is a crime and if the mother wants to vengeful, she could make that argument. If you believe, as you question suggest, failure to provide for a minor is neglect and abuse. Everyone in Tennessee is a mandatory reporter for neglect and abuse. The... Read more »

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