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Tennessee Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My granddaughter will turn twelve in 2020 and is living with her mother who slaps her in the mouth when angry.

Food is not available for her on a regular basis and I have had her every weekend since she was three months old. She is wanting to live with me full time, is this a possibility for her?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 13, 2019

It is certainly possible, but VERY difficult to say probable. It is very difficult for a non-parent to prevail over a parent in a custody case. Tennessee courts follow a principle called the "superior rights" doctrine, which as the name implies, states that the parents' right to raise their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: Wife has been clean from drugs lost child at young age and judge doesnt let her even try to fight for her she has right?
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Dec 9, 2019

The question is vague. She would be wise to hire local counsel to determine her best course of action.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: In Tennessee what degree of abuse would allow severe child abuse charges to be filed

A 3 month old baby has several bruises and the dr at Vanderbilt states the child is a victim of physical child abuse. He has been injured with hands and objects. If he is returned to his parents he is likely to sustain life threatening if not life ending injuries. Would this not be enough for... Read more »

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Dec 3, 2019

Based upon our experience, if all facts are true, as stated, then the DCS is taking a polar opposite view than they do around here. I would make sure that they are cognizant of all relevant facts, because once they open up a case, it rarely comes to an end anytime soon.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How to dismiss a divorce?

A year ago, my wife filed for divorce for adultery. I did it, the reason doesn’t matter We reconciled, never separated, but she won’t dismiss case. The marriage was already falling apart. She has said that she won’t dismiss the case bc she thinks I will just turn around and file for... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Dec 3, 2019

To dismiss a lawsuit you would have to file a motion to dismiss and outline the reasons, factually and legally, why the case should be dismissed. You should consult with counsel to review the court file, pleadings, and other relevant documents to best determine how you could proceed.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do i get my daughters Name changed in tn.the mother passed away and she was married.im the childs biological father.

Her husband has been out of the picture for 17 yrs.He said he will sign whatever i need signed.I have the Power of Attorney for care of a minor child form.But i am having a hard time with getting an audience with a judge.How do we go about being seen by a judge?So that he can officially sign off on... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 27, 2019

A request to change a surname is a court proceeding: you have to file a written petition ( also called a "complaint" under the rules of procedure) and give notice of that filing to any persons or entities that my be affected by your petition ( and in your case, there may not be anyone else). Giving... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My ex is seeking a modification of child support money. He claims is income is $0 and has sent me discovery. Can he a

Can he ask for pictures of the inside and outside of my house, as well as my monthly budget?

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Nov 26, 2019

He can ask. Doesn't mean that the request is not objectionable. Discovery can be complicated. You should consider consulting and hiring counsel asap as there are time limits on discovery.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: If my ex (which is the primary parent) has additional children, would that affect my cuild support payments?

If my ex ( who is the custodial parent) has additional children in a new relationship, would that affect my child support obligation?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 26, 2019

Yes- under the guidelines, if either parent has additional children in their home ( or other children outside their home for which they are paying support) this is a factor in the calculation of support.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Who can bring unruly charges against a child in Tennessee?
Cayley Turrin
Cayley Turrin answered on Nov 24, 2019

The parent or guardian can by asking the juvenile court to pursue it.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I live with my partner (not married) I have lived here for 3 yrs. He owns the house, I have no lease can he kick me out?

We own a business together

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 19, 2019

yes- but that does not affect your ownership or the management of the business.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My granddaughter is living in filth and is being made to share her room with my daughter’s boyfriend’s son

The boyfriend has been charged several times with abusing women including my daughter and doesn’t work. What can I do????

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 12, 2019

If you have evidence ( proof for court, not just suspicions) that a child is being abused, you can file a petition ( a written request explaining your reasons and your proof) in Juvenile Court and a hearing will be scheduled where you can present the proof to the Judge. If you convinced the Judge... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I want to get an annulment

I got married 1 Nov 19 and now I want an annulment

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 11, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, under Tennessee law, the short duration of a marriage is not grounds ( a legal reason) for an annulment. An annulment is the procedure for having a marriage declared void/invalid because of some DEFECT in the marriage itself ( for example, underage parties, fraud or... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: What does this parental right mean?

(iii) The right to receive notice and relevant information as soon as practicable but within twenty-four (24) hours of any hospitalization, major illness or injury, or death of the child. The parent exercising parenting time when such event occurs shall notify the other parent of the event and... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Oct 15, 2019

It means both. If you currently have the child and a listed event occurs, you should provide the healthcare provider with the other parent's info. You should also notify the other parent who is not present of the event and provide the healthcare provider's info.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can my husband adopt my child without contacting her biological dad he has never seen her nor does he want to

My 11 year olds biological farther signed a paper when I was 5 months pregnant with her that stated he did not want any prenatal rights my now husband wants to adopt her do I have to contact her farther in order for this to happen he has never seen her nor does he want to

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Oct 14, 2019

You should consult with a local adoption attorney to discuss your rights and responsibilities. The biological father will need to be served with papers if his parental rights haven't already been terminated for some reason.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: Will I need to go through an attorney to file for a divorce if my husband refuses to sign the papers?

I have been in a physical and mental abusive marriage. I have not pressed charges, nor have I filed a police report. I did file an order of protection, but dropped it since my husband did not contact me or anything during that time. I made a bad mistake after dropping the order, of letting him... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 7, 2019

You will have to file for Divorce under grounds of Cruel & Inhumane Treatment, and serve him. You need a competent attorney. Additionally you will need some type of witnesses to his conduct. Either he agrees or you put on proof of grounds, or no divorce.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Should I file for an agreed divorce and get the stay away injunction or just file for an order of protection? He threate

He threatens me and my pets and destroys my property or gives it away he refuses to help me pay bills and e just keeps me in a state of fear

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 3, 2019

divorce has significant emotional and financial consequences. It sounds like you need to file ( forget asking for an "agreed divorce" - if he has treated you so badly, you don't need his agreement, you have grounds to dissolve the marriage even if he disagrees). The order of protection can also be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: can i sue for my fathers estate if my mothers being kept from her family by her poa under undustress

myfather passed away 2 weeks ago, my mothers niece i met maybe 5 times my life assumed poa as witnessed by my son by scare tactics and coaching my mother in a vulnerable state, and recently expressed this to many to verify, and its been signed off and other favors by her cousin on who is a... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 24, 2019

If you believe your mother is being physically or emotionally abused or being taken advantage of financially, contact your local Adult Protective Services office.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Hi, How do I file a petition to modify my parenting plan without a lawyer?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 24, 2019

Sorry, but there is no "easy answer" to this: If you needed surgery, would you attempt to do it to yourself? Almost everyone says no, they would hire a professional to perform this service. However, rather than hire a lawyer, people will attempt complicated procedures and risk unfortunate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: my husband is a registered sex offender against a child under the age of 13 can he still take custody of our children?
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Sep 23, 2019

Custody is decided upon a lot of different factors. In theory, the answer could be yes. Practically? Probably not. But you should consult an attorney to assess your particular situation to make that determination. Without knowing more about your kids and circumstances, no one on a forum can give... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I get an Agreed Divorce in TN with no lawyer, if I own a home only in my name and my husband does NOT want it?

In Tennessee, you can get a simple agreed divorce, if you meet the requirements. One of the requirements is as follows:

•You don’t own buildings or land or a business together or have retirement benefits;

We meet all of the other requirements, but I'm not sure about this one. I... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 17, 2019

Yes, you can get an agreed divorce without a lawyer, even if you own real property, but this is almost always an area of dispute ( since it is usually the parties biggest investment). Although your husband may not want the house, he may change his mind if he finds out he might be entitled to some... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do I gain guardianship of my mother with Alzheimer's and dementia?

My mother does not have a p.o.a. shes recently been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's. Her bills are not getting paid. She's not eating. She refuses help and meals on wheels. I don't have the income to pay for court costs, how do I take over so she's financially safe and gets the care she... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 13, 2019

You do not have to spend your money- the cost of a "conservatorship" should be paid from her assets. You will need a sworn statement/affidavit from her doctor confirming the diagnosis of dementia but also stating the doctor's opinion as to whether she can manage her own affairs ( do this first... Read more »

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