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Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers

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 »

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

Q: What steps do I need to take to prove I am a fit parent?

Me and my child’s father have split up. He has approached me with wanting to go to court and or mediation because he doesn’t feel I am giving him enough time with our son. He has had him around some people who are not safe and that I do not trust I have asked him not to but he continues to do... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 6, 2019

If you and the father were not married when the child was born, then he currently has no rights to see the child unless he goes to court. Tennessee is what is commonly referred to as a “Mother’s state”. This simply means that when children are born out of wedlock, the father has no rights to... Read more »

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

Q: Would I have to allow my son's father unsupervised visitation if we were to split up? We are Not married

We are Not married and do not live together. Our son will be 2 in August and I am pregnant with our second. I would not mind meeting with him in a public place or going to his home with him and being present while he visits with our son. I just have a lot of concerns about allowing our son to go... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 6, 2019

The short answer is without a court order, you do not have to allow the father to spend any time with your children.

Tennessee is what is commonly referred to as a “Mother’s state”. This simply means that when children are born out of wedlock, the father has no rights to parent the...
Read more »

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

Q: How could I find a lawyer that would do a divorce pro bono my divorce would include child support and maybe ailmoney

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 5, 2019

I recommend you contact the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee. https://las.org or 615-244-6610. LAS works with local attorneys to provide Pro Bono assistance in many circumstances. They also are likely to know other organizations that may help. Good luck!

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

Q: How could I find a lawyer that would do a divorce pro bono my divorce would include child support and maybe ailmoney

Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 5, 2019

I recommend you contact the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee. https://las.org or 615-244-6610. LAS works with local attorneys to provide Pro Bono assistance in many circumstances. They also are likely to know other organizations that may help. Good luck!

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

Q: The co-parent and I do not have a custody agreement. Live states apart.

She only let's me talk to them if I send her money. I am behind on child support but working and paying it off. It takes 50% of my income. I have receipts where I have sent the co-parent thousands of dollars outside of child support, but I have not been allowed to see them in 2 years. Now she says... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on May 23, 2019

Although it will take time and a lawyer, you need to file court papers to set up a "parenting plan" or schedule of visitation. You are required to pay child support, but at the same time , she is required to allow you to have time with the children. If you get a Judge to order the scheduled... Read more »

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

Q: Can I take custody of my biological child if I divorce the bipolar mother?

I am unhappily married and would like to get a divorce. I have two children with this woman and she is mentally bipolar and refuses to take meds or get counseling. 9 years ago she cheated on me and got pregnant by another man. I have taken care of her and baby and call him my own son. She refuses... Read more »

Bennett James Wills answered on Apr 17, 2019

If you file for divorce it is possible to obtain a divorce even though the spouse does not want one. You may have grounds to gain custody of a biological child. If you are attempting to get custody over a non-biological child you'll run into some problems. Consult with a local attorney to discuss... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Criminal Law and Divorce for Tennessee on

Q: What to do abut my husbanD assault me an one of our children and the judge gives him temporary custody

My husband which assault me an our 12 yr son still has charges pend. In one county an my husband goes an gets his lawyer to reopen our divorce case which is in amother county and tells that judge that I made all that up and some more lies so while I was on the hospital the judge goes my husband... Read more »

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Apr 13, 2019

At this point in time, your case is far more factual than legal. On this question and answer forum, we attempt to help individuals by providing simple explanations about the law. Your issue needs the attention of local counsel, who can ask you the appropriate questions to communicate with the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on

Q: If the primary physical custodial parents refuses any and all contact with children what can I do

Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 9, 2019

You have to file a Petition For Contempt against the custodial parent for disobeying the Final Decree that awarded child custody and parenting time. It is much better to hire an attorney, but you could file pro se.

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

Q: If a mother did not complete anything asked and judge issued no contact order, how hard would terminating rights be

Children are with father, this has went on a year. She didnt know to court, father has proof of her being high and passing out at supervised visits when she got them. Stepmom wants to adopt

Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 1, 2019

Terminating a Parent's Rights is always difficult. The Couple can file a Petition for Adoption which must be served on the Mother as it is attempting to terminate her rights. The Couple must also be fit and proper Parents as they will be scrutinized also by various Parties, Agencies, etc. If... Read more »

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

Q: My parents have custody of my sister's kids. Can the judge order the 150,000 in child support from their father to them?

DCS placed the kids with my parents because of truancy and my sister's drug addiction. After a year, my parents were awarded custody. My sister was ordered the $150,000 in child support before that happened. My sister has co-occurring disorders, but hasn't gone to rehab and does not provide for the... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 28, 2019

Yes, the child support should and can be paid to whoever has custody of the children. However, you will likely need a lawyer to get it done correctly- a petition to modify will need to be filed, court papers served ( delivered) on the mother and a hearing scheduled. I assume the father is paying... Read more »

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

Q: In which state should a motion for modification of custody be filed?

Current custody order was finalized in GA approx 9 years ago, but minor child and CP have resided in TN since 2015. NCP has had no contact and provided no support for the last two years. NCP still resides in GA, but is currently incarcerated (in GA) awaiting trial regarding felony drug charges,... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 21, 2019

Since the child has resided in Tennessee for the past few years, it seems to me that Tennessee has jurisdiction. However, it also seems likely tome that you would need to "domesticate" the Georgia custody order in Tennessee. there is a process for doing that which allows one state to enforce the... Read more »

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

Q: My ex wife is leaving our four year old daughter alone with a convited felon is there anything I can do

He has several different convitins

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Mar 13, 2019

Perhaps? - your question does not provide enough information to answer accurately. You would need to be able to prove to the Judge that the child is being adversely/negatively affected by her exposure to this person. What were the convictions for? Leaving a sex offender alone with a 4 year old is... Read more »

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

Q: Is there a way to give up my parental rights without having to involve the other parent?

I told my ex that I wanted to give up my rights after she mentioned me doing so herself and she responds with a lawyer serving me with child support that I can't afford. If I pay child support it's going to make my family lose everything.

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Feb 13, 2019

No, Tennessee law requires parents to support their children. The only way to escape that obligation is to have another person assume it - by adopting the child. An adoption will terminate the parental relationship and establish a new parental relationship. The other parent will have to consent to... Read more »

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

Q: I got my parent plan adjusted with my ex husband and now he keeps calling me multiple times and being demanding and

Controlling In regards to our son.He’s been doing this after we left court on January 17th,2019.This was helpful my ex husband was there during to parent plan adjustment.He got 89 days out of 365 and only gets to decide extracurricular activities.He gets supervise visits every 2 weeks.I think the... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jan 22, 2019

Harassing phone calls can be a criminal offense. At the same time, your parenting plan requires you to make a good faith effort to work with the other parent to resolve minor disputes ( that is what is BEST for your CHILD). If the plan was changed on 1/17/2019- your ex still has time to appeal the... Read more »

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