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Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Could I petition the court for more custody with my son

My son is 4 and the last order was when he was one, when my son attends son I will only get him every other weekend which we have such a close bond I’m the one who makes all doctors appointments, dentist and the list goes on I believe this will affect our son and of course me

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

From you question I gather you are a parent who has a parenting plan or visitation order that only gives you every other weekend parenting time. The first question is from what court was the order entered? The bottom line is a parent is always free to petition that court for a modification.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My daughters father has never helped, doesn’t see her and we were never married. Can he object to us moving?

I have a 16 month old daughter. I’m the sole provider for her. Her father and I were never married. He does not see her because I don’t allow him to keep her alone because he put her in a harmful situation and has stopped showing up to his moms to see her. He has never helped financially either... Read more »

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

Your question raises two separate issues. Relocation and Termination of Parental Rights. I will address the Termination of Parental Rights first as the answer is easier. In Tennessee, a parent cannot voluntarily terminate their parental rights unless their is a Petition for Adoption and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My husband is having a trial over custody of his daughter. He is the petitioner. I got a subpoena from his ex to testify

The subpoena says to testify on her ‘behalf.’ I’m confused. I wouldn’t ever testify against my husband so I’m not sure why it says on her behalf. She basically has texts of me and her arguing. Do I have to testify or can I have some sort of spousal privilege in this case? I’m not sure... Read more »

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

Yes you can be subpoenaed to appear in court and forced to testify as to the matters contained in the texts. Any other questions may be subject to the spousal privilege. You need to speak with an attorney to help you in this situation.

Tennessee Code Annotated contains the spousal...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My husband has a custody trial in a few days. His ex girlfriend has texts of myself and my husbands mom she plans to use

My husbands mom sent her snapshots of texts between myself and his mom when in a heated argument. Will his ex be able to use these in court if my mother in law is not there to testify? Or will it be considered hearsay? Can texts be used from anyone not there to testify even if there are snapshots?

Jean Richardson
Jean Richardson answered on Feb 8, 2020

You're correct, the texts are hearsay. I'm assuming you're a party opponent. Under some circumstances, communications from a party opponent can be considered admissions. In this case, I don't see how that exception to hearsay applies.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Will it go against the father of our child not allowing our 4 year old to have a phone conversation with his momma

The current custody order was wben our son was 6 months so any phone calls was not mention im wanting to petition the court for my son for alot of reasons, my ex wont allow my don to soeak to me on the phone would this go against him in court

Bob G Huddleston Jr.
Bob G Huddleston Jr. answered on Feb 1, 2020

Petition the court for a modification of the visitation order to allow phone calls as the child can now speak on the phone when he wasn't able to when he was only six months old, more readily allowing you to maintain and strengthen the parental bond with your child.

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: I had a order of protection on my husband due to domestic violence. That has since expired and he’s off probation and

completed his classes. He got the kids out of state unsupervised twice since all that was finished but during the order they were supervised. But now my legal aide attorney said to withhold the children until she reviews some case files to determine whether unsupervised should continue or if going... Read more »

Bob G Huddleston Jr.
Bob G Huddleston Jr. answered on Feb 1, 2020

Violating a court order opens you up to potential criminal and civil contempt.

I would advise you to speak to your legal aid attorney about those risks so you can make a fully informed decision about whether to possibly risk 1) you going to jail for contempt of court, and 2) a court order...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: How do I stop support pmts and insurance garnishment from my check, I am the CP? Court said they would stop but have no

I was ordered to pay support and provide insurance when my son lived with his father for a year. He has been back home with me for almost a year and still paying child support. We went to court and confirmed that he lives with me and at that time I was told I would still have to pay any arrears... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 13, 2020

You need a competent TN attorney now. You are still subject to the old Order. It will require a Motion and New Order to reflect what the facts are now.

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 Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: What does it mean when you get a letter from juvenile court saying that the case be struck from the docket lack of serv
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Dec 10, 2019

Lack of service means the other side was not given notice of the hearing. If you are unsure exactly what the letter means, the best first step is to call the clerk's office and ask them about it. They should explain why they are taking that action. If you are unsure of how to proceed after... 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 Child Custody and Civil Litigation for Tennessee on
Q: My wife had an incident regarding her child. The people, who never spoke to her, told the police and court she was drunk

She was not intoxicated. This could severely affect her and her son. Is this slander or defamation of character?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Dec 2, 2019

No, statements made in court are generally not actionable as defamation.

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 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 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 »

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 Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Can a grandmother take custody of a child if she has had him for 30 days?

I left my child with his grandmother while I visited my boyfriends mother out of state but now his grandmother is threatening to take custody can she do that?

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

That's not how custody works.

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 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 »

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