Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers

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

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
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 the adoption.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 22, 2019
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
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 court's decision if he disagrees with what the Judge decided.

Any further appeal would be expensive, so you probably need to try to avoid that. Keep your communications brief and businesslike....

Q: What can/should I do if my wife took our two children and left the state, and won't let me have any contact. Options?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 17, 2019
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
File for divorce, ask for an emergency hearing, get her served with the papers and go to court. you need to establish jurisdiction here in your home county. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there aren't any other "options"-- for sure, don't try to take matters into your own hands or "steal" the children ( that would make you like her- using the children to try an d hurt the parent). Anyone who odes this could be found unfit to be the primary residential parent ( Tennessee no longer uses the word...

Q: If a father gives mother money before court order receipt is wrote child support and or dr bill. Does it count or gift?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 4, 2019
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
It is most likely a gift.

The child support order is a court order where the Judge has ordered the father to pay an amount of money, ( in order words, CASH or funds ). The judge did not order the father to buy clothes or pay doctor bills. As a result, unless the Mother just agrees to allow this as a credit, buying clothes or paying doctor bills is NOT complying with the support order.

Consult an experienced family law attorney for advice on your specific situation.

Q: Do I half to let my daughters dad know my address? I told him we can meet somewhere for him to pick her up and off.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 4, 2019
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Probably yes. In my opinion, every parent is always entitled to know where their child is at all times. Don't you want to know where the child is when he/she is with the father? Trying to keep your residence a secret will probably cause the father to have even more suspicion, so unless you can document ( prove) a prior history of actual violence directed at you personally, and therefore that the father represents a danger to you, you can't keep the child's living conditions a total secret...

Q: I have primary custody of my son. I have told my ex-wife that our child is not suppose to go to her mothers house.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Jan 4, 2019
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Unfortunately, if your parenting plan does not currently contain this restriction, the mother can do as she pleases with her parenting time. If the situation represents a real danger to the child ( and keep in mind that you will need to convince a Judge of the danger) you should file a petition to modify the parenting plan

so that the Judge can order the mother to keep the child away from the grandmother. A prior history of illegal drug use does not automatically mean the individual...

Q: I am a grandfather that has full custody of my grand daughter and the mother has taken her out of school without permiss

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Dec 20, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Very possible- call local law enforcement and make a report. It may be called "custodial inference" or "parental kidnapping"

Q: In Tennessee can a mother keep the children from the father if there is NO divorce or parenting plan

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for Tennessee on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Probably YES, she can move. In Tennessee, children born "out of wedlock" ( the biological parents are not married) are deemed to be in the sole custody and control of the MOTHER since there can be questions about exactly who is the father. The only way to change this is for the father to file court papers and assert his rights by proving ( getting DNA tests) that he is the biological father. As your question says there is not yet any court order or parenting plan, the MOTHER is the legal...

Q: Ramifications to allowing my children to live with their father and his addict wife?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
I am not sure I understand your question: in my opinion, it would reflect badly on any parent who would allow their children to be around drug use and drug addict behavior. However, you do not specify the age and maturity of your children. That age and maturity is also important when evaluating their desire to live with their father. in summary, much more information is needed to advise you- consult an experienced family law attorney for advice on your specific situation. If you already have...

Q: Is it legal for a 16 year old to leave home without parental consent?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Nov 19, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Your question is unclear- when you say "leave home," I assume you mean to move out with the intention of staying forever or indefinitely. If so, this would not be "legal." This child still under age 18 is a minor and could be considered a runaway or unruly by a Juvenile Court Judge.

Q: Thanksgiving is divided by agreement but papers dont say who gets them first. How do we know?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Nov 16, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
There Is no Tennessee Statute, If the papers are truly ambiguous, I suggest that whoever is named primary residential parent should pick the day they want, and the other parent gets what's left. Or maybe just flip a coin to decide who gets to pick.

Q: My daughter's biological father (never married no parenting plan) is refusing to let her go on a camping trip.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 25, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
You are correct on the statute- however, if there was a child support case, there may be an order confirming paternity and that order might also state you are the primary residential parent. If his name is not on the child's birth certificate, you might show him that also along with the statute.

Q: my son and his ex girlfriend have a 3 yr old son. its been over a year since she let him see him. does he have rights?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 24, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
If there is has never been a court proceeding to establish or confirm paternity, he needs to file a request for that in the county where the child resides, The Judge in that case will set child support and a "parenting time" schedule which allow BOTH parents to have time with the child. If she refuses to obey the court ordered schedule, she can be held in contempt of court and punished ( Jail!). Consult an experienced family law attorney for specific advice on your situation.

Q: Would I get In trouble if i took my kids over state lines trying to run away from my abusive husband? No court papers

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 24, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
You should report the threat to your local police. Running away won't solve the problem. Seek advice from friends and family as to how to insure your protection. Ultimately, you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer - it sounds like this relationship is over so the real solution is a divorce, asap.

Q: My ex's parent has custody of my kids and from June and even now my visitation is not happening so what can I do

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 16, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
If you have court ordered parenting time ( visitation) and the custodians are willfully denying you that time, they are in contempt of court for disobeying the court order. All this must be proven in court. The process begins with you filing a written petition with the court clerk. Consult an experienced family law attorney for specific advice on your situation.

Q: If your not 15 but 12 would it still be illegal to date a 18- year old

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
This age difference is highly inappropriate. There should be no relationship.

Q: How can I motion the court about the custody of my children in Tennessee from MN? We are MN residents kids in dcs tn

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Answered on Oct 10, 2018
David C. Veazey's answer
You raise a lot of issues. Since you have a court-appointed attorney, you need to make use of that as best you can. If you believe the attorney is not representing you effectively, first try to schedule a time to meet with her. Bring up your concerns and ask her what you need to do to get your visitation back, and eventually custody. If after that meeting, you still feel that you and your attorney cannot see eye to eye, explain your concerns about her to the court, either at the next review...

Q: My ex wants to take me back to court to reduce his child support by asking do 50/50. I have been primary parent for

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Answered on Aug 23, 2018
Leonard Robert Grefseng's answer
Modification of a parenting plan requires a showing in court of a "material change of circumstances"- which is heavily fact dependent, or in other words, on a case by case basis., each case to be examined on its own. Unfortunately, college expense for the other child is of no importance- no parent can be required to support a child past their 18th birthday, If there have been no problems with the existing arrangement ( arguments about holidays or pick up times, etc) then, some judge will go by...

Q: My ex wants to take me back to court for 50/50. I have primary residential custody and have for the last four years.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Answered on Aug 20, 2018
Bennett James Wills' answer
To change custody the petitioner would need to demonstrate a material change in circumstances. If nothing has really changed, then he may not prevail. If, however, you hire counsel and do prevail, the court, at its discretion, is permitted to award you with your reasonable attorney's fees per statute.

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