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Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Hi, my parents are taking me to court for emergency custody of my daughter. She has been living with them for 3 years of

Hi, my parents are taking me to court for emergency custody of my daughter. She has been living with them for 3 years off and on { turns 4 in March} I have all the text messages where I have been trying to get her back but they would not let me. I do not do any drugs/alcohol or anything. I also... Read more »

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Sep 14, 2021

Make sure you show up for the court date. I highly suggest you retain an attorney to help with your situation.

Outside of that, the State of TN usually holds preference to the biological parent unless there are other circumstances like dependency and neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, or...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Hello, I have 2 young children and we've been living separately from their father.

(I left due to him being emotionally abusive.) We were never married, and I have been taking care of them full time. I've been staying with my mother a couple hours away from him (He stills lives with his parents). He has typically helped me take care of their needs financially, outside the... Read more »

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Sep 6, 2021

If there isn't any type of custody order from the court and potentially he didn't sign the birth certificate, you won't have to do anything and you can just move. However, this is for TN. I do not know the laws in NM and could be completely different than in TN regarding child... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Q: If I move my daughter and I out of fear for our safety when her dad has not established paternity, is there a way

For him to file for joint custody? He is currently in jail due to an FTA and we go to court next week for an order of protection. He is on probation for a domestic abuse charge that happened last October

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Aug 18, 2021

Yes you can definitely move. In TN, there is a presumption that a child born out of wedlock is the mother's unless paternity has been established. However, he can file something in Juvenile Court seeking paternity. To provide a better individualized response to your daughter's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Q: Husband put vehicles in only his name vehicle is in shop can the shop not give it to Me

He is in jail and has told them not to let me get it. Even though its mine! Bought while we were married too.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 16, 2021

If the vehicle is titled in the Husband's name, then it is his property not yours. No Homestead nor Next of Kin situation applies here.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: The judge took my rights from me n my ex husband giving up his rights and his wife wants to adopt my son n he's 16 year

His wife wants to adopt my son he's 16 year old n she's saying I can go to jail for abandonment n other charges if I don't sign the adoption papers

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Aug 15, 2021

If the judge took your rights from you via a Termination of Parental Rights proceeding, there is no need for you to sign any adoption paperwork. You are no longer the parent when the judge takes your rights away.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: What legal rights does a father, who is not named on the birth certificate, have?

I am the maternal grandmother of two boys. I gained custody in 12/2016 due to drug problems. Father has been in and out of jail for several years. Mother recently completed rehab and has legal issues due to drugs. I have not let the father have contact due to all the issues he has had in the... Read more »

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Jul 15, 2021

Usually it takes a home study if non-relative adoption. In this case, you may be able to ask the court for an adoption and waive the home study. If both biological parents do not agree to the adoption, then you will have to do a termination of parental rights along with the adoption. There are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Follow up question. Is there anyway my opposing attorney could say I'm not a party to the case?

My XMIL has custody of my biological daughter. She transferring custody back to my x wife. They have a date court date for the transfer, but I have not been served anything. I have sent several emails to their attorney requesting service but she doesn't respond. My guess is she plans to... Read more »

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Jun 23, 2021

There are no reasons unless your rights have been terminated in a previous proceeding. They can also allege that they have tried to find you but have been unable to. Just make sure you show up to court saying you dispute this matter if you want to dispute it. I also urge you to get an attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: What do I do as a pro se litigant when my opposing attorney won't serve me about an upcoming court date I'm a party to?

My ex mother in law has custody of my biological child and I still have all my rights. She is attempting to give custody back to my ex wife and I inadvertently found out the date.

I'm thinking I'll just show up and request a continuance based on the fact I wasn't served and... Read more »

Denania Galloway
Denania Galloway answered on Jun 23, 2021

Definitely show up to court and advise the judge that you were not served notice and that you need time to either hire a lawyer or file any answer.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: I got arrested and child svcs gave temporary custody to his great aunt..we have court next week..will I get him back
Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh answered on Jun 22, 2021

You do not provide enough information for anyone on this forum to answer this question. Presumably child services was called because that was the closet relative placement and the fact of your arrest did not allow you to care for your son. If you are out of jail then you might get him back but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: How To Respond To A Motion For Scheduling Order?

My mother is in the process of appealing a dependent and neglect petition and divorce, and she received a "Motion For Scheduling Order" in the mail pertaining to her case that she has been involved in for almost a year or so now. She briefly had an attorney, but is no longer able to... Read more »

Michael Hollins Sr.
Michael Hollins Sr. answered on May 27, 2021

Your question is complexed and will need to be reviewed from the start of the case to know what to do moving forward. I would advise your mom to speak with a pro-bono attorney at Tennessee Legal Aid, or another qualified attorney with responding to this motion.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: unmarried father signed the birth certificate of a child, does he needs still have to establish paternity by court?
Sam  English
Sam English answered on May 8, 2021

You will need to file a Petition for Parentage. If you are on the birth certificate, both parents signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. You must establish your rights in Court. By statute , the Mother has exclusive custody.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: can a mother take a child without father of child consent out of the state? custody not established yet
Sam  English
Sam English answered on May 8, 2021

Yes. If your case is filed, there is an injunction in place that requires that she give you an itinerary and the information will be listed in your case pleadings. The injunction deals with "out of state travel." If no case is filed, parties can travel freely.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Do I need a KY or TN lawyer? I live in TN. Dad lives in KY.

We have joint legal and physical custody. But he has been primary physical parent for the last year. There is a pending legal case (charges filed today) against my daughters dad for child abuse/neglect in KY. CPS has hinted there’s a possibility she could be returned to his care unsupervised if... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 7, 2021

There appears to be no Tennessee jurisdiction. Hire a KY lawyer for a Ky Case.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Will I still pay child support for a child if I have joint custody with my wife and I pay all the child's daycare cost?

I also pay my wife's car note

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Apr 5, 2021

Maybe. Child support is calculated based on the income of the parties, custody time, and other contributing factors such as insurance, daycare, maintenance, etc. These are applied to child the support guidelines to determine who pays how much to the other parent. Once you petition the court for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I file for emergency custody of my children when I file for divorce?

I have no filed yet but my husband is an addict and I am scared for my kids to he with him wothoit me around.

Ross Matuszak
Ross Matuszak answered on Mar 3, 2021

Thank you for your question. Yes, you can file for full custody while the divorce is pending if you suspect that the children may be in danger due to your spouse's addiction issues. I would recommend hiring an attorney to assist you with the process to ensure that your children are protected.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: I'm in Tennessee, my daughter was born while I was in prison .

When I was released her mother decided then to tell me she adopted her out and her husband had acted like me and went to court with her and forged my name to the paperwork . All this happened while I was in prison and I never knew till I got out and I want my daughter . Will TN overturn a adoption... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Feb 17, 2021

It will be very difficult, and the chances for success are not good. But this may be something you can do yourself if you will research the adoption Statutes and find each and every violation which was a fraud on the Court. You probably can go to the Court which ordered the Adoption and serve... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do I get a divorce and sole custody?

My husband and I have been separated since 2015. He has not attempted to contact his kids since 2016. He is over 28000 behind on child support and has a bench warrant out for his arrest that was issued 3 years ago and is still active. He's currently going to court for dwls and they still do... Read more »

Paul Ylvisaker
Paul Ylvisaker answered on Dec 31, 2020

Your questions require legal counsel to work through some of the issues you have raised. The answers provided here are general in nature and not legal advice.

Foremost, yes there is a way to get divorced even if you cannot find your spouse. The biggest issue in your case at the outset is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: Mother in law won't stop unnecessary drama and borderline harassment.

I have a mother in law that either has a drug problem or some mental health issues or both. She always brings us up in drama that she has created and won't stop contacting us even though she's been told to stop until she can act right. This has been going on for years and can not act... Read more »

Ross Matuszak
Ross Matuszak answered on Dec 29, 2020

Thank you for your question. A way to keep your mother in law from contacting you is to file an order of protection. Orders of protection are civil orders granted in cases involving abuse, stalking (harassment is included in stalking for the purposes of an order of protection) or assault. From your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: My granddaughter that I had legal custody of since she was 5 had a baby 3 years ago .She is now 21 .I have had the baby

I had baby since day he was born. I pay babysitter, food ,diapers ect his whole life .She is on drugs .What do I need to do get custody?

Bob G Huddleston Jr.
Bob G Huddleston Jr. answered on Dec 27, 2020

Contact a local lawyer that practices family law, and talk to them about filing a Petition for Custody on the basis of dependency and neglect.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: I have had my 2 grandchildren in my care for 9 years. Both parents walked out on them. Can I get custody? Please help me

My 2 grandchildren have been in my care for 9 years. The parents have been in and out of jail for several years. The father has moved to Illinois and the mother is around but shows interest in only herself. I have always cared for these kids, provided for them, loved them, and been here for them.... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Dec 24, 2020

I recommend you consult with an experienced family law attorney near you. You may file a Petition for custody or something similar to get this issue in front of a Judge to decide. With the parents criminal history and your history caring for the children, the best interest of the child analysis in... Read more »

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