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Tennessee Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: As of 6/29/19 I will be a resident of TN for 6 months and need to have my custody case transferred.

Additionally, I need to see what can be done to hold my ex in contempt for not returning my son by the date/time he was supposed too, not allowing a family member to pick up my son and bring him to me on the date he was due back, not allowing him to speak to me while he was gone for 43 day (maybe... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 17, 2019

From that description, you have a significant number of potential legal issues. I recommend you consult with a local family law attorney. You would need to transfer the case to Tennessee before you could file for contempt. Your easier route for the contempt action could be filing for contempt in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Can you sue the DHS if they caused financial hardships due to negligence on their part?
Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jul 16, 2019

It would be difficult to sue a government entity. You would likely need a lawyer as a result of the defenses to any such action.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Federal Crimes for Tennessee on
Q: My daughter’s father and I have an established parenting plan. He comes and goes as he pleases and also does not pay

His child support. He also doesn’t have a place to live or a car. He was arrested for a felony drug charge recently. Is that enough to file a request to stop visits or ask for supervised visits?

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jul 15, 2019

Those are certainly reasons to be concerned, but since your question doesn't mention the age of the child ( and lots of other factors the Judge has to consider) no lawyer can provide a guaranteed result. Will cutting off the child's relationship with her father truly benefit the child? If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: can I use a Tennessee attorney who is licensed in FL, for FL case

It is to change my time sharing with my children, originally filed in FL, I live in TN

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jul 10, 2019

If an attorney is licensed in both states then yes, you can use the same lawyer. But your expenses and attorney's fees may significantly increase if the Tenn. lawyer has to travel to Florida for hearings and such.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Do judges ever grant full custody back to a parent who currently has supervised visitation only?
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 3, 2019

I am unaware of a case in which that has happened. I imagine there may have been some cases in which that has happened though. Tennessee child custody law is concerned with the best interest of the child. If the parent who currently only has supervised visitation can show changed circumstances that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Abusive ex re-opening custody case

A judge found my ex abusive of our children during his visitations with them and issued a restraining order and court-ordered therapy. The case was closed. It's two years later and my ex is re-opening the case. What is the process? My oldest is 11 and wants nothing to do with the visits. She has... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 2, 2019

If a Judge made a finding of fact that your ex was abusive, then your ex should have quite an uphill battle in convincing any Court that he is rehabilitated enough to have visitation at any point in the future. I recommend you consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area.... Read more »

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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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