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Tennessee Family Law Questions & Answers
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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I want to get an annulment

I got married 1 Nov 19 and now I want an annulment

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Nov 11, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, under Tennessee law, the short duration of a marriage is not grounds ( a legal reason) for an annulment. An annulment is the procedure for having a marriage declared void/invalid because of some DEFECT in the marriage itself ( for example, underage parties, fraud or... Read more »

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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 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 Family Law and Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: Will I need to go through an attorney to file for a divorce if my husband refuses to sign the papers?

I have been in a physical and mental abusive marriage. I have not pressed charges, nor have I filed a police report. I did file an order of protection, but dropped it since my husband did not contact me or anything during that time. I made a bad mistake after dropping the order, of letting him... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 7, 2019

You will have to file for Divorce under grounds of Cruel & Inhumane Treatment, and serve him. You need a competent attorney. Additionally you will need some type of witnesses to his conduct. Either he agrees or you put on proof of grounds, or no divorce.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Should I file for an agreed divorce and get the stay away injunction or just file for an order of protection? He threate

He threatens me and my pets and destroys my property or gives it away he refuses to help me pay bills and e just keeps me in a state of fear

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Oct 3, 2019

divorce has significant emotional and financial consequences. It sounds like you need to file ( forget asking for an "agreed divorce" - if he has treated you so badly, you don't need his agreement, you have grounds to dissolve the marriage even if he disagrees). The order of protection can also be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: can i sue for my fathers estate if my mothers being kept from her family by her poa under undustress

myfather passed away 2 weeks ago, my mothers niece i met maybe 5 times my life assumed poa as witnessed by my son by scare tactics and coaching my mother in a vulnerable state, and recently expressed this to many to verify, and its been signed off and other favors by her cousin on who is a... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 24, 2019

If you believe your mother is being physically or emotionally abused or being taken advantage of financially, contact your local Adult Protective Services office.

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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I get an Agreed Divorce in TN with no lawyer, if I own a home only in my name and my husband does NOT want it?

In Tennessee, you can get a simple agreed divorce, if you meet the requirements. One of the requirements is as follows:

•You don’t own buildings or land or a business together or have retirement benefits;

We meet all of the other requirements, but I'm not sure about this one. I... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 17, 2019

Yes, you can get an agreed divorce without a lawyer, even if you own real property, but this is almost always an area of dispute ( since it is usually the parties biggest investment). Although your husband may not want the house, he may change his mind if he finds out he might be entitled to some... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do I gain guardianship of my mother with Alzheimer's and dementia?

My mother does not have a p.o.a. shes recently been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's. Her bills are not getting paid. She's not eating. She refuses help and meals on wheels. I don't have the income to pay for court costs, how do I take over so she's financially safe and gets the care she... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 13, 2019

You do not have to spend your money- the cost of a "conservatorship" should be paid from her assets. You will need a sworn statement/affidavit from her doctor confirming the diagnosis of dementia but also stating the doctor's opinion as to whether she can manage her own affairs ( do this first... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I turn 18 in october, but i’m still in high school. Can i legally move out in the state of Tennessee when i turn 18?
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 10, 2019

At age 18, any person is considered an adult in Tennessee ( except for the purchase or consumption of alcohol, for which the minimum age is 21).

The real issue, which is not stated in your question, is whether you should move out: do you have the maturity and resources to live...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is a 17 year old in Tennessee allowed to leave home against his parents wishes? Not moving out, just visiting friends.
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 9, 2019

No, until a minor reaches the age of majority ( 18) they are subject to parental authority.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I move my daughter out of state? I am unmarried and recently split with my boyfriend/her father. There was no prenup

I have no support and no family in Tennessee. My nearest family is in Indiana. I want to leave but he threatens to report me for kidnapping. What should I do

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Sep 5, 2019

If there has never been a formal court action to confirm paternity, you, as the mother have sole custody. It is not 'kidnapping" to relocate, but I suggest you check with a lawyer in both Indiana and Tennessee first: you need to collect child support for this child so you need legal advice to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: A friend of mine from Tennessee is getting married by me in the state of missouri. I'm seeking legal information

I am ordained through the ULC and have performed weddings before. Apparently her state does not recognize the ULC. My question is will that be a problem since she is getting married in a state that does recognize the ULC? The lisence is from Tennessee.

Kimberly K. Schreiber
Kimberly K. Schreiber answered on Aug 30, 2019

Where is the marriage license from?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can the stepmom of my children adopt my children without serving me papers. Or can lies being told make it happen???

It is a complex case and I am looking for a lawyer that cares and will fight this case like it is their own children. I need a good lawyer!!!

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 30, 2019

Apparently your parental rights were terminated. You may be able to set aside that and the adoption, but it sounds like it might be too late. Possibly you were denied due process notice. Hire a competent attorney to find out what happened first, then decide what to do.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: Would the courts go back and use texts and pictures 4 years back

4 years ago I got custody of my granddaughter due to my daughter getting in trouble, the other grandmother was on the order to help me while I work on Saturday, it lasted not even 6 weeks. When my daughter got out of jail. The other grandmother stop helping me so with my daughter couldn’t be... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 28, 2019

Depends on if the proffered evidence is admissible. Consult local counsel for advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My daughter had a baby girl out of wedlock in 2012 in TN. The father was affirmed with a paternity test and His name is

On her BC. The parents are no longer together and my daughter got a TN court order of custody. The father has always lived in GA and still does. My daughter has married and now lived in GA. Is her TN custody order legal in GA?

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 28, 2019

The TN order would govern until a GA court took over regarding any disputes assuming the jurisdiction requirements have been met.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: If a man abandons his children and leaves to Norway what can be done to him
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Aug 28, 2019

What are you trying to ask? Do you want a divorce? Child support? A custody order? Depending on what you would like to accomplish, the answer would change. I suggest consulting with a local family law attorney to discuss options.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Ex wife upset with verbal agreement that we made years ago. What are my options?

Live in Tennessee. Had uncontested divorce with verbal arrangements. She filed both kids on taxes and I got them every weekend. Kind of equaled out support payments that were drawn up standard. Recently she has gotten off drugs and on antidepressants and seeing a psychiatrist. Now the agreement is... Read more »

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 27, 2019

You ARE in danger of getting hit with back pay- the Courts, in my experience, do not honor "verbal agreements" which contradict or vary the court orders. The Courts will indeed, go by the Court orders. This situation is far too complex to try to resolve in this question/answer format. Consult an... Read more »

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