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Tennessee Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Cannabis & Marijuana Law and Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: If a mom used marijuana and is now going through a custody battle, how likely is she to lose custody? Never married.

I’ve used thc and cps has closed my case after successfully passing random drug screens. I failed the first one but cps still closed the case. How likely is it for I, the mother to lose custody of my 2 year old child? Also, I have proof (pictures and messages of him advertising) of the father... Read more »

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 25, 2020

From your question it seems as if there is no current court case. If that is the case, then you are probably fine. If here is a court action currently lodged with the court, then you need to revise your question and add additional detail to allow attorneys to better respond. Good Luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: My husband’s daughter has lived with him until she was 13. She’s lived with the mom the last 2 yrs. She wants support

The mom never financially supported the cold while she was with the father. Will he have to pay? Can he get back support?

Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 25, 2020

I will assume from your question that mother and father were never married, because your question does not reference any previous divorce. As such, it is unlikely he will be able to get back child support as there is no current order on which to base such an award. This may be a case of no good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: What todo if a father voluntarily terminated his rights for a stepparent adoption the mother asked for never happen?

If a father voluntarily terminated his rights after being asked by the mother claiming her current husband is wanting todo a step parent adoption then she never does the adoption then the father is left to pay child support is there away to Address the child support court with this matter to stop... Read more »

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

I gather from your question that you were asked to sign over your parental rights for a prospective stepparent adoption and termination of parental rights case. It is not the mother who files the petition, but the stepparent. If the petition was never filed and granted, then you are still on the... Read more »

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 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 Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can the state of TN request a DNA test without either potential parent requesting it??

There is no father listed on the birth certificate. It "appears" that the state of TN is requesting a DNA test for a potential father, yet the mother has not requested child support or the test. The potential father is abusive and has been away for at least 2 years. It seems that the state may... Read more »

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

If the state is involved, then yest it has not only the right but is federally mandated to take such actions. I suspect that Mother has received some state services and that brings her and the child before the court. All other issues of abuse and abandonment can be decided by the Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: What type of lawyer do I need to help me obtain legal and financial benefits to help raise my granddaughter?

I have had legal and physical custody of my one year old granddaughter since she was 4 days old! The order of transfer of custody was granted in Knox County TN. But the child and I have always lived in Wilson County TN. My living arrangements will be changing in April; therefore, my financial... Read more »

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

Before you do anything, you need to contact your local Department of Children's Services case worker and explain your situation. You will need permission from the Court that gave you custody to move out of state. The best option is to retain a local experienced family law attorney for assistance.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Do I have to list my minor child in my divorce if his father and I haven’t had any custody of him in 13 years
Johnny Quitman Rasberry
Johnny Quitman Rasberry answered on Feb 20, 2020

Yes. But you need to provide information regarding the disposition of custody of the child. Be careful if you are attempting to file without the assistance of an attorney. If you get it wrong, your suit may be dismissed with the possibility of have to refile. You don't want to buy a divorce... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I had guardianship of husband with mental illness and TBI in Minnesota since 2013. We have moved to Tennessee last July

how do I get guardianship here or maybe I don't need it here. I am his rep Payee and he has signed Power of attorney and last will in front of notary a few months ago. Also health care directive in front of witnesses.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 19, 2020

You should consult with an experienced attorney. Tennessee has a conservatorship (guardianship of an adult), similar to what you described in Minnesota. In a conservatorship court proceeding, the court would determine if a conservator should be appointed. A conservatorship may not be necessary if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: If I had my house before we were married and my husband wants to claim it . Can he do so in a divorce

My husband just up and abandon me on January 1st. of 2020 and has been living with another female and now wants to take control of my house even though he does not stay there. What can I do.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 17, 2020

I recommend you consult with a local Attorney. I am not sure which law applies here as you posted in Tennessee, yet the location is listed as Texas. Assuming Tennessee law applies, the house may be your separate property. If it is deemed your separate property, it would not be awarded to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I reside with my wife in South Korea (she is active duty) last November I flew to TN where I obtained full custody of my

Son and daughter. They reside with us in S. Korea now. My ex wife has supervised visitation two times a year. I have to fly the kids back in April for her visitation and we have the final parenting plan hearing (I currently do not receive child support it was an emergency hearing) is it fair to ask... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 10, 2020

You may certainly ask, that seems reasonable. However, if your ex has no job, no home, and was recently arrested I do not really see how she could pay. I recommend you consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney if you have additional questions. Good luck!

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 Family Law and Juvenile Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I call the police if my 18 yr old ran away in Memphis,tn?
Bob G Huddleston Jr.
Bob G Huddleston Jr. answered on Jan 29, 2020

If your child is 18, then they wouldn't legally be considered a "runaway" as defined by Tennessee law dealing with delinquent or unruly children.

Of course you CAN call the police and file a missing persons report in order to try to find out if they are at least alive and safe.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can a 18 yr old run away in Memphis,tn
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jan 28, 2020

An 18 year old is legally an adult. He/she can pretty much do what they want (legally).

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Tennessee on
Q: Child support unique situation. I intend to avoid knowing reprecussions.

Non-married, child. 12/15 breakup. Verbal agreement 50/50 sharing. I paid for 80%+ of food, toys, clothing, etc. Everything good. They popped another child out 10/16 and another one 10/17 with partner. Bad financial management led to them getting evicted, 03/18. Provided ex and children a roof over... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jan 22, 2020

If you are sued by your ex for child support and are properly served, and then you fail to respond, be it in Tenn. or Fla., you'll likely end up with some kind of default order against you. Which can lead to further issues. Best not to ignore lawsuits if one is filed--things usually just get worse.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Litigation and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: What is the extent of Filial Law in Indiana?

My Wife's mother lives in Indiana, we live in Tennessee. She is stating that she is able to sue us for Filial Law so that we have to support her??

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

You have not been sued nor served yet, so no suit exists at this time. When you get sued, if ever, then you will need an Indiana Attorney. Hopefully whatever is the disposition will not be enforceable here. If a judgment goes down there, then you need a very competent Tennessee attorney to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I wanted to see what my options were for filing abandonment against my husband who has been gone 3 years?

I wanted to see what my options were for filing abandonment against my husband who has been gone and not living with my disabled son, his disabled brother who lives with me and myself. He has been gone for almost 3 years now. It will be 3 years in March. He does not come see them, does not help... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Dec 23, 2019

You will either have to get him to agree to an Irreconcilable Divorce, or establish grounds. Abandonment is not even close here. There may be some leverage you can assert, so talk to a competent attorney.

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 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.

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