What Rights Do Grandparents Have Under Tennessee Law As It Relates To Child Visitation?

Under Tennessee law, grandparents do have rights as it relates to getting visitation time with their grandchildren. Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-6-306, known as the “Grandparents Visitation Statute,”provides a number of circumstances that permit courts to mandate grandparent visitation and, sometimes, confer custodial rights including the following:  The father or mother of an unmarried minor child is deceased; The child’s father or mother are divorced, legally separated, or were never … [Read more...]

Tennessee Appellate Court Reverses Lower Court’s Ruling With Regards To Alimony Payments

As I've written about in prior blogs, alimony in Tennessee is a legal obligation ruled upon by a court that mandates monthly monetary payment from one former spouse to the other. There four  types of alimony: alimony in futuro (also called periodic alimony), transitional alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and alimony in solido (also called lump-sum alimony). The type of alimony dictates whether the award may be modified after the divorce and under what circumstances the alimony obligation … [Read more...]

With So Many Talking About The Steve Avery Case Few Are Discussing His Nephew Brendan Dassey

By now you've either watched or heard friends, family or coworkers discuss the gripping ten-part true-crime Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. It tells the story of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was convicted of a rape he didn’t commit in 1985 on astoundingly flimsy evidence. After serving 18 years in prison, Avery was freed due to DNA evidence exonerating him of the rape conviction. However, in a bizarre twist he was accused in 2005 of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a young … [Read more...]

Tennessee Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court’s Allowing Divorce Referee Order Of Reference

In some counties in Tennessee, a Divorce Referee's Office has been established to review and monitor all divorce complaints filed to assure compliance with local and state laws. The duties of  the divorce referee include the following: Attend divorce trials Conduct hearings to set temporary (pendente lite) child support, alimony, and attorney fees Enter an appearance in every divorce case Divorce referees are prohibited, however, from representing and/or giving legal advice to either … [Read more...]

Tennessee Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court’s Decision For Procedural Reasons

The Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 8 provides that a pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall contain  the following: (1) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (2) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded. In effect, this rule recognizes that the primary purpose … [Read more...]

Tips On Enjoying Your Holiday Season While Avoiding Being Arrested For DUI

With Thanksgiving behind us and the Christmas season now in full swing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is kicking off its pre-holiday season drunk driving prevention campaign in an effort to remind all motorists that it’s extremely hazardous to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol. The best way to prevent drunk driving is to choose your role before the alcohol consumption begins. By planning ahead, you could prevent not only the headache and expense associated … [Read more...]

It’s Not Advisable To Represent Yourself Without Counsel In A Tennessee Divorce

Representing yourself without counsel in any court proceeding is not advisable and can turnout to be disastrous. And, as the following divorce case reveals, alleging ambiguous language in a contract like a marital dissolution agreement as a defense for not following the court's ruling is not something Tennessee courts look upon with favor. The facts of Paulette E. Dukes v. James F. Dukes are as follows: Paulette (Wife) and James (Husband) were married for 25 years and divorced on October 6, … [Read more...]

Tennessee Appellate Court Affirms Lower Court’s Decision In Awarding Mother Retroactive Child Support

In Tennessee, biological parents must support their children until they reach the age of majority per the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines and Tennessee Code  Annotated 36-2-311(a)(11)(a). A parent’s obligation to support exists regardless of whether there is a court order and regardless of whether the parents were ever married. When paternity of a child born out of wedlock is established, the trial court is required to address not only the child’s need for future support, but also the … [Read more...]

Understanding Tennessee Drug Laws As They Relate To Cocaine Possession

Tennessee laws classify cocaine as a schedule II drug because it has a high potential for abuse and could lead to physical dependence.  This means if convicted a person will face serious penalties, heavy fines, and a mandatory prison term. Tennessee Cocaine Simple Possession Laws require a mandatory fine of $750.00 to $2,500.00.  The maximum jail term is 11 months and 29 days.  As a condition of probation the Court could order mandatory random drug screens and a drug treatment if … [Read more...]

Tennessee Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court’s Paternity Name Change Ruling

Paternity suits are filed for a variety of reasons. It may be brought by an alleged father seeking custody or visitation, a mother seeking child support, or a child seeking to establish a parental relationship. In In Re Mattie H the State of Tennessee filed a petition with the Juvenile Court of Coffee County on April 28, 2014 on behalf of Mattie H's (Child) Mother to establish paternity of Child. In her petition, Mother asked the juvenile court not just to establish paternity but also for an … [Read more...]

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