Tennessee Court’s Failure to Consider Preference of Child Caused Reversal of the Trial Court’s Decision: Roberts v. Roberts

The parties, who have two children together, divorced in August 2007. The current case involves a post-divorce modification of the parties’ Tennessee Permanent Parenting Plan Order. By the time of the modification case, only one child was a minor. Both parents sought to be designated the child’s primary residential parent, and the trial court was tasked with determining what parenting arrangement was in the minor child’s best interest. At trial, Mother claimed that Father had a tendency to … [Read more...]

Tennessee Grandparent Rights: The Basics

I often get phone calls from concerned grandparents questioning whether they have any "rights" in Tennessee. Many are surprised to find that the answer is yes! There are two main paths I take when working with Grandparents to secure rights to children, and it depends on what the grandparent's objective is: 1) grandparent visitation or 2) obtaining custody of grandchildren. Tennessee Grandparent Visitation Tennessee allows grandparents to file a petition seeking visitation with … [Read more...]

New Year. New Will? – Updating Your Tennessee Estate Plan

You've drafted and signed a Tennessee Last Will and Testament! Congratulations! You're ahead of the game. You're a planner, and you probably feel a sense of accomplishment having that task behind you. But estate plans are ever-evolving creatures, so don't just file those documents away and forget about them. Make sure you're keeping your Tennessee estate documents up to date and accurate! When is it a good time to update your Tennessee Last Will and Testament? New Family! Birth, … [Read more...]

Mother’s Superior Parental Rights Remain After Voluntary Transfer of Custody to Non-Parent

Facts: The parents of a minor child separated shortly after the child's first birthday, and they were divorced in May 2007. Mother was designated the child's primary residential parent in the Tennessee Final Decree of Divorce. Three years later, Father and the child's maternal grandmother filed for emergency custody of the minor child, alleging that the Mother was homeless and suffering from mental health issues. The court granted Father temporary emergency custody of the minor child. The … [Read more...]

Wife Granted Attorney Fees for Husband’s Failure to Follow Court Order

History: Husband and Wife were married for 26 years before divorcing. The parties ultimately reached an agreement as to how they would divide the marital property and debts, known as a Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA). The parties signed this contract, and it was submitted to the court for approval. In the MDA, the parties agreed to sell their marital residence and divide any proceeds from the sale equally. The MDA stated: "The Parties shall each pay one-half of the mortgage payments, … [Read more...]

Advice Regarding Internet Usage During Litigation

Anyone dealing with a court case needs to take some basic precautions when using the internet. Litigants should understand that anything you post online can be used against you at a trial. Use care in checking whom all electronic communications are being sent to (e-mail, text messages, Facebook messages, web chats). For example, be sure that you do not hit “reply all” on an e-mail or group text message. Know that the other party could potentially use your Google/Bing search and browsing … [Read more...]

Alimony Award Upheld by Tennessee Court of Appeals

This appeal began with a divorce case in Tennessee. Ultimately, the parties were able to resolve all issues in the divorce except for alimony, which was left for trial before the judge. Only the spouses testified. The Husband argued that Wife should receive less alimony because he believed her to be voluntarily underemployed. Wife, however, stated that she was working as much as possible given her poor health and other conditions. At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court granted Wife … [Read more...]

Judge Requires Trial Court to Grant Father More Parenting Time on Appeal

This custody and visitation case was heard in Nashville, Tennessee in the Davidson County Juvenile Court. The parents were never married, but they had one child together. The child was born one month premature, and Mother initially breast fed the baby. Therefore, Father started out with limited visits in the Mother's home. Eventually he was allowed extended parenting time outside of the Mother's home, eventually working up to visitation every other weekend from Saturday at 10am until Sunday … [Read more...]

What do I need to know about Facebook and my divorce?

Facebook has opened lines of communication, allows people to stay in touch and even allows people to reconnect with friends and family (and sometimes old love interests) from long ago. That also allows many to get themselves in trouble when it comes to their marriage. Research in the UK suggests that Facebook is cited in nearly 1/3 of all divorce cases filed, and Facebook can be a very good source of evidence for divorce attorneys - as can other forms of social media. It is important for … [Read more...]

What is work-related childcare?

Work-related childcare is a term used in relation to a credit included when child support is set. The Child Support Guidelines define "work-related childcare" in Tennessee as: "Expenses for the care of the child for whom support is being determined which are due to employment of either parent or non-parent caretaker." Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1240-02-04-.02(29)(a). The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines further state that the childcare expenses "must be necessary for either parent's … [Read more...]

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