A divorce or separation doesn’t mean you are no longer in the picture. Non-custodial parents have rights to their children, and as your Nashville family law attorney, I help you reach a fair custody arrangement. Whether you are newly divorced or have battled over custody issues for years, I advocate for my clients until all rights are finalized to your complete satisfaction. Sometimes it is necessary to appeal a judge’s decision in order to reach the desired outcome. In some cases, you are entitled to a de novo appeal, which means you get a new trial in front of a different judicial officer. Other cases are appealed directly to an appellate court, which reviews the case “on the record” without hearing additional testimony. I have advocated for clients before the Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court, and I will prepare your case properly at the trial level in case an appeal is necessary
Child custody and visitation rights can be emotionally charged issues. The “every other weekend” formula is not sufficient for many parents who want to be more involved in their children’s lives. In addition to a visitation schedule, custody rights include having a voice with regard to the child’s health care, education and religious upbringing.
In Tennessee, a child support payment schedule may be established by both parents at the time of divorce by an agreement approved by the court, or it can be imposed by the court where a mutual agreement is not reached. A mother may file a paternity action against an alleged father to force him to pay child support and a father may assert a paternity action against a mother for custodial rights, or to obtain the status of a legal parent, and a father may assert a paternity action against a mother to obtain the status of a legal parent and/or to obtain custody or visitation.
Child custody situations get complicated when the original agreements need to be modified to meet the changing circumstances of the parents or the best interest of the child. Modification is a change in the custody or visitation schedule. One parent may obtain a court order holding the other parent in contempt if he or she fails to abide by the visitation schedule or child support order. When one parent wants to relocate with the child or children, it further complicates matters and frustrates the relationship with the remaining spouse, usually the father. In matters of custody and visitation, the best interest of the child is always paramount.
If you are not allowed to have a relationship with your grandchildren, there are certain circumstances in which you can get relief from the court. This is an evolving and complex area of the law in Tennessee and requires the assistance of an attorney experienced in grandparent visitation issues.
If you have a child custody question, call today for your free initial consultation at 615-208-9851 or contact me online. I offer flexible office hours and I am pleased to return calls after hours for your convenience. I serve clients throughout Nashville and in the surrounding counties of Rutherford, Wilson, Montgomery, Maury, Hickman, Sumner, Dickson, Cheatham, Robertson and Williamson.