DIVORCE, CHILD CUSTODY, CHILD SUPPORT, ADOPTION
Facing a family crisis can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Divorce is often accompanied by the pain of betrayal, feelings of failure or guilt, emotional abuse, and fears that your time will be limited with young children. In addition, there are often the financial pressures of moving from one household to two, along with concerns about reentering the workplace, or child care. Good counsel and strong advocacy is often needed in order to resolve these issues either through mediation or at the courthouse.
Over the years, I’ve represented many families, both men and women, during the divorce, and post-divorce process in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton county circuit, chancery and juvenile courts. I also have assisted families with the joyful adoption process, and was previously trained in mediation as well.
They say that love and hate are opposites of the same coin. While every family crisis can not be solved quickly, I do encourage my clients to work towards solutions that will enable them to move forward as a single person, parent, and/or provider, with positive relationships in tact if possible. Some of my clients have even reconciled during the divorce process. Of course, this is not always possible.
As a former state legislator and Chair of the Tennessee House Children & Family Affairs Committee, I was there when the state law passed that requires divorcing parents to enter into a Permanent Parenting Plan Order. Since then, I have helped my clients work through the issues of a residential parenting schedule, child support, and health, dental and life insurance for the children as required by the Permanent Parenting Plan. If you have minor children, you may want to begin thinking about a day to day and a holiday schedule for parenting time. Download the Parenting Plan form at http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/geninfo/programs/Parenting/PPPOrder.htm
And, rest assured, that whatever schedule is established between the parents or by the court for parenting time, both parents are still entitled under the law to talk with their child at least twice a week by telephone, to send mail to the child that will not be censored, and to receive notice within twenty-four (24) hours of any hospitalization or major illness of the child. Neither parent is allowed to make “unwarranted derogatory remarks” about the other parent to or in front of the child. If a parent takes a child on vacation outside of Tennessee for more than two days, then the other parent is entitled to an itinerary including telephone numbers for use in the event of an emergency.
I look forward to talking with you, and working with you and your family for positive and practical solutions which keep you and your children’s best interest at heart.
Client’s ex-wife relocated to another state, and sought to take their minor daughter with her which would mean that Client would spend much less time with his daughter. We filed a Petition to Change Custody, and after a hearing, Client was awarded primary custody with visitation rights to the relocating spouse.