Tuetken v. Tuetken and State ex rel. Kentucky v. Farmer

A few recent decisions with very narrow holdings on procedural questions are worth noting.

1.  Tuetken v. Tuetken: The Tennessee Supreme Court held that parents are not permitted to voluntarily submit parenting, custody, or visitation issues to binding arbitration.

[T]here is nothing in Tennessee’s statutes or the law of this Court to support the conclusion that by agreeing to arbitrate, parties may relieve the trial court of its duty to ensure that disputes between parents are resolved in the best interests of the children. Rather, it is well established that parents cannot bind the court with an agreement affecting the best interest of their children.

2.  State ex rel. Kentucky v. Farmer: The Tennessee Court of Appeals held that Uniform Interstate Family Support Act does not prohibit a child support order issued by one state from being registered (and enforced) in several other states at the same time.

Thus, if an obligor parent, such as Father in the instant case, moves frequently from state to state, Kentucky may seek to register the valid Texas order in any and all of the states in which Father resides and whose courts may exercise personal jurisdiction over him. This does not mean that Father is subject to several different orders; rather, he is subject to the single Texas order, enforced by any sister state to which he moves. Thus, the foreign support order remains valid in the issuing state and also in “those States in which the order has been registered.”

Tuetken v. Tuetken (Tenn. Sept. 22, 2010).

State ex rel. Kentucky v. Farmer (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 8, 2010).

Information provided by K.O. Herston, Tennessee Divorce Lawyer.

Posted by

K.O. Herston is a family-law attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee whose practice is devoted exclusively to family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and other aspects of family law.

Leave a Comment