Tennessee's New Permanent Parenting Plan Forms

August 17, 2015 K.O. Herston 5 Comments

Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts has revised the official form for Permanent Parenting Plans.
The new form removes references to “Mother” and “Father” and replaces them with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”
TN Parenting Plan
This update reflects the U.S. Supreme Court’s invalidation of Tennessee’s prohibition on same-sex marriages in Tanco v. Haslam. Now that Tennessee recognizes same-sex marriages and same-sex divorces, the gender references in the old form were not inclusive enough. Tennessee courts now recognize that children may have two fathers or two mothers.
Click here to download the new parenting plan form directly from the Administrative Office of the Courts.
UPDATE (August 19, 2015): Because of complaints from a handful of same-sex marriage opponents (give it up already!) about the new “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” designations, which designations have been used for years in states where same-sex marriages were recognized prior to Tanco v. Haslam, the AOC has temporarily removed the new form and reverted to the old form that contains the “Mother” and “Father” designations.
The AOC issued the following statement to Fox News:

After receiving feedback regarding a recent change made to the permanent parenting plan form, the AOC has reviewed the procedures and determined that, before making any changes to the form, the AOC should consult with the Domestic Relations Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. We have reverted to the previous form and the Committee has been notified.

If you feel like banging your head against the nearest wall, read this article to see extremists complain about how the change in nomenclature “violates the rights of heterosexual parents.”
Even though the AOC took the form off their website for now, I am making the Word file available for download here. Feel free to share this post and spread the word.
UPDATE # 2 (August 19, 2015): Fox News is milking this story for all it’s worth (click for video).
UPDATE # 3 (August 19, 2015): The local Fox TV affiliate in Nashville is now reporting the story (inaccurately, I might add).
UPDATE # 4 (August 21, 2015): This story was covered on the WBIR newscast last night (click for story and video).
Source: Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.
Information provided by K.O. Herston: Knoxville, Tennessee Divorce and Family Law Attorney.

Tennessee's New Permanent Parenting Plan Forms was last modified: August 17th, 2015 by K.O. Herston

5 People reacted on this

  1. I would kind of like to hear Ms. Armstrong’s argument on just how exactly a heterosexual couple’s rights are being violated by not being referred to as “Mother” and “Father” on a PPP. Then again, I feel like it would be so mind-numbingly crazy that it would only end in me hurting myself with a face-palm.

    1. The same way homosexual rights are being violated. Divorce is devastating regardless of gender, sexual preference, faith, or political view. Why is gender being stricken from the document? Gender is an absolute and necessary component, if one is even to be considered homosexual or heterosexual. What is wrong with Mother/Mother or Father/Father? If Parent 1 and Parent 2 is adopted, and my wife (oops I mean partner, sorry for the offensive gender slang there) and I decide to divorce, does that mean that our three (3) year old ‘son,’ and I say ‘son’ based on ‘his’ gender of course, should be referred to as my three (3) year old “human specimen”? And for that matter, should I not refer to his/its age either, because it could offend him/it or someone else? If you are homosexual or heterosexual, then love yourself and OWN it. Will you really continue to stand by and allow the government to use our sexual preference as a guise to push an agenda of a uni-thought society. A society where one is not allowed to be considered different/special, for who they are and what they can accomplish. This is definitely an attempt at equality, but make no mistake, they are using subtraction to reach that goal not addition. They are not adding greatness to our lives, but rather subtracting it in order to lower the bar of the human experience instead of raising us up. The deconstruction of this document is just another obvious attempt at stripping individuality and uniqueness.

      1. Justin, the revision to the parenting plan form is not some attempt at social engineering. Like most things, it is an attempt to solve a problem.
        Divorcing parents are required by Tennessee law to use the permanent parenting plan form created by the AOC. On that form, each parent needs to be identified so parents, lawyers, and judges know which parent has what parenting time, which parent gets the federal income tax exemption, and so forth. When Tennessee only recognized opposite-sex marriages, that identification was easy, i.e., Mother and Father.
        Now that Tennessee recognizes marriages (and, therefore, divorces) where a child has two mothers or two fathers, the form of identification used in the old form no longer works. Let’s say I have a case where the child has two fathers. It would cause an indignity to force one of them to be identified as the child’s “mother.” He isn’t the child’s mother; in fact, he is one of the child’s two fathers.
        Because Tennessee law requires all parents to use the same form, the form must be modified to accommodate all types of parents recognized under Tennessee law, i.e., opposite-sex parents and same-sex parents.
        The proposed change has been used in many states for many years to solve the very problem identified above. It has not caused any confusion. Children in those states are not referred to as “human specimens.” The sky has not fallen. When that change comes to Tennessee, the sun will still rise and life will go on just as it always has.

  2. K.O., there isn’t a problem to begin with that needs to be addressed regarding the current form, and correct me if I am wrong but the current form does not force one to be considered Father and the other then must select Mother. Isn’t there a check-box to signify Mother or Father? http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/docs/parenting_plan_2014.07.01_1.pdf
    Why couldn’t both individual’s be considered Father and Father or Mother and Mother? Both individuals could select Father in the case you described above. Also, why use a number? Why will names not be sufficient?
    I agree the sky is not falling. It is just seems to be getting closer and closer as political correctness is making another mountain out of a molehill.

    1. They can definitely check mother and father but the problem is not just right there. Mother and father is used throughout the form and is used to delineate between the parties. If they areally both father then this wouldn’t work. You could use names but this is a form that everyone in the state must use and it’s designed to be easy to use and understand. Putting in places for names makes the form harder to use and harder to fill out. Parent 1 and parent 2 may not be ideal but it’s an effective and easy way to change the form to accommodate all types of parents.
      Also, this has nothing to do with political correctness and has everything to do with efficiency of a statewide form.

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