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.”
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).
Information provided by K.O. Herston: Knoxville, Tennessee Divorce and Family Law Attorney.