Extraordinary Appeal Results in Reversal of Emergency Change in Custody in Roane County, TN Parenting Dispute: Milton v. Harness

Facts: Mother and Father never married. Child was born in 2010 in Arizona. Mother listed Father on Child’s birth certificate. Initially, Father lived in California while Mother and Child lived in Arizona. Mother granted Father informal visitation with Child on a regular basis. Father would travel to Arizona for this visitation. Later, Father moved to […]

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K.O. Herston a “Top Attorney” for Divorce, Family Law, Child Support, and Adoption in Knoxville, TN

Once again, I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues in the Knoxville Bar as being among the best divorce, family law, child support, and adoption lawyers in Knoxville. CityView magazine explains: Each year, Cityview calls upon the members of the Knoxville Bar Association to determine which attorneys in East Tennessee are the best in […]

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TN Supreme Court Addresses Surrogacy Agreement: In re Baby

Facts: A man and woman who were unable to have children together (“Intended Parents”) entered into a contract with a woman who consented to act as a surrogate (“Surrogate”). Surrogate’s husband was also a party to the contract. The parties contracted for a “traditional surrogacy,” which involves the artificial insemination of the surrogate, who, after giving […]

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$23,000 Child Support Arrearage Unaffected by DNA Test Disestablishing Paternity: Purdy v. Smith

Facts: Mother gave birth to Child in 2009. The following year, the State of Tennessee, acting on Mother’s behalf, filed a petition against Alleged Father to establish paternity. After finding that Alleged Father failed to appear at the hearing despite being served with process, the trial court entered a default judgment establishing paternity and setting Alleged Father’s […]

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Parental Relocation at Issue in Hartsville Child Custody Dispute: Graham v. Vaughn

Facts: Mother and Father are the parents of a child born out of wedlock. Following the birth of the child, the parties lived together for about six months and then separated. Eight years later, when Mother and her boyfriend moved the child to Florida, Father petitioned to establish paternity. He also requested that he be […]

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Unmarried Parents Are Increasingly Cohabitating

This recent article by Hope Yen in the Washington Post may be of interest to readers of this blog. More couples who become parents are living together but not marrying, data show No longer taboo, living together has become a more common arrangement for U.S. couples who become pregnant while dating. Soon-to-be-released government figures show […]

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What You Can and Cannot Name Your Child

After an East Tennessee case drew a lot of media attention earlier this year on the issue of children’s names, I thought this article by Katy Steinmetz in Time Magazine might be of interest to readers of this blog. From Messiah to Hitler, What You Can and Cannot Name Your Child A judge’s order calls […]

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Denial of Child’s Surname Change Affirmed in Franklin: In re Jacob H.C.

Facts: Months after Child was born out of wedlock, Mother filed a petition to establish paternity and set child support. Father counter-petitioned for certain relief, including his request that Child’s last name be changed. The juvenile court judge denied Father’s request that Child’s surname be changed. Specifically, the trial court held there was “a degree of […]

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Gallatin Court Refuses to Change Child’s Last Name: Carroll v. Corcoran

Facts: Mother and Father, who were never married, each filed petitions to establish paternity of Child, establish a parenting plan, and set child support. Father also requested that Child’s last name be changed to his surname or hyphenated. At trial, Father testified that Child having his surname is “one of the most important things to [him].” […]

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Adult Child Can Recover Retroactive Child Support in Tennessee Paternity Lawsuit: Danelz v. Gayden

Facts: During 1983, Mother was married to Husband, and at the same time had an intimate relationship with Father. In 1984, Mother gave birth to Child. Apparently, Husband was unaware of Mother’s relationship with Father. Husband signed Child’s birth certificate and raised Child as his son. Later, Mother and Husband eventually divorced and entered into a […]

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“Paternity Fraud” in Tennessee Divorce: Hodge v. Craig

Facts:  While the parties were dating, Mother became pregnant and told Mr. Craig he was the father. The parties married, and Child was born. Mr. Craig was listed as the father on Child’s birth certificate. He then decided he did not want to have any more children and had a vasectomy. After the parties divorced, Mr. Craig eventually […]

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Tennessee Paternity Finding Reversed Eighteen Years Later: Kimbrough v. Hales

Facts: In the parties’ divorce in 1991, both parties testified under oath that Mother was currently pregnant but Father was not the biological father. Mother later gave birth, and Father had no relationship with the child. Fast forward 18 years when the State filed a petition to establish Father’s paternity of child. Father argued that […]

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