Default Judgment Modifying Parenting Schedule and Child Support Reversed In Sparta, TN: Lawson v. Stewart

Facts: When Mother and Father divorced in 2009, Mother was designated the primary residential parent for their child, and Father was awarded 109 days of parenting time. Father’s child-support obligation was determined to be $220 a month. In 2016, Mother petitioned to modify the parenting plan to reduce Father’s parenting time and increase his child-support […]

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Tennessee Supreme Court Ain’t Got Time for All the Dismissed Termination-of-Parental-Rights Appeals: In re Bentley D.

Well, that didn’t take long. A few weeks ago I wrote about the sudden avalanche of appellate decisions dismissing parental-rights-termination cases because the appellant’s lawyer signed the notice of appeal on behalf of the appellant. Recently amended Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-1-124(d) requires that “[a]ny notice of appeal filed in a termination of parental rights […]

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Tennessee Supreme Court Considering Rule regarding Collaborative Family Law

The Tennessee Supreme Court released for review and comment a proposed new rule governing collaborative practice in family-law matters. The new rule is proposed by the Tennessee Bar Association, which studied the growing method of dispute resolution known as collaborative practice or collaborative divorce. The petition describes collaborative practice as one where Collaborative attorneys are […]

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More Termination of Parental Rights Cases Dismissed on New Procedural Quirk, but Now There Are Dissents: In re Jayden R.

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, the legislature enacted a statute last year that requires parents appealing the termination of their parental rights to personally sign the notice of appeal, instead of the customary practice of the attorney signing the notice of appeal. Because of this new procedural requirement, appeals in termination of […]

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New Procedural Requirement Results in Dismissal of Termination of Parental Rights Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee: In re Catherine J.

Facts: Child was removed from the parents’ custody and determined to be dependent and neglected. Five months later, the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) petitioned to terminate Father’s parental rights. After a trial, the trial court entered a judgment terminating Father’s parental rights to Child. Father filed a notice of appeal. Notably, Father did not […]

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Tennessee Family Law Legislative Update 2017

Hello, friends! It’s that time of year again—time to review how our legislators made Tennessee family law worse than it was this time last year. First, let’s all take a minute to chug a jar of East Tennessee moonshine to prepare ourselves for what’s to come. OK, now that we’re sufficiently numb, let’s get started. Hit us with your best shot, […]

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Postjudgment Interest Reversed in Sumner County, TN Divorce: Cardle v. Cardle

Facts: After 15 years of marriage, Husband and Wife divorced. Wife was awarded a mixture of rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and alimony in solido. The alimony in solido award was for Wife’s attorney’s fees and totaled $12,239.29. The trial court granted Husband’s request to pay the alimony in solido in monthly installments of $203.99 over […]

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Civil Contempt Petition Revived Because of Multiple Errors in Memphis, TN: Parsons v. Parsons

Facts: Husband and Wife divorced in 2014. Nearly a year later, Wife petition for civil and criminal contempt. She alleged that Husband failed to pay the full amount of spousal support required by their marital dissolution agreement. After Wife’s counsel completed the direct examination of Wife, Husband’s counsel moved to dismiss on the grounds that […]

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No Relief from Default Judgment in Murfreesboro, TN Custody Dispute: In re I.G.

Facts: Mother and Father are the parents of Child. They entered an agreed parenting plan designating Mother as the primary residential parent and granting Father 74 days of parenting time. A few years later, Mother petitioned for an ex parte restraining order and modification of the parenting plan because Father had incurred criminal charges for […]

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Drinking Beer at a Football Game Leads to Judicial Recusal in Rhea County, TN Divorce: Frazier v. Frazier

Facts: Husband and Wife are residents of Bradley County, Tennessee. In September 2015, Husband and Wife met with Lawyer to discuss the preparation of documents necessary to dissolve their marriage. Shortly thereafter, Husband, acting through Lawyer, filed a complaint for divorce nearby in Rhea County. With Husband’s filing was a sworn Answer executed by Wife […]

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