Photo of the Week: Barkley Marathons

Did you know that East Tennessee is home to the most difficult footrace ever created? It’s called the Barkley Marathons, and since it began in 1986 there have only been 15 finishers. There’s a wonderful documentary called The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young available right now on Netflix. Here’s the trailer to […]

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Facebook Posts Lead to Order of Protection in Memphis, Tennessee: Purifoy v. Mafa

Facts: Woman works as a Legal Aid staff attorney representing domestic-violence victims. Man is an occupational therapist with PhD’s from both Oxford and Cambridge in England. In 2013, Man’s ex-girlfriend sought an order of protection against him. Woman was a fact witness who briefly testified in the hearing. The order of protection was denied. Eight […]

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Podcast #1: Terri’s Story, Part One

Today I’m trying something new on the ol’ blog — a podcast! In this first episode, I speak with a former client, Terri, about her divorce after 31 years of marriage. She talks about her decision to divorce, how she prepared for it, and how her husband and children reacted to the news. Give it a […]

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Why a Baby’s Connection With a Parent Matters

This article by Dr. Perri Klass in The New York Times is interesting. Why a Baby’s Connection With a Parent Matters In pediatrics, attachment is the emotional connection that develops between a young child and a parent or other caregiver. Attachment theory was developed in the mid-20th century by a British psychiatrist, John Bowlby, whose […]

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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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Denial of Transgender Child’s Name Change Reversed in Williamson County, Tennessee: In re Leyna A.

Facts: Sixteen-year-old Child was born female but identifies as male. Child is transgender and undergoing a medical transition via hormone therapy from the female gender to the male gender. Child was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, a medical diagnosis that refers to the emotional distress of having a gender identity that is different than the gender […]

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Anti-Gay “Lifestyle” Provisions Reversed in Sumner County, Tennessee Divorce: Brantley v. Brantley

Facts: Father and Mother, the parents of two children, presented with an uncontested divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences. Their agreement was contained within the proposed final decree of divorce that incorporated a marital dissolution agreement and permanent parenting plan that had been signed by both parties. At the hearing for the trial court to […]

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Ambiguous Marital Dissolution Agreement Won’t Support Civil Contempt in Williamson County, Tennessee: Scobey v. Scobey

Facts: Husband and Wife settled their divorce after 20 years of marriage. Their marital dissolution agreement contained this paragraph 13: 13. Retirement/pension plans: Upon entry of Final Decree of Divorce, one half of the funds and assets in the T. Rowe Price Roth IRA account ending in #5830, styled in the name of Husband, shall be, […]

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Same-Sex Parents Still Face Legal Complications

This article by Elizabeth Harris in The New York Times will be of interest. Same-sex parents in Tennessee can relate. Same-Sex Parents Still Face Legal Complications At gay pride marches around the country this month, there will be celebrations of marriage, a national right that, at just two years old, feels freshly exuberant to many […]

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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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