Legal Maternity at Issue in Jackson, TN Surrogacy Case: In re Amadi A.

Facts: Mr. and Mrs. A. entered into a surrogacy contract with Surrogate and her husband, whereby Surrogate would serve as the gestational carrier of a child for Mr. and Mrs. A. donated eggs were fertilized with Mr. A’s sperm, and the resulting embryos were implanted into Surrogate’s womb. The procedure was successful, and Surrogate gave […]

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Clarksville, TN Child Custody Dispute Between Parent and Non-Parent: In re Caleb B.

Facts: Mother and Father are the parents of Child. Prior to Child’s birth, Father was arrested and pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for resale. Following Child’s birth, Father was arrested again and convicted of selling ecstasy. Father went to prison. Over the years, Father had little or no contact with Child. Child spent most […]

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Guardianship Reversed in Memphis: In re Guardianship of Taylour L.

Facts: Mother and Father married and had three children. After nine years of marriage, they separated and never lived together as husband and wife following their separation. Four years after their separation, Mother filed for divorce. Almost two years after filing for divorce, Mother was tragically shot and killed in the line of duty as […]

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Tennessee Supreme Court Says DCS Has No Duty to Make “Reasonable Efforts” at Reunification in Termination of Parental Rights Cases: In re Kaliyah S.

Facts: While Father was incarcerated, the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) petitioned to terminate his parental rights on the statutory ground of abandonment by wanton disregard for the child’s welfare. The trial court concluded DCS was not required to make reasonable efforts to assist Father regarding reunification with Child because the statutory ground of abandonment […]

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Superior Parental Rights Leads to Reversal in Dandridge, TN Custody Dispute: Clark v. Cooper

Facts: Child was born to the never-married Mother and Father. Well after paternity and visitation were established, Mother and Father agreed to give “temporary legal and physical custody” of Child to the paternal grandparents. Although this was never a case of dependency and neglect, the trial court found neither parent was a proper custodian for Child […]

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Tennessee Supreme Court Clarifies Criteria for Modification of Grandparent Visitation: Lovlace v. Copley

Facts: In their divorce, Mother was designated the primary residential parent of Child and Father was awarded supervised visitation. Eventually, Mother married Stepfather. Paternal Grandparents petitioned for grandparent visitation, which ultimately led to an agreed order providing for grandparent visitation. Several years later, Father consented to Stepfather’s adoption of Child. The order of adoption specifically stated […]

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In 2-1 Decision, Grandparent Visitation Reversed in Dickson: Uselton v. Walton

Facts: Mother and Father were never married. When Child was born, Father was in the military and stationed elsewhere. Mother allowed the paternal grandparents (“Grandparents”) to have liberal visitation with Child. Years later, Mother married and had children with her husband. When Child was five years old, Mother reduced Grandparents’ visitation with Child but did […]

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Parents With Disabilities Have Greater Risk of Losing Custody of Their Children

A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents. National Public Radio recently discussed the study in detail. Click here to listen […]

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