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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$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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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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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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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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Damages for Child Support After a False Claim of Paternity: Hodge v. Craig

Facts: While Mother and Husband were dating, Mother became pregnant and told Husband the soon-to-be Son was his. The parties married and Son was born. Husband was listed on Son’s birth certificate. Husband also adopted Daughter, Mother’s child from a prior relationship. Father then decided he did not want to have any more children and had […]

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