Many single fathers may feel that although Tennessee family laws recognize fathers' rights and the laws have evolved beyond the Tender Years Doctrine of the past -- which presumed that the best interest of the child is only served by placing the child with the mother -- it is still very difficult for many fathers to obtain equal child custody after a divorce. Fathers across the country have the same opinion and have taken their custody disputes beyond the courtroom and into their state's legislative houses.
Many Tennessee parents are divorced or may be contemplating a divorce. A serious concern for people in this situation can be child custody arrangements after legal separation is completed. If a child custody battle ends up in Tennessee family court, the judge, not the parents, will decide this issue, always keeping the best interests of the child ahead of all other issues.
If you are a father who lives in Tennessee, you should know that courts in this state no longer believe in the tender years' doctrine so often used to provide mothers with custody. Instead, the courts now consider the best interests of the child when making various family law decisions related to children. All parenting plans or visitation arrangements are prepared according to the child's best interests, which is supposed to give equal weight to the parental rights of both parents.
A parent's love and affection for their children is probably the strongest bond of the parent-child relationship. The unconditional love that parents provide is irreplaceable. However, there may be situations in which parents are unable to provide a child with that love and affection. The reasons for this could be many, but the end result can be a neglected child who may have to live though serious consequences .
In recent months, many people have raised concerns about Tennessee's efforts toward the enforcement of child support orders. In fact, a recent incident about a delinquent father prompted many Tennessee residents to speak up regarding the state's efforts. That incident was discussed in a blog post last month. However, the situation may not be as bad as it seems because the state has a fully functional child support department that enforces child support orders through various means and methods.
Whenever minor children are involved, divorce can be difficult on parents and children. Not seeing or dealing with the other spouse on a daily basis may be something both parents look forward to, but the children may feel anxious and depressed by this prospect. Courts throughout Tennessee try keep the best interests of children in mind whenever they make child-custody decisions and thus generally grant joint custody so that children will have both parents in their lives. Any history of violence, however, can mean sole custody for the parent who can provide the safer environment.
The Tennessee Child Support Services Department assists applicant parents with various issues while keeping in mind the best interests of the child and the child's parents. First and foremost, the department requires parents to abide by certain rules formulated for their own interests. For example, parents need to notify the department when their phone numbers or addresses change and the department also requires parents to cooperate and return any money sent in error.
Tennessee child support tussles are almost as common as divorces in the United States, including the state of Tennessee. In a recent high profile child support case, actress Halle Berry is seeking a reduction in the payments she makes towards child support to her ex-boyfriend. The Oscar-winning actress pays child support for her six year old daughter to her ex Gabriel Aubry, who is a French-Canadian model. Berry and Aubry share the custody of their child.
Some Tennessee residents with former spouses now living in other states may be parents sharing the custody of their child across state borders. These parents would agree that when parents of a child live in different states, child custody and visitation can pose some serious challenges.
Unmarried fathers' rights to child custody and visitation are often a point of discussion and debate on various forums. Every state has its own set of definitions for terms such as "father" or "parent," and those definitions can have a significant impact on how courts consider child custody or visitation cases involving an unmarried father. Recently, a post on this blog discussed those definitions and provided an overview of the rights of unmarried fathers in Tennessee.