The truth is, for the purposes of everyday life, many stepchildren already live as though they were adopted by their stepparent. Formalizing this arrangement legally can make a lot of sense, enabling the stepparent to participate fully in decisions about healthcare or education. While this type of adoption often has a more streamlined process than other kinds, there are still several basic steps you will need to navigate.
There are several ways to establish paternity. If you are not married to the other parent of your child, you may consider exploring your options in this regard. Establishing paternity can have advantages for both parents, but the most important b enefits are for the child.
When a married couple in Tennessee decides to file for divorce, there are a number of issues that must be considered, addressed and decided upon. For example, how should a couple's assets and debts be divided? What about child custody and support decisions? Is one spouse planning to file for alimony? By the time a divorce is finalized, a divorcing couple has either come to an agreement about these issues one their own outside of court or has turned to the courts to consider and make decisions related to these issues.
While increasingly parents who separate or divorce are opting for shared or joint custody arrangements, today in Tennessee it is still more likely that a child will live primarily with one parent, who is referred to as the custodial parent. Both custodial and non-custodial parents in Tennessee have rights and responsibilities and, to avoid conflict and foster a positive co-parenting relationship, it's important that divorced or separated parents understand these rights and responsibilities as well as the laws surrounding child custody.
For recently divorced parents and their children, the start of a new school year may be especially difficult and stressful. As parents establish and attempt to navigate their new roles as co-parents, there are likely to be some bumps along the way. It's important, however, that parents do their best to set aside personal differences and come together for a child's sake.
If you are a parent who is facing divorce, you are likely to have many questions and concerns about issues related to child custody. In Tennessee, family law judges aim to make custody decisions based upon what they believe to be in a child's best interests. Increasingly, judges recognize the important role that both mothers and fathers play in providing for a child's emotional and financial needs and many, therefore, favor some form of joint or shared custody.
Active military deployments are incredibly stressful on service members serving in combat zones and in combat missions. The last thing any of them need is to battle with spouses over divorce issues such as child custody, spousal or child support and property division. Fortunately, the military and Congress understand the problem and are doing what they can to ease the burden.
The previous post on our blog discussed some of the basics regarding court-ordered child custody and visitation rights dispute mediation in Tennessee. Generally, the court orders such mediation to ensure that a family law dispute is resolved peacefully and privately. However, certain situations may lead a parent to become apprehensive about the session. For example, a domestic violence victim may feel insecure; however, in such cases, the courts have provisions that are meant to protect those people who feel threatened.
Disagreements over child custody and visitation rights are common in divorces. In fact, those disputes can sometimes escalate to such an extent that the bitterness between separating spouses affects the best interest of the child, especially if the child custody and visitation disputes are fought in court. This is one reason why courts in Tennessee and in the rest of the U.S. often recommend that separating parents attend mediation sessions before entering into litigation over a child custody or visitation rights dispute.
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.