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.
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.
In and around Clarksville, Tennessee, there are many fathers who are either divorced or separated. A number of those fathers do not have child custody and, therefore, the amount of time that they get to spend with their children is often very limited. However, it is a father's right, as well as his responsibility, to be a great parent to his child. However, being a good father is difficult at best but when the "lack of proximity" factor is added to the equation, the situation can become much more complicated.
In modern times, many men in Tennessee and the rest of the country are asserting their fathers' rights in an effort to preserve their relationship with children. Fathers are not only trying to spend as much time as possible with their children through court-approved visitation plans but are also taking efforts toward obtaining permanent custody of their children.
With fathers' rights evolving over time, many unmarried fathers in Tennessee as well as in the rest of the United States, are voluntarily stepping forward to acknowledge their paternity. However, establishing paternity requires that a father follows certain rules to gain parental rights over a child. In fact, establishing paternity is one of the primary requirements of a child support arrangement, which goes a long way to protect the best interests of a child.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services runs the Responsible Fatherhood Grants Program through the Administration for Children & Families Office of Family Assistance. This program is part of a $150 million annual effort to promote healthy marriages and responsible fatherhood for Tennessee fathers and those across the United States.
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.
There used to be a time when courts considered that the best interests of the child could only be preserved when the child stayed with the mother. The tenders' doctrine, as this practice was known, led to many child custody and visitation cases being settled in favor of the mother, without paying adequate attention to a father's pleas for child custody, even when that father was mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially capable of caring for his child.
Many Tennessee residents may understand that according to the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, the federal government provides $150 million every year to various agencies to promote healthy marriages and fatherhood. Of the total amount, $75 million is dedicated to activities that promote fatherhood. The Responsible Fatherhood Programs are monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families' Office of Family Assistance.
Every year, the third Sunday of June, is celebrated as Father's Day through much of the world. Surely, many fathers in Tennessee spent a wonderful Sunday with their children enjoying that special feeling associated with parenthood. Sadly, however, a number of fathers in Clarksville, Tennessee and throughout the country were unable to spend the special day with their children because of a number of reasons, the most prominent among them divorce or separation from their child's mother.