Family & Child Welfare Law
Child Welfare Law Specialist
As a Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS), I have focused my practice on the welfare of children. For nearly two decades I have handled an expansive variety of legal issues involving children from establishing or modifying parenting plans or child support to advocating for the protection of dependent/neglected or abused children.
Attorney at Law
In Tennessee when certain circumstances exist, then a legal basis may entitle a grandparent to visitation by court order. Some of these circumstances include when a grandparent has been the caregiver or has a long-term established relationship with a child and visitation is being denied or severely reduced, or a parent of the child is deceased.
Custody cases can exist between parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, and even non-relatives. Any person who has been caring for a minor child, whether or not related, may be involved in a custody case to maintain the safety or stability of a minor child.
Visitation cases can exist between parents, stepparents and grandparents and all revolve around the best interest of the minor child.
When parents are not married, parentage will need to be established by a court in order for the father to be granted specific parenting time.
When parentage is established, the child’s legal name may be changed or remain the same. Also, child support may be established by the court and a parenting plan may be established.
The first parenting plan for a child will determine how much residential parenting time will be spent with each parent, how holidays will be divided, who will make major life decisions for the child, how transportation and exchange of the child will occur, and how much child support will be paid, among other things.
Initial parenting plans can be negotiated or litigated, but it is crucial to resolving the plan in the child’s best interest with a long-term outlook.
The modification of an existing parenting plan has a different burden of proof than the initial parenting plan, but the goal remains the same: to develop a plan in the child’s best interest.