IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, PLEASE CONTACT WILTON MARBLE AT (423) 303-8469 OR [email protected].
Child custody cases usually come in two forms in Tennessee. Often they occur as a result of a divorce (see Divorce practice area) or a modification. And sometimes they occur because the State or an individual have filed for custody alleging in one form or another that the child’s parent(s) are unfit. (If the State is involved see the practice area Department of Children’s Services“DCS”).
If you, or your ex-spouse, is seeking to modify a previous custody order you need to consult with an attorney. The general rule is that to modify a prior custody order the petitioner (person seeking modification) must prove a material change in circumstances and that the modification sought is in the best interests of the child. There are several exceptions to this rule and a lot that goes into this determination so a lawyer is a must if you are serious.
If someone other than the child’s parent is seeking custody of your children you need to consult with an attorney a.s.a.p. Generally speaking that person is going to have to allege and prove that the child is “dependent and neglect” (i.e. you are somehow an unfit parent). However, most of these cases are filed in Juvenile Court which can be somewhat more lax about the rules of procedure and evidence and if you really want to keep you child the best course of action is to retain an attorney who can guide you through the process.
You should not be talking to anyone other than your attorney about the case as what you say can be used against you. You should be very extremely careful about what you say on Facebook and other social media. Lawyers love Facebook because of some of the incredibly stupid things people will say on Facebook. And even if you do not say something stupid someone else can say it on your page and you can be harmed by it. For example, if one of your Facebook “friends” posts a picture of you drinking a beer when you’ve told the court you do not drink, that could come back to haunt you. You should not be talking about the case at all on Facebook.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THE ABOVE PLEASE CONTACT WILTON MARBLE AT (423) 303-8469 OR [email protected].
DISCLAIMER: The above is generalized advice and given for informational purposes only. The above is no substitute for the services of a qualified attorney. Every case is fact dependent and there are exceptions to every statement above.
Therefore, rather than relying on the above alone, you should seek the services of a qualified attorney.