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Parental Rights in Tennessee

According to Tennessee law, both legal parents of a minor child have the right to parenting time with the child and to communicate with and be informed about the child during the other parent’s parenting time.

When someone was angry about the way you behaved toward your child, whether that person was a stranger, a family member, or your ex-spouse, they may have threatened to have the court take your children away from you. The good news is that Tennessee law recognizes that it is in a child’s best interest to have a stable relationship with both parents. You do not stop being a parent just because you left your children home alone one day because you needed to work to pay the bills and you could not find childcare or because you have a physical or mental illness and do not always look or act like a picture-perfect parent. You also do not stop being a parent just because your ex-spouse married someone who has more money than you do and is trying to buy the children’s love. A Murfreesboro family law attorney can help you exercise your right to parenting time with your children or become the legal parent of a child you are raising.

The Rights and Responsibilities of Parents in Tennessee

If you are the legal parent of a minor child in Tennessee, you have the right to spend time with your children and make decisions about your children’s upbringing; you also have the responsibility to contribute to your children’s financial support. All parents of minor children have the right to a court-ordered parenting plan if they are not currently married to each other and do not live together. The parenting plan grants each parent a certain number of days of parenting time per year. When it is your ex’s parenting time, you still have the right to know what is going on in your child’s life. For example, you have the right to communicate with your child by phone and send mail to your child. Your child’s school must also inform both parents about the child’s education and health.

Anyone can become the legal parent of a minor child by legally adopting him or her. If you give birth to a child, you are the child’s legal mother. The birth mother’s husband at the time of the child’s birth is automatically the legal father, even if he is not the child’s biological father. If you were not married to your child’s mother when the child was born, you can become the legal father by establishing your paternity.

Can the Court Take Away Your Parenting Time or Parental Rights?

When you place a child for adoption, you legally terminate your parental rights, and the adoptive parents become the legal parents. If you are the legal parent and it is unsafe for the children to be under your care, the court may restrict your parenting time but not terminate your parental rights.

Contact a Murfreesboro Parental Rights Lawyer Today

A family law attorney can help you establish or exercise your parental rights. Contact David L. Scott in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or call (615)896-7656 to set up a consultation.

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