A Family Lawyer Can Help You Navigate Issues of Child Custody When Your Ex Lives Outside Tennessee
The reason that Tennessee parenting plans address so many details is that there are so many issues over which divorced couples can argue. The things that annoyed you about your ex when you were married do not go away after you get divorced. If it was an ordeal to get your spouse to pick up a gallon of milk at the store on the way home when you were married, that same ex will probably complain about having to transport the children to and from visits. Many couples rely on the help of family law attorneys when drafting their parenting plans, just so there is no room for disputes. It is complicated enough when both former spouses live in the same city, so imagine what it is like when one parent moves out of state. A Tennessee child custody attorney can help if you need to modify your parenting plan after your ex moves outside Tennessee.
The Legal Issues
The good news is that, if you are worried that your ex can move your children out of state without your consent and shut you out of their lives, your fears are unfounded. If you and your ex both lived in Tennessee at the time of the divorce, then the Tennessee family courts still have jurisdiction. The Hensley case shows how the Tennessee courts remained involved in so many aspects of the parenting plan even after one of the parents moved out of state.
Details of the Hensley Case
When Michael and Shellie Hensley divorced in 2009, their twin son and daughter were three years old. According to a parenting plan recorded in December 2010, the children spent 215 days per year with Michael and 150 with Shellie. Shellie’s income from her job as a pharmacist was more than four times Michael’s income, so she paid child support. In 2015, Shellie filed a motion to change the parenting plan because several important changes had taken place. Shellie and Michael had both remarried, and Shellie had moved to New Mexico. Shellie had requested the Child Protective Services investigate the children’s home environment, as she suspected that Michael did not provide them with adequate supervision, especially after the daughter broke her arm by falling from the top bunk of a bunk bed; the authorities determined that the environment was suitable. The main issue she wishes to clarify with a new parenting plan was transportation to and from visits. The children were old enough to fly unaccompanied, and she wanted the court to require this, rather than the parents meeting in Oklahoma to transfer the children. The court did not immediately rule, because the requests involved financial issues so complex that they might require the child support to be recalculated.
Let Us Help You Today
The ideal parenting plan does not involve excessive inconvenience to either parent; a family lawyer can help you achieve a parenting plan that works for your family. Contact Knoxville child custody attorney Patrick L. Looper for a consultation.