Attorneys Handling Paternity And Fathers' Rights Matters
Issues involving paternity and fathers' rights are important considerations in any divorce, separation or custody proceeding. In all of these matters, the most important concern is protecting your rights in the legal process.
At Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC (MBK), we service clients in Tennessee and Kentucky. We also serve military service members and officers in Fort Campbell and throughout the world. Our Clarksville lawyers handle paternity and all types of matters related to custody, support and parental rights.
Establishing paternity is critical for both a mother seeking child support payments and a father seeking to exercise his custody and visitation rights. With modern medical technology, determining whether someone is the father of a child involves a simple blood draw or cheek swab and test of the DNA. When the parents are married, the issue of paternity rarely arises as the husband is presumed to be the child's father. The legal question of paternity only comes into play when the fact of fatherhood is in question or when parents are not married.
To exercise custody and visitation rights under a parenting plan, a father might need to establish that he is, in fact, the father. In cases of a mother seeking to deny parenting time to the father, establishing that he is not the father is the most definitive approach.
We have helped numerous clients establish or contest paternity. We can explain it to you and help you through the process.
Understanding Fathers' Rights
Many dads come to us seeking legal advice, and many of them mistakenly believe that maybe getting their kids every other weekend is the best they can hope for in their custody battles.
Dads: You have equal rights to be a parent to your children. We can help you protect that right.
While there was a time when the legal system was biased toward mothers in custody and other divorce-related issues, times are changing. In most cases, courts are looking to maintain parental relationships as much as possible after a divorce. This includes making sure the dad has time needed with the children to maintain those relationships. Our attorneys can protect your rights in custody, support matters and other aspects of divorce.
Serving The Military
We also have a wealth of experience protecting the rights of military servicemen and officers. Being deployed and often out of town, many members of the military worry that their rights will not be protected in their divorces, especially when it comes to their rights as fathers.
Our lawyers understand how to protect your rights during your divorce, even if you are stationed overseas. We can help make sure you have fair treatment when it comes to the court's custody determination.
Moving Away And Child Custody
Although the desire to relocate is common as a result of work changes, family obligations or military placement, moving out of state is no simple matter for those who are inactive parenting agreements. There are strict laws governing parental relocation, regardless of whether the proposed move is with or without the children.
At Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC (MBK) in Clarksville, our attorneys handle custody modifications for clients seeking relocation and for those contesting this type of relocation, including military custody issues involving custody during deployment. We have the experience and knowledge to protect your interests and the interests of your children.
Parental Relocation Law In Kentucky And Tennessee
It is common for parents to need to relocate after a divorce or separation due to new employment, military permanent change of station or other life changes.
If the relocating parent has entered into a parenting plan with the other parent or there is pending litigation regarding divorce or custody the relocating parent will be required to comply with the home state's Parental Relocation Law. Both Tennessee and Kentucky child custody laws have several provisions associated with parental relocation. In some cases, a state court may delay or prevent a parent from relocating with the child if an objection is raised or notice is not properly given.
After parents receive a court order for custody or have negotiated a parenting plan, either parent might want to change the arrangement because of an impending move. Tennessee and Kentucky parental relocation laws include several requirements that the relocating parent must meet before actually relocating. If the custody proceeding or Order was entered in Tennessee the relocating parent must provide proper notice to the other parent if the relocation is out of state or more than 50 miles from the current residence.
In Kentucky, the obligation is triggered if the relocation is out of state or more than 100 miles away from the current residence. Both Tennessee and Kentucky require written notice to the other parent at least 20 days before the move. This written notice requires the relocating parent to provide specific information to the other parent about the purpose, location and time frame for the relocation along with the statutory right of the other parent to object to the relocation. If the parents don't agree to an updated custody and visitation arrangement, the parent who plans to move must file a petition in state court and obtain court approval.
Parental relocation issues can be complicated and have lasting consequences, including loss of custody, if not followed properly. Allow the experienced attorneys at Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC to assist you in all your custody or family law issues.
What Are The Rights Of Grandparents And Stepparents?
Many grandparents and stepparents after the child's parents are divorced or separated wonder what rights they have, especially in terms of custody and visitation. Although stepparents and grandparents often have rights, the particular details of each situation can make these grandparent and stepparent rights cases complicated.
At Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC (MBK), our Clarksville attorneys handle grandparents' rights and stepparents' rights cases in Kentucky and Tennessee. We have a wealth of experience in a range of family law matters and the nuanced custody and visitation matters involving stepparent and grandparent rights cases. We represent all clients in these matters and we are committed to providing our clients with best-in-class personalized legal service.
How To Establish Rights As A Grandparent
Grandparent rights cases usually involve custody or visitation. To establish visitation rights, there has to be a significant relationship already established between the grandparent and grandchild. Usually this relationship involves the grandchild living with the grandparent or at least spending significant time together on a regular basis.
In terms of custody, this usually involves more serious issues like substance abuse issues or other problems that make the parents unfit for parenting so the grandparents need to take over custody.
In some cases, the parents willingly transfer custody or visitation rights, and other cases are contested. At MBK, we represent grandparents seeking custody and visitation rights, or we can represent the biological parents contesting custody and visitation. If appropriate, we can help you work grandparent visitation schedules into a comprehensive parenting plan.
In many cases, when a divorced spouse remarries, the new spouse forms a strong bond with the stepchildren, and they want to make the parent-child relationship official and legally recognized through an adoption. Our attorneys handle all stages of the process of stepparent adoptions. These cases can involve complex paternity matters, the termination of parental rights for the biological parent and other complex matters.
If you are dealing with a grandparent or stepparent rights issue, a lawyer from our firm can help you understand your rights and protect your interests throughout the legal process. Call us at 931-444-3153 or email us to schedule a consultation.