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Knoxville Family Law Blog

What's the difference between private and public adoption?

Knoxville parents like you who are looking into adopting a child will need to know the difference between public and private adoptions. Depending on your specific needs or beliefs, one may suit you and your family better than the other.

The Spruce highlights the basic differences between public and private adoption agencies. Private adoption agencies are run either on foundation grants, or use the money that adopting families pay for services. Generally speaking, children of private adoption agencies are newborns or otherwise very young, though the age range can extend up to 17 years. These organizations can potentially be for-profit. However, plenty are non-profit as well. In this option, the birth parent gives control of your adopted child to you directly, facilitated by the agency.

State law requires maximum parenting for both parents

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce in Tennessee is determining the appropriate amount of child custody. While both parents would likely prefer the maximum amount of control, the final say is up to the judge. State laws have made new declarations that are offering guidance to court officials when making these decisions. We at the Law Office of Meghan A. Bodie can fight for your rights and ensure that you get the amount of parenting time that you deserve.

According to the National Parents Organization, custody and divorce cases that were settled after the new bill was signed into law were required to give each parent the maximum amount of parenting time. The goal of this change was to ensure that both parents can participate in their child's life as much as possible. 

What is a cohabitation property agreement?

Separating from your significant other in Tennessee can be difficult, especially if you have lived together for a long period of time. While married couples may have the benefit of a prenuptial agreement to reduce stress during divorce, unmarried couples who have spent years living together will have to divide property without this help. Luckily, cohabitation property agreements can make the process simpler and help you avoid lengthy legal battles.

According to Findlaw, one of the many benefits of this type of arrangement is that you can include provisions for support payments if you choose to separate in the future. If you fail to specify this in your agreement, you will not have legal rights to support you if you separate without ever marrying.

7 tips to help you in joint custody situations

Having to handle situations that come up when you have joint custody of a child isn't always easy. You and your ex can't simply forget about each other and move on with life. Instead, you will have to work together for the good of your children. This is where the challenge lies.

Working with your ex might seem like a fight waiting to happen. However, working through issues in an amicable manner can make the joint custody situation easier. It can also set a good example for your child. Here are some points for you to remember:

What is an uncontested divorce?

If you are going through a divorce in Tennessee, you have likely found that there are several terms you are unfamiliar with. Many seeking to separate from their spouses wonder what an uncontested divorce is and how it may change certain aspects of their agreement. Findlaw has detailed the specifics of this designation and the benefits it may hold for you.

You may be eligible to file an uncontested divorce if you have no major issues that will require extra court time, such as determinations of property ownership and spousal support, as well as any children who will need a custody arrangment. You also need your spouse to agree to this type of divorce before you can file and realize that, if approved, no further financial support will be offered by either spouse after the divorce is finalized.

Foster parents need resources

Foster child adoption and private or agency adoption are similar under Tennessee law, but the circumstances and events surrounding the adoption of children in foster care often present unique challenges. According to a recent Huffington Post article, many states, including Tennessee, show an increase in the number of children who need foster care. The rise in need may correlate with the opioid epidemic. The report showed that nationally a large number of foster parents often decide they no longer want to participate in foster programs. Some complain of inadequate training and instruction in connection with foster care. Others simply describe circumstances that are too difficult for them to manage.

In Tennessee, the Department of Children’s Services Division of Foster Care and Adoption in Tennessee provides a handbook for foster parents, which includes details about foster child adoption. There are several types of foster care placement. When children are placed in traditional foster homes, the end goal may not be adoption. Rather, the desired outcome may be to reunite children with birth parents. When possible, DCS will attempt to place children in the care of relatives. These “kinship foster homes” can help reduce the trauma associated with displacement. Other types of homes are available where special needs are present.

Appellate court ruling keeps girl with adoptive family

Those in Knoxville that are familiar with Kenutcky's foster care system and the adoption process as a whole likely know that it is anything but simple. Ultimately, however, those participating in it hold out the hope that the circumstances will align to allow kids that need homes to be adopted by loving families looking to take them in. Yet even in some rare cases, an adoption may not signal the end of this process. A number of different issues may arise that can cause family courts to reopen cases and potentially remove children from the homes they have come to accept as their own.

Several different factors have served to complicate an Ohio adoption case that was recently heard by the local District Court of Appeals. After having submitted a petition to adopt the young girl they were fostering in their home county, a couple had to submit to her being removed from their home by officials from another county, who turned her over to the custody of her aunt. The aunt had claimed that the couple's home county court did not let her intervene in the adoption even though she was the child's guardian. A decision by the state Supreme Court late last year returned the girl to her adoptive family. In its decision, the Appellate Court stated that the aunt's status as the child's legal custodian did not afford her the right to block a potential adoption. 

What should you know about child custody?

Divorcing parents in Knoxville not only have to worry about settling financial situations, but they also have to deal with child support, custody, and more. At the Law Office of Meghan A. Bodie, your questions about child custody disputes will be answered fully as we help you walk down this difficult path.

In a divorce case involving child custody, someone is bound to end up feeling like they get the "lesser end" of the deal if you decide to go with an unequal division of time. Whoever doesn't have primary custody may feel left out of their child's life, or may think the financial burden they shoulder isn't equivalent to the amount of time they're allowed to spend with the child.

Preparation is the key for a high-asset divorce

The assets that you have worked hard to acquire with your spouse can become a source of contention if you end up going through a divorce. There are several things that you should know if you are planning on leaving your husband. These are critical, especially if you have considerable assets.

Many high-asset divorces are challenging because of the number and diversity of assets that you have. If you are planning on filing for divorce, here are some pointers for you to consider before you take that step:

Is joint legal custody beneficial?

As divorcing Knoxville parents know, there are many things to take into consideration when going through the split. For example, deciding who will have primary custody of the children is usually at the top of the list. But did you know that joint custody may also be beneficial?

Divorce Magazine takes a look at the positive side of shared custody and lists out its benefits, of which there are quite a few. The balance of power is one primary benefit. In a situation where only one parent has primary custody, the other can feel left out, locked out of the child's life, and may feel as though they've lost a significant amount of power in the parental dyamic comparatively. This can lead to raised tension, a reluctance to "carry one's weight", and other consequences that could negatively impact a child.


Law Office of Meghan A. Bodie
109 S. Northshore Drive
Suite 402
Knoxville, TN 37919

Phone: 865-643-8626
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