Family Law Section

One of the goals of the Family Law Section is to bring practitioners together who share a common interest in family law. The section newsletter keeps practitioners abreast of changes in the law, as does the section’s annual CLE program.

Marks, Shell & Maness
233A Dunbar Cave Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043
Immediate Past Chair
Legal Aid of East Tennessee
607 W. Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

New Alimony Bench Book Available

The 15th Edition Alimony Bench Book is now available. TBA Family Law Section members can download the book free from the section's resource page after logging in. Others can purchase a loose-leaf printed version of this publication for $40 per book ($50 in a 3-ring binder) from the online TBA Bookstore or by contacting the TBA at (615) 383-7421. The book, which includes published and unpublished cases from Aug. 8, 2003, through Dec. 31, 2016, is compiled by the section's Alimony Committee under direction of its chair, Amy Amundsen.

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Adoption Bill Headed to Governor for Signature

The Tennessee: First In Adoption Act, SB1851, passed the Senate unanimously today. Sponsored by Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, and Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, the legislation makes significan changes to Tennessee adoption laws. The legislation was drafted by members of the TBA Adoption Law Section, specifically Dawn Coppock, Mike Jennings and Robert Tuke. First in Adoption makes a number of modifications in adoption and termination law, some extremely important and some housekeeping measures. The first change is a new, less bureaucratic surrender form, included in the Tennessee Code, which is only two pages and much more clear. Second, the bill both increases protections for active, unwed fathers and limits the rights of inactive fathers seeking to disrupt or delay adoption plans. It also expands jurisdiction and venue requirements, including an expansion of jurisdiction to include new residents and Tennesseans in military service who are stationed outside of Tennessee. Additionally, the bill removes some of the requirements on four key grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights that are not constitutionally required. The bill was earlier passed unanimously by the House and will now go into effect July 1, if signed by the governor.
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