Letter from the Immediate Past Chair: - Articles

All Content


Posted by: Christy Gibson on Jun 4, 2014

Dear Family Law Section Members:

As the 2013-2014 bar year comes to a close, I would like to provide you with an update on the work that the TBA Family Law Section Executive Council has been involved with this year. 

In November the section held its annual CLE on the topic of how to handle access to mental health records in high conflict custody cases.  The CLE was held in Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga, which provided local speakers allowing for a more specific discussion of how issues are handled in each city.

In March the 12th Edition of the Alimony Bench Book was released to members.  The 12th Edition Alimony Bench Book includes Published and Unpublished cases from August 8, 2003 through December 31, 2013.  One benefit of being a TBA Family Law Section member is that you can download the Alimony Bench Book for free.  To download your FREE copy of this publication, please follow these steps:

              1.  Go to Tennessee Bar Association

2.  Log-in to your TBA account.  If you do not have a TBA account, please create one in order to access the information.

              3.  Go to the "TBA Groups" tab and then Click "Sections".

              4.  Click the "Family Law Section".

              5.  Then Click "Resources" on the right hand side of the page. 

6.  You should find the "12th Edition of the Alimony Bench Book" on this page.  If you do not see the link, then you are either not logged in or not a member of the section.

You can download the Alimony Bench Book in either PDF or Microsoft Word format.

A loose-leaf printed version of this publication may also be purchased for $40 per book ($50 in a 3-ring binder) from the online TBA Bookstore by clicking <link="https://www.tba.org/products/alimony-bench-book-12th-edition">here</link> or by contacting the Tennessee Bar Association at (800) 899-6993 or (615) 383-7421.

I would like to thank the TBA Family Law Alimony Subcommittee for their hard work and commitment to this publication. The Subcommittee’s hope is that this book will assist judges in their attempts to award consistent alimony in cases across Tennessee.

Throughout the legislative term the TBA has called upon us several times to review potential legislation and comment on behalf of the section.  The following is a summary of a couple legislative issues the Executive Council was involved with this year:

·      SB1488/HB1851:  Signed by the Governor on April 4, 2014 - Child Custody and Support – As enacted, revises the factors that are considered when making a custody determination and makes the factors applicable to determinations regarding relocation and establishment of residential schedules; revises other provisions regarding custody and parental rights.  Amends TCA Title 36.

·      SB1885/HB1766:  Signed by the Governor on April 15, 2014 – Guardians and Conservators – As enacted, establishes requirements for in loco parentis decision-making for a minor child and revises notary requirement for power of attorney for care of a minor child.  Amends TCA Title 34, Chapter 6.

·      SB2418/HB2314:  Signed by the Governor on April 25, 2014 – Uniform Laws – As enacted, enacts the “Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act”.  Amends TCA Title 36.

The TBA Family Law Section in conjunction with the TBA Dispute Resolution Section formed a Collaborative Law Subcommittee to determine whether a rule or formal legislation is the best method to protect the rights of clients and to guide those holding themselves out as collaborative practitioners as to best practices and procedures.   The subcommittee is working on proposed language and processes for consideration.   The section will be kept posted as more information becomes available, and please let the Family Law or the ADR section know if you have an interest in this subject matter.

The TBA Family Law Section met at the TBA Annual Convention in Gatlinburg on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. CT at the Park Vista Hotel.  Helen Rogers officially took over as Chair of the TBA Family Law Section at Convention.  I want to thank Helen for volunteering to Chair the Section and wish her good luck in the upcoming bar year.  The TBA Family Law Section is in good hands with Helen. 

Finally, I would like to thank the entire TBA Family Law Executive Council for their continued efforts.  TBA Family Law Executive Council members are volunteers who continue to not only work hard in their individual practices to improve the area of Family Law but take time out of their extremely busy schedules to work hard on behalf of the TBA and its members.  Thank you for your continued service and efforts on behalf of our members.  I would also like to thank Christy Gibson from the TBA for all her valuable assistance to myself and the section throughout the year.

Sincerely,

Cathy Allshouse

2013-2014 TBA Family Law Chair