If this is a Juvenile Court matter involving a non marital child, the court will only deal with matters relating to the child support matter. He would have to file a separate petition to have issues of visitation heard.
Counsel offers you excellent advice. I would add that you should contact a local family law attorney to review your options. Goodl uck.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.
According to the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, current child support shall be set with factors contained in the guidelines including the father's income, the number of days each party receives in visitation, whether or not day care expense is applicable and who carries insurance for the child. Because the father only receives one day of parenting time which is supervised, that factor will result in a higher child support obligation-that is because the guidelines contemplate that when the chlid is in the care of the visiting parent, that child is being fed, clothed, provided shelter, etc. The father's ability to work a full time job will come into play even though he has a criminal record and he cannot rely on that fact as an excuse as to why he cannot find a job. The retroactive support (back to 7 months in your case) will most likely also be ordered. Failure to pay child support is not a new offense so he would most likely not get in trouble with his criminal probation if he failed to pay child support; however, he could be found in contempt if he failed to pay child support after an order is entered. Custody will not be considered by the Court unless a petition is filed by the father. If that is the case, the child support can be considered before the final hearing determining custody. Based upon your facts, it is my opinion that the father would not prevail on a petition to modify custody.
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