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Legislative Accomplishments in Tennessee

The legislative session is just concluding in Tennessee. This marks the fifth year that DAD of Tennessee has been educating the legislature on the role of fathers in the lives of children. DAD of Tennessee has  
become a consistent, recognizable, and reliable source for legislators by having a daily presence at the legislature.

Supporters of DAD of Tennessee have played a pivotal role in the development of state legislation over the past five years.

The session which has just concluded has been especially significant.  Six new bills have been passed by both houses of the Tennessee legislature and are either law, or in process of becoming law after
signature by the governor. Listed below is a brief summary of the bills. The full text may be reviewed at the Tennessee Legislature website (

HB1512 - Parenting Plan - Parent Education - Mediation bill has changed the face of adversarial divorce in Tennessee. "Custody" and "visitation" have been replaced by "shared parenting" and "parental responsibilities." Attorneys have been moved to the rear and parents have been empowered to come forward to make informed decisions about the future of their children. This bill has been five years in the making.
HB2591 - Tennessee Commission on Responsible Fatherhood - creates a body to investigate fatherhood in the state, to find elements of the law that preclude a father's involvement with his children, to promote responsible fatherhood and the importance of father involvement, and to make recommendations to the legislature for changes to the law. Patterned after
the Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood. DAD of Tennessee has a seat on the commission.

HB2296 - License Revocation - blocking court-ordered parenting time will now result in loss of recreational, professional, and/or business licenses in the state. Because of budget problems, driver's licenses were excluded this year, but efforts will be made to add them in next year.

HB2297 - Grandparents Rights - although narrowly defined, it is believed that this law will survive the US Supreme Court ruling.

SB2211 - Medical Records - guarantees the right of the noncustodial parent access to medical records of the child, unless specifically forbidden by the courts.

HB3163 - Expanded Parent Bill of Rights - adds three new stated rights for noncustodial parents, including 48 hour notification of any events in which parents are normally invited to participate, ncp involvement in all school activities including lunch with child, and contact information when either parent leaves the state for two or more nights with the minor child. Additionally, a full review of child support in Tennessee and a comparison
with other states will occur this fall in the Domestic Relations Subcommittee.

Constance C. Herinkova
Executive Director
DAD of Tennessee
P.O. Box 4993
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Voice: 865-482-DADS
Fax: 865-483-2282

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