A bill that better aligns existing child custody laws is up for vote with the Tennessee House next week.
The Senate already passed the bill that tries to create better communication among parents and children.
For example, it would force parents who split time with their child to give the other a telephone number where the child may be reached.
“The old parental right allowed telephone conversations, but technically didn't require that the parties exchange phone numbers,” said family law attorney Stan Kweller. “Now it does.”
The bill is considered a “clean up” bill in order to outline more specific laws when it comes to custody issues.
Other specifics include a child being given the right to be free of derogatory remarks made about the parent, or his or her family, by the other parent.
Schools are disallowed to provide preferred access to either parent in the detriment of the other, unless ordered by a court.
Rep. Mike Bell from Riceville is the sponsor.
“Children are given the most opportunity possible to have relationships with both parents, both the custodial and the non-custodial parent,” he explained.
Kweller said, “It strengthens it in the sense that across the board for decisions about custody and parenting time or relocation standards are all the same.”
The House is expected to take up the bill next week.
If passed, it will go on to the Governor's desk for his signature.