New Laws Affecting Tennessee Families in 2024

New Laws Affecting Tennessee Families in 2024Every year, laws come and go, and some keep the status quo of the state, and some bring change. This year is no different, as there are new laws taking effect in January 2024, and they could very well affect you. These new laws range from new requirements for judges ruling in family law cases concerning domestic violence to laws on paid family leave. You may have never even heard of these laws, so it is a good idea to get to know them as they may apply to you.

Abrial’s Law

Abrial’s Law, the Keeping Children Safe from Family Violence Act, or SB 0722, is set to go into effect January 2024. This bill aims to enhance protections for parents and children involved in child custody proceedings, especially in cases of domestic violence or child abuse. It prevents parents from facing penalties for raising legitimate concerns and prohibits the court from separating a child from a parent unless certain criteria are met. Parents who are found competent, protective, and not abusive will not face any penalties.

This bill has important rules to make sure evidence provided by experts is reliable and meets certain standards. Before certain professionals are assigned to help in a case, there must be a hearing to gather evidence. The bill emphasizes using methods and practices that have a solid foundation in evidence, especially when there are allegations of abuse. It’s all about making sure the information used in these cases is trustworthy and based on solid research. The bill makes it clear that treatments aimed at bringing a child and a parent back together won’t be allowed unless there’s solid scientific evidence proving they’re safe and effective. Additionally, it highlights the importance of training for people working in the court system to make sure they understand different cultures and can make decisions that put the safety of the child first. An amendment to the bill even “requires all judges involved in child custody proceedings to complete at least two hours per year, or ten hours per five years, of training or continuing education courses on domestic violence or child abuse.”

This bill is designed to benefit parents and kids going through custody battles, especially when there are claims of abuse. Its intent is about making sure families are treated fairly and safely during custody disputes, especially when abuse is involved.

Tennessee Paid Family Leave Insurance Act

This bill introduces the “Tennessee Paid Family Leave Insurance Act,” which creates a new type of insurance called paid family leave insurance. This insurance allows companies that offer life or disability income insurance in Tennessee to provide policies covering risks related to paid family leave. The policy would help employees by paying a percentage of their income when they need time off for various family-related reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child, taking care of a family member with a serious health condition, or supporting a family member who is a service member on active duty. The bill outlines the specifics and requirements for such insurance policies, ensuring that employees have financial support during important family events or challenges.

SB 0596

While this one might not have a nice little name to go along with it, what it allows for is not any less important to know about. The short text of the bill is as follows: “Marriage – As introduced, states that a person is not required to solemnize a marriage if the person has an objection to solemnizing the marriage based on the person’s conscience or religious beliefs.”

This means that whoever you choose to perform your marriage ceremony has the right to deny that duty if the marriage goes against that person’s beliefs. If you are planning out your wedding now, perhaps double check with the officiant of the wedding first to make sure there are no unfortunate surprises on the day of.

Keep yourself in the know

In the dynamic realm of legislation, changes to laws in Tennessee can occur without much fanfare, and staying informed about these developments can help to navigate potential impacts on your life. Laws evolve, addressing various aspects of daily life from employment and family matters to broader societal issues. While it might be easy to overlook these changes, their consequences can be significant, affecting your rights, responsibilities, and overall legal landscape.

To ensure you’re well-prepared and aware of any changes that may affect you, it’s advisable to stay vigilant about updates in Tennessee’s legal framework. Regularly checking for amendments and new statutes is a proactive way to stay ahead, whether you’re a parent in the middle of a custody battle, an employee needing to take time off work, or someone looking to get married soon. Being informed empowers you to make well-informed decisions and adapt to any legal changes that might influence your personal or professional life.

Keeping yourself abreast of the situation can also help you to know when your rights are being abused. In those cases, getting in touch with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can be the right step forward. If you believe that your rights are being stepped on, call the Knoxville attorneys at the Law Offices of LaFevor & Slaughter. We know what we’re doing, and we know Tennessee law like the back of our hands. Let us help you. To schedule your initial consultation, call us in Knoxville or use our contact page. We want to help.