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Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda

Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda

Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda is a Member of the firm in the Nashville and Franklin offices. She works exclusively in the practice known as Family Law with an emphasis in international family law, especially parental child abductions from country to country. She has significant experience with cases brought under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.  The United States has signed this particular Hague treaty along with about 73 other countries.  You can find out more about this law and how it applies, by clicking here. Rebecca’s published work on the Hague Convention, An Overview of the International Parental Child Abduction Provisions of the Hague Convention, 7 ANKARA L. REV. 1, 65 (2010), is available upon request. Rebecca and her team have much experience in Hague Convention litigation and can help your family navigate these difficult international issues.

In addition to her international family law work, Rebecca also represents clients in Tennessee family law.  Her practice includes many years of experience representing clients who must face divorce.  Rebecca and her team can handle intellectual property matters in divorce.  See here the entertainment law group at Stites & Harbison PLLC and see here the intellectual property group at Stites & Harbison PLLC.  She helps clients with a variety of issues related to families, children, custody, grandparents and other family members, divorces, prenuptial agreements, and family relocations. Rebecca serves on the editorial committee of the Tennessee Bar Association that updates the Tennessee Alimony Benchbook each year.

With offices in Nashville and Williamson County, Rebecca is easily accessible.

Representative Experience

  • After a person’s divorce, there are often subsequent matters for which someone needs advice from a Family Law attorney, and Rebecca assists clients with those matters.
  • She represents couples adopting children, both locally and internationally, including re-adoptions and adult adoptions.
  • She represented a party in one of the few grandparent visitation cases to be decided by the Tennessee Supreme Court.  Lovlace v. Copley, 418 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2013).
  • She advises parents who are relocating for work or a spouse’s job, or parents who are considering moving or whose child’s other parent is considering moving to be with a loved one.
  • She provides consultations and full representation – all the way through trial – for parents involved in cases under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and International Child Abduction Remedies Act. 
  • In her Hague Convention practice, among other cases, she has assisted a parent in Sweden to be restored custody of his son, and she has represented a father in having his son returned to his home in Turkey.

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

  • "Does the Outcome of In re Carrington change Tennessee Parental-Termination Law?," Co-Presenter, Tennessee Bar Association live webcast and webinar, 2016
  • "The 21st Century Family: International Family Law, Multi-Generational Families and the case of In re Baby," Speaker and presenter, Women's Political Collaborative or TN, 2015
  • "Where Family Law and International Issues Collide: Relocation and Child Abduction Issues," Speaker and presenter, Tennessee Attorney Memo statewide webinar, 2015
  • "Lawyers with Big Hearts," Tennessee Bar Journal, January 2015
  • "International Family Law Practice," Presenter, Southern Law Network Litigation Group, 2014
  • "Trends of Family Law in Tennessee: Relocations, Grandparent Visitation, and Adoptions," Presenter, Nashville radio program, 2014
  • "Grandparent Visitation Law," Speaker, Manchester, Tennessee Rotary Club Meeting, 2013
  • "Family Law and Rights of Grandparents in Tennessee (or Not So Much)," Presenter, Davidson County, Tennessee, Juvenile Court Bar Meeting, 2012
  • "International Parental Child Abductions: Treaty Provisions," Speaker, Tennessee Bar Association Continuing Legal Education live webcast, 2011
  • "Organizational Development in the Law Firm," Guest Lecturer, Florida State University Summer Program, Valencia, Spain, 2011
  • "Tennessee Child Relocation Law," Speaker, Tennessee Bar Association Continuing Legal Education live webcast, 2011
  • "Family Law: Tennessee Child Relocation Law," Speaker and Presenter, Continuing Legal Education seminar, 2010
  • "Common and Not So Common Family Law Issues," Speaker and Presenter, Continuing Legal Education seminar, 2010
  • "Family Law Round-Table Discussion," Panelist, Continuing Legal Education seminar, 2010
  • "Walking Through a Lawsuit," Guest Lecturer, Ankara University Law School, Ankara, Turkey, 2010
  • "Adoption Law Ethics," Speaker and Presenter, Continuing Legal Education seminar, 2009
  • "Adoption Law: How to Terminate a Parent’s Rights," Speaker and Presenter, Continuing Legal Education seminar, 2009
  • "The U.S. Legal System," Guest Lecturer, Iliria University, Peja, Kosovo, 2008

More Than Stites & Harbison

Rebecca’s passion for her work and her clients shows in her practice. She is past-chair of the the board of directors for the Tennessee Justice Center, served as a member of Belmont University Alumni Board of Directors (past president), and has been a member of the Belmont University College of Law American Inn of Court. She now serves on the Board of Trustees for Belmont University. Rebecca was awarded the Tennessee Bar Association's Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award (2015). In June 2011, she was chosen as a 2011 Nashville's Top 30 Under 30 by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Besides Stites & Harbison

In addition to being involved in her church, Rebecca and her husband enjoy reading, travelling, the Nashville Symphony, riding bikes, and snowboarding.  Rebecca participated in the FBI Citizens Academy.

Professional Accolades

Best Lawyers in America®, Family Law (2018-19)

Mid-South Super Lawyers®, Rising Star (2012-17)

Tennessee Bar Association, Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award (2015)

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Nashville's Top 30 Under 30 (2011)

Community Involvement

  • Belmont University Board of Trustees
  • Tennessee Justice Center, Board of Directors
  • International Child Abduction Attorney Network (ICAAN), Referral Attorney
  • Room in the Inn, a homeless services program in Nashville