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East Tennessee Family Law Blog

3 ways to talk to your child about divorce

As a parent going through divorce, your primary concern is making sure your child understands what is happening and doesn't suffer because of it. Your ex and you are both on the same page and want to make sure your child has the best possible future with both of you in it.

How can you help your child understand divorce and what may happen in the future? It depends on your child's age. Here are some tips for communicating the chances of a divorce with children of varying ages.

What should you expect during divorce mediation?

If you and your spouse decide that mediation is the best way to work through your divorce, it won’t be long before you’re seeking information on what the process entails.

While mediation is not the right solution for every couple, there are many benefits of giving it a try. For example, this can save you both time and money. Furthermore, mediation puts you in position to have more control over the process.

Tennessee judge grants woman a father's right to custody

In a hotly contested legal divorce between a lesbian couple, the Tennessee court did what many consider the only rational decision: They granted the non-biological mother the same parenting and custodial rights and responsibilities that a man would have over a child that his wife conceived during the marriage.

The case concerned the custody fight over a child conceived and born to a married lesbian couple through the use of an anonymous donor and artificial insemination.

3 steps that can help you survive divorce financially intact

Marriage may be a matter of the heart, but divorce is a matter of finances.

If you and your spouse worked hard over the years to build up your assets, neither of you probably want to see those assets depleted with an ugly divorce -- a protracted fight could diminish what you both ultimately walk away holding.

Child support and summer camp

There's a mistaken belief among a lot of newly divorced parents that child support is only supposed to cover the basics that a child needs -- which means those parents could be in for a seriously unpleasant surprise when their ex-spouse asks the court to order a temporary increase in support to pay for summer camp (or something similar) this year.

They may be even more unpleasantly surprised when the judge grants the order. However, if the court determines that you can afford the increase, and the extracurricular activity that your ex-spouse wants your child to have is something that the court thinks is justified, that's exactly what's likely to happen.

Know the goals of divorce mediation before starting

There are many things to think about as you move forward with the divorce process.

Early on, you must decide if you and your soon to be ex-spouse will consider mediation. This isn't the right approach for every divorcing couple, but it's something you may want to learn more about.

When to use standby guardianship

In some states, having a chronic illness with severe episodes or a fatal diagnosis puts you in danger of losing your children to the state's foster care system if you become incapacitated at any point -- no matter how temporary.

In Tennessee, however, the Standby Guardianship Law has given parents another option since 1999. Originally a response to the AIDS epidemic, the law makes it possible for parents to make legal arrangements for their children when there's no other parent waiting to step into place when the parent who is ill or dying has become incapacitated.

How do you know if you should or shouldn't try mediation?

Divorce litigation is an unhappy, unforgiving process that's automatically adversarial in nature. It's all about winning and losing.

Divorce mediation, by contrast, is all about compromise. It's about 3-4 times less expensive than litigation, and it allows you to end your marriage the same way you began it -- in control of what happens next.

Wife of kidnapper on the run sues for divorce

Tennessee has been caught up in a gripping real-life drama that's been playing out on the local news for weeks now.

A 50-year-old high school teacher has been accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student, although she may be more-or-less willingly on the run with him. Authorities believe the teacher may have "groomed" the girl, playing on her immaturity and affections, to make her a willing victim -- but her age makes her a victim no matter what the circumstances of her captivity.

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