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East Tennessee Family Law Blog

Is child support addressed during divorce mediation?

What is divorce mediation? It is a process through which spouses seeking to divorce attempt to negotiate a fair divorce agreement under the guidance of a mediator -- also called a neutral third party. Although the term uses the word divorce, mediation spans the entire family law arena. This means that it is certainly possible to address child support during these negotiations.

In Tennessee, the law requires that all family law issues undergo mediation in an effort to resolve the matter. Although mediation plays an important role in matters involving children, you and your spouse will ultimately be arranging your child support by mutual agreement if divorce mediation is successful.

High-asset divorce in the age of digital spy technology

Do you like the technology that now lies in the palm of your hand? Most people, including our attorneys, would answer that question with an enthusiastic yes. No one disputes the benefits that digital technology has brought to residents of Tennessee. However, it is also important to know how someone, say an ex or soon-to-be ex, might use that technology against you.

For many, divorce means that everything earned over a lifetime is suddenly at risk. Scruples are among the first things a spouse desperate to keep his or her assets may sacrifice. Once scruples are no longer guiding a person's actions, anything is possible -- even activities that straddle the line between legal and illegal.

Does support continue for an adult child in college?

Child support through college is a complicated issue in the realm of family law. The complexity arises because in most states, including Tennessee, a child 18-years-old or older is a legal adult. At this point in the life of a child of divorce, the noncustodial parent is typically relieved of his or her legal obligation to support the child.

When parents with young children decide to divorce, they do not usually address educational expenses for a child over 18 in their settlement. It is difficult to think that far ahead during such an emotional and turbulent time. However, in Tennessee, that is the best way for divorcing parents to ensure their child receives a college education.

5 tips for a successful summer vacation schedule

You and your ex both work, so the school year helps your child custody schedule work flawlessly. You just do the trades at school; when your children are supposed to switch back to your home or to your ex's house, that person simply does pick-up after school. It's a smooth, seamless transition, and the fact that the kids are in school all day means you can both stick to the same work schedule.

If only school went all year around.

Divorce mediation brings many benefits to children of divorce

The heightened emotions that are typically in a divorce can be stressful on all family members. Children, in particular often experience an enormous amount of stress during the divorce. In response to this heightened stress, parents search for ways to make the divorce as stress-free as possible. For many Tennessee families, divorce mediation is an acceptable solution.

Mediation gives spouses a peaceful way to work out any differences they experience with guidance from a mediator, who is a neutral third party. With a trained approach and an impartial perspective, a mediator looks at both sides and helps couples find a solution that benefits everyone. Some of the benefits children experience in a mediated divorce includes the following:

  • When parents lessen the conflict between each other during divorce mediation, it reduces the stress children experience
  • Mediation helps parents recognize that divorce could become a source of trauma for kids, resulting in both parents letting go of their conflict
  • Mediation encourages parents to find and reach a middle ground, which also helps lessen the stress and conflict many children feel
  • Experiencing successful divorce mediation empowers parents to adopt many of the conflict-reducing techniques they learn into their daily lives, which helps children remain secure

An example of how not to handle a child custody dispute

The wars co-parents wage with one another over child custody and other divorce issues often make sense at the time. Unfortunately, it is only after the fact that parents may come to regret some of their actions. It is easy to understand how each parent wants to be part of a child's life. When denied access to their children, some desperate parents may make regrettable decisions as one Tennessee father has just learned.

According to reports, the father took his 2-year-old son from a Perry County residence last Thursday. In ordinary circumstances, this might not have been a big deal, but the boy's father did not have any parental rights to the child. The man's actions led to the authorities issuing a "missing, endangered" alert for the child complete with information about the father's vehicle. The alert also indicated that the man may have been driving under the influence.

Leave these myths behind to encourage a more peaceful divorce

Everyone knows that getting a divorce often comes with a lot of conflict and no small share of drama. Even when both spouses want nothing more than to end a sour relationship and move on separately, the issues inherent to divorce may complicate matters. Unfortunately, the abundance of myths that surround divorce adds fuel to an already blazing fire in many cases.

Knowing what to believe and what to disregard may lessen the complexities of getting divorced. During initial consultations, Tennessee family law attorneys typically urge people to forget everything they thought they know about divorce. Lawyers know that believing in divorce myths can worsen a case, which is why they advise couples to learn the law and forget the myths.

Should we talk to our kids about child support?

Surprisingly, parents in Tennessee rarely talk to their kids about child support during or after divorce. It can be a difficult subject to broach in some cases. Often, parents simply do not think about starting such a conversation. Because child support has a direct affect on children of divorce, they deserve to know more about the process. They may also benefit from knowing why support is necessary.

Beyond the child's right to know about child support, there are other reasons to consider bringing up the subject. For example, children who lack knowledge about divorce issues often formulate conclusions of their own.

3 ways a Tennessee divorce impacts your retirement plans

Couples close to and past the retirement age may consider divorce for a number of reasons. Once the children leave the home, for example, they may find they no longer have much in common with one another. Others may have only avoided divorce to prevent trauma for the children. Still others experience issues related to failing health or even infidelity.

Whatever the cause, a so-called gray divorce doesn't have to mean disaster for you financially. If you approach the divorce in a realistic manner and plan carefully, you can balance the desire to end your marriage with your need for adequate financial resources in your retirement.

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