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East Tennessee Family Law Blog

You can find and report hidden marital assets in divorce

Sometimes during a divorce, one spouse attempts to hide marital assets from the other spouse. This happens most frequently in high-asset divorces.

What can you do if you suspect that your wife or husband has stashed valuable resources and assets from the marriage out of reach of the court? One suggestion is to hire a forensic accountant to pore over the accounts and financial records, including past tax returns.

Tips for successful co-parenting outcomes

A divorce affects the entire family, not just the spouses. Divorcing Tennessee parents have to make sure that their squabbles don't affect their kids, which is often easier said than done.

So how can parents better protect their vulnerable offspring from any negative fallout from the split? One expert on divorce and families offers some tips to avoid common mistakes:

Can I prove to the court that my child's mother is unfit?

When marriages and other unions that produce children break up, determining who gets custody of the kids can be a major sticking point. Some parents go as far as trying to denigrate the other parent by calling them unfit to rear their children.

Over time, the family law courts have evolved from the presumption that the mother is the de facto caretaker of the children to what is in the children's best interests. In most cases, unless there are significant issues that prevent co-parenting, the courts will award joint custody to the parents.

Can you protect your assets when you divorce?

If you are a Tennessee resident who is divorcing and who also has significant marital assets, you can expect your divorce to be a bit more complex than it would be if you and your spouse had just gotten married and had few assets.

Wealthy, long-married couples can rack up some significant joint assets, including:

  • Homes
  • Rental properties
  • Pensions and retirement benefits
  • Stock options and restricted stock
  • Businesses
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Deferred compensation
  • Professional practices
  • Business licenses

Should I try to mediate my divorce?

A scorched-earth divorce benefits no one. That's why many Seymour family law attorneys encourage their divorce clients to consider other options beside litigation.

One of those options could be mediation for many couples contemplating divorce.

Child custody and parents with disabilities

Living with a disability can bring many challenges to daily life. However, many disabled parents have learned not just how to cope with a disability, but how to thrive and have a full life. According to ParentalRights.org, here are some facts about disabilities and parental rights.

  • One in ten American children has a parent with some form of disability.
  • In the U.S., more than four million parents live with a disability.
  • In all states, courts can factor in parental disability when determining a child's best interests.
  • In 35 states, a parent's rights could be terminated because of their disability

Tennessee is one of the states where a parent's rights can be taken away due to a mental illness or an emotional, developmental or intellectual disability. As you might expect, this could be a major issue for divorcing disabled parents seeking child custody.

Grandparents have the right to seek visitation in Tennessee

There's a popular saying that it takes a village to raise a child. For many families, that village includes the grandparents of the children. As a grandparent, you get to watch your grandchild grow up and delight in their joy. Grandparents often pride themselves on spoiling their grandchildren. Others may have to step up and do more than just provide a fun day out occasionally.

If your child has trouble parenting, works full-time or struggles with addiction, you may do more as a grandparent than others. In some cases, your child and grandchildren may even live with you. Grandparents who have an active role in a child's life often have a close bond with them. That bond is important to the child as well as the grandparent.

Can parents use child support for their personal lifestyle?

It is impossible to overstate how wrong it is to use funds meant solely for child support to cover a parent's personal luxuries or even their own needs. Child support is specifically for the children of divorce, and no other use of these funds is permitted.

Unfortunately, sometimes a custodial parent will use child support in ways that are prohibited. Perhaps they commingle child support with their own money and hope it balances out, or maybe they just do not care how these funds are spent.

New judgeship position may make divorce easier in rural areas

Unbeknownst to many Tennessee residents, there is one judicial district in the state where time seems to stand still during legal matters. Residents living in the 21st district, which is home to Williamson, Lewis, Hickman, and Perry counties, are often overlooked in their quests to find a reasonably speedy legal solution. Divorces, in particular, can take up to a year to be heard by a judge.

Because there are fewer judges per person than in any other judicial district of the state, residents in the 21st district must wait to have their needs served. However, these unreasonable wait times may soon be ending because of a new judgeship position.

Avoiding mistakes during a child custody dispute

Child custody disagreements can turn two otherwise reasonable, caring parents into lifelong enemies. It is a strange phenomenon because both parents typically want the same things, which are good health, plenty of love and ideal living conditions for their children. Why does this part of getting divorced bring out the worst in parents?

Unfortunately, we cannot answer that question with true accuracy. We only know that child custody wars erupt between parents more often than they should. Unfortunately, the fallout from such battles can harm the children and the parents in the end. Our attorneys want all parents divorcing in Tennessee to keep a few things in mind during the child custody decision-making process. Doing so can help you avoid mistakes that could derail your efforts to keep your kids emotionally and mentally healthy.

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