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East Tennessee Family Law Blog

Mediating your divorce may be best for your children

If you are contemplating filing for divorce from your spouse, you should consider how this could potentially affect your children. Kids of all ages are affected by their parents divorces — even adult children.

Knowing what you may face if you litigate your divorce, you may instead choose a collaborative divorce process. Below are some factors you should weigh when making the decision on how to proceed.

Could your child be the victim of a nonstranger abduction?

Having your child kidnapped by a depraved stranger is too horrible to contemplate. But what happens when their abductor is a beloved family member — or their noncustodial parent?

Then, the waters get murkier. If you call the police and your child is taken from the family member at gunpoint, it's a traumatizing event that your child will relive over and over. They'll see their other parent, grandparent or aunt or uncle handcuffed and taken away to jail in a police car. They may even believe it's all their fault.

When can I stop paying child support?

Divorced parents who are paying child support may yearn for the day when they are no longer obliged to shell out support money each month. That day can vary, depending on where you live and other factors.

Here in Tennessee, child support obligations generally end when the child turns 18. If your child is still attending high school when their 18th birthday comes, the obligation ends upon their graduation or when the child's class graduates. If the child marries or is emancipated before graduation, the parent no longer is obligated to pay support.

Can your business survive your divorce?

Divorcing couples who jointly own a Florida business often struggle to keep the doors open after they split. It is an unfortunate fact that many businesses can't weather the storm of its co-founders' divorce.

But there are ways to prevent your business from going belly-up when you file your petition to divorce in the Tennessee courts. Below are some tips for those business owners who find themselves on the brink of divorce.

Tips to help you co-parent when the kids don't have school

Parenting is stressful for most people under normal circumstances, but when you toss a divorce and custody schedule into the mix, things can get even more complicated. While there is no foolproof handbook that will guide every step of the way through your journey as a single parent, there are some resources available that can help you successfully co-parent.

For example, there are online scheduling tools that will allow you and your ex to work out the details of pick-ups, drop-offs and even share your work schedules so that you can avoid miscommunications.

Who makes the decisions when co-parents disagree?

Even parents who remain together can have differences of opinion on how to rear and discipline their children. For divorced moms and dads struggling to co-parent amicably, these difficulties can first surface when the kids hit adolescence.

These are the years when kids are most likely to test parental limits. They're stretching themselves and trying to find their ways in new social settings and at school. They want to try new experiences with their friends.

Divorce mediation is not the goal for every situation

Are you considering filing for divorce? If so, well-meaning friends and relatives may be encouraging you to use mediation. It's true that in many circumstances, mediation saves both money and time for divorcing couples.

However, mediation is not the right solution for all divorcing couples. To determine whether it is a viable option for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you and your spouse still communicate effectively?
  • Do you both agree that divorce is the right move?
  • Can you both compromise?
  • Do the two of you know all of your marital debts and assets?

Determine which type of custody to seek for your kids

If you are a Seymour parent who is contemplating divorce, you need to thoroughly understand the types of custody you might pursue for your children. In Tennessee, as elsewhere, all custody is not created equal, and it's always wise to know where you stand.

Before proceeding, it's a good idea to honestly reflect on how much of the parenting duties you will be able to shoulder. Are you a nurse working swing shifts or a corporate executive who travels extensively for the job? If so, it may not be possible to manage the physical custody of your kids — particularly those who are very young.

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:

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