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Knoxville Family Law Blog

Common estate planning errors to avoid

Many people in Tennessee still have no estate plan in place. There is no shortage of reasons why. Attorneys practicing in this area of law have heard them all. They run the gamut from, "I don't own enough to make a plan," to "I don't want to spend the money."

Regardless of your reason, odds are better than even that it is faulty. The one that might stand the test best is that estate planning is complicated. That can be true, but a skilled legal counsel committed to understanding your unique needs is in the best position to know how to apply the available tools to craft a reasonable plan.

Divorce mediation in Tennessee

The divorce process can be rough on everyone involved. However, a contentious litigation battle does not have to number among the unavoidable unpleasantnesses you face.

In a contested divorce, Tennessee law requires mandatory mediation sessions. If you want to file for an uncontested divorce with an agreement, mediation or other forms of collaborative law can make it easier to achieve your goal of arriving at a consensus.

How to decide between divorce and legal separation

Divorce is common throughout the country, but it is a particularly large problem in Tennessee. In 2015, there were four counties in the state where the marriage rate was actually lower than the divorce rate. 

People understandably want to know all their options before proceeding with a divorce. Many people come across the option of legal separation, which is similar to a divorce, but there are key differences. It is paramount for both spouses to understand the intricacies of each so they can do what is best for both of them and any children they share. 

How does adultery impact a divorce?

The divorce rate has remained high in the United States over the last few decades, and adultery continues to be a common reason for it. According to the latest data gathered on infidelity, while women appear to cheat to try to reestablish an emotional connection, men most often cheat for purely physical reasons. 

Adultery can either play a minimal role in the divorce proceedings, or it can drastically impact the outcome. It ultimately comes down to the details of the act. Here are the various ways adultery can affect divorce in Tennessee.

3 essential tips to prepare for adoption

Adopting a child is an exciting adventure. While you may feel a lot of giddiness and hope, the process is often confusing and intimidating. If you are having trouble navigating the adoption process, do not let discouragement take over. You can get through it!

You can achieve your goal of adopting if you stay focused and determined. Here is some advice to assist you through the process. 

Do grandparents have visitation rights in Tennessee?

Divorce is a difficult situation for everyone involved, but it is grandparents who can end up losing the most. No longer seeing a grandchild is heartbreaking for the grandparents and often devastating for the grandchild.

If a parent makes visitation difficult or impossible for grandparents, there are situations in which the grandparent can sue for visitation. However, Tennessee state law on the issue is complicated.

Is your ex rushing you to sign divorce papers?

If you are going through a divorce, it is clearly an emotionally trying time in which you may not feel as strong or clear-headed as you would under normal circumstances. The emotional, psychological and financial fallout of a divorce is intense and continuous as you go through the process.

One thing that some spouses face when going through their divorce is that the opposing counsel tries to strong-arm them into signing divorce documents. This is a dangerous area for you to fall into, especially if your spouse's attorney insists that you must sign quickly without allowing any other attorneys to review the documents. Read on for some more information about why it can be risky to sign divorce papers without proper legal assistance.

Can my child decide which parent gets custody?

There are misconceptions on how much influence a child has when it comes to determining custody. Many parents believe that if their child wants to stay with them, they will receive custody.

While children are allowed to communicate their opinions on the divorce, that is not the only element weighed in custody disputes. Family court judges consider a variety of factors when deciding on a custody arrangement.

Social media parameters in prenups

If you are involved in a serious relationship in Tennessee and have been discussing formalizing your commitment by getting married, now is the time to also discuss creating a prenuptial agreement with your partner. Marriage is as much a business and financial arrangement as it is a personal and emotional one which makes prenups important for people who want to address all sides of this relationship.

In a dangerous situation, protection of kids comes first

Abuse, in all of its tragic forms, can be difficult to discuss. After all, it is often a challenging subject to bring to attention, and many would rather not converse on issues and thus tear open the wounds. In a family setting, abuse can become all the harder to combat -- especially since some children are too young to vocalize an ongoing issue. Despite the ambiguity of some cases, Tennessee has a wide range of resources one can look to during times of need.

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