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Knoxville, Tennessee Family Law Blog

Divorce and a family business buyout

Going through a divorce is every bit as challenging as it sounds. As you do this, you'll need to turn your attention to a variety of details.

If you own a family business with your spouse, you need to have a clear idea of what will happen to it in the future. It goes without saying that things are going to change in some way, shape or form.

Unmarried parents and child custody

If a child is born to an unmarried couple in Tennessee, the father is not assumed to be a legal parent. Therefore, the father generally needs to sign an affidavit claiming responsibility for the child. Doing so gives both the mother and father the same legal rights and responsibilities to the child. The parents then have the freedom to give the child whatever name that they deem to be appropriate.

This means that the child could have its mother's last name, the father's last name or both. Having the parent's name on the child's birth certificate is important because it may allow the child to qualify for government benefits. It is important to note that only one parent can take the tax exemption based on having a minor dependent each year. However, either parent can take it as long as he or she supports the child.

Fathers, custody and coparenting

Parents in Tennessee who are getting a divorce may need to make decisions about child custody. There is a stereotype that divorced fathers are not involved in their children's lives, but it is not accurate. Many fathers who are divorced want to spend time with their children, and during the divorce process, they can take steps to ensure that this is the case. There are a number of options fathers can pursue, including sole custody, shared custody and visitation. The final plan needs to work with parents' schedules while being what's best for the children.

The parents also will need to work out a parenting plan. It is important that they create an effective plan to avoid having to return to court to get it modified. There are a number of things parents should consider when creating this plan, including how they will communicate about matters pertaining to the children. The parenting plan may address who will be responsible for school visits, doctor appointments and extracurricular activities.

Uninsured medical expenses can be a child support concern

Divorcing parents in Tennessee have a number of matters to consider when planning for a child support and custody agreement or seeking an order from the court. One matter that can quickly become costly is the uninsured medical expenses of a child. In most cases, these costs are considered in addition to regular child support obligations. They include medically necessary health care expenses that aren't covered by a health insurance plan, including co-pays, deductibles, some dental and vision bills and prescription medication expenses.

These treatments must be medically necessary in order to be considered extraordinary medical expenses in a child support agreement or order. Most child support orders include provisions for a child's health insurance coverage, but extra costs like deductibles and co-pays as well as uninsured expenses are common.

Contentious divorce between Audrina Patridge, Corey Bohan

Tennessee fans of the TV personality Audrina Patridge may have heard about her split from the BMX biker Corey Bohan. Patridge was awarded custody of the couple's 15-month-old daughter and of their dog. Bohan agreed to leave their home, but Patridge was ordered to pay him $35,000 for recent work on the home.

The two began dating in 2008 and married in 2016. The marriage only lasted 10 months, and the split has been a troubled one. On Sept. 18, Patridge filed a child abduction prevention order and a temporary restraining order against Bohan, and on Sept. 20, she filed for divorce. Sources say she filed the orders because she was afraid of how Bohan would respond to her divorce filing. There is an open domestic abuse case involving the couple that is scheduled to be heard in 2018. Bohan has denied Patridge's allegations.

Shared custody may be best for the kids

Tennessee parents who are approaching divorce may be interested in the results of a study that indicates joint parenting gives children the greatest likelihood of success. Meanwhile, statistics show that the mother is awarded physical custody in 80 percent of cases decided by the courts. Critics of shared physical custody argue that conflict between estranged parents has too detrimental an effect on children.

According to a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forest University, though, the role of parental conflict has been exaggerated and should not determine child custody outcomes. She examined the data and results of 44 previous studies on divorce conflict and its impact on children and did not find strong support that conflict necessarily means a poor outcome for the kids. Rather, she found that the quality of the relationships between each of the parents and the child is the most important factor.

Know your assets' classification for an easy division of property

Marital property, defined by law, is any property you obtain during your marriage. Commingled assets become marital property in some cases, too. Define your marital property matters, because it could save you months of hassles in negotiations for items that are in conflict.

Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. That means that your marital property will be split equitably, not necessarily evenly. Once the property is divided into its classifications, you get to negotiate for marital property in an equitable manner.

How parents can raise their children after a divorce

Tennessee parents may find it difficult to raise a child with their former partner after a divorce. In many cases, this is because the relationship itself was contentious. In others, one party may have concerns about the other party's parenting style. However, it is important to keep in mind that the goal is to focus on the children and their needs.

It is generally for the best that both parents are in a child's life assuming that there no instances of domestic violence or other forms of abuse. Kids tend to feel more secure and have better self-esteem when both parents are in their lives. They also learn how an adult solves problems in a mature and constructive manner. Having mom and dad in their lives makes it easier for children to understand what is expected of them at all times.

How legal custody works after a divorce

Tennessee parents who are getting a divorce and who have young children will also need to make a decision about child custody or have a judge decide. There are two types of custody, physical custody and legal custody.

Physical custody is what many people think of when they use the word "custody" and refers to where a child will live. However, it is different from legal custody. Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make decisions about areas of a child's life such as education, health care and religion. Parents will almost always share joint legal custody. It is usually considered to be in the best interests of the child, but there are cases in which one parent will be awarded sole legal custody. For example, the divorce may have happened because the father had severe substance abuse and addiction issues. In a case like this, the mother may be granted sole legal custody.

Options for child custody decisions

Parents in Tennessee who are going through a divorce have a number of options for resolving child custody issues. There are several ways that parents can attempt to reach an agreement on child custody and visitation before turning to litigation and having a judge decide.

One approach is informal negotiations. Parents may do this with the help of their respective attorneys or they may do it on their own. Some parents may prefer to have their attorneys do all the negotiating. Others might want to reach an agreement and then have their attorneys review it.

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