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Month: February 2007

What if I Change My Mind About Divorce?

What if I Change My Mind About Divorce?

If you change your mind about divorce once you have filed a complaint there are certain steps that you should take. First you should contact your divorce attorney. It is important to contact your divorce lawyer so that they will stop working on the case. Most divorce lawyers charge by the hour, so the sooner you contact them, the more money you will save. Sometimes clients think that their divorce lawyer will get mad at them if they change their…

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Tennessee Alimony: Factors Courts Consider in Making Awards

Tennessee Alimony: Factors Courts Consider in Making Awards

Tennessee Courts will consider the following factors when awarding alimony: • The relative earning capacity, obligations and resources of each party, and income from all sources• The education and training of each party• The duration of the marriage• The age and condition of each party• The need for the custodial parent to stay home• The assets of each party• The marital property division• The standard of living during the marriage• The relative fault of the parties, if the court deems…

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Who Can Be Awarded Alimony in Tennessee?

Who Can Be Awarded Alimony in Tennessee?

Traditionally, alimony was only available to the innocent or wronged spouse in a divorce. Tennessee now allows either party to be awarded alimony, regardless of which party is awarded a divorce. Alimony may be awarded to either the man or woman, and the gender of the party may not be considered in awarding spousal support. Alimony is appropriate when one party is found to be economically disadvantaged relative to the other party. The legislative preference in Tennessee is to award…

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Irreconcilable Differences Divorce: The Marital Dissolution Agreement (Part 3 of 3)

Irreconcilable Differences Divorce: The Marital Dissolution Agreement (Part 3 of 3)

A divorce based on irreconcilable differences in Tennessee (TN), must have a marital dissolution agreement (MDA). An MDA is a written agreement between the parties that divides the property and debts equitably. The MDA must be signed by both parties and notarized to show that they are agreeing to a divorce and the division of assets. The marital dissolution agreement will divide up the property between the spouses. It should tell who gets the house, the cars, the furniture, the…

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Irreconcilable Differences Divorce: The Waiting Period (Part 2 of 3)

Irreconcilable Differences Divorce: The Waiting Period (Part 2 of 3)

One question that frequently comes up with couples thinking about divorce is: How long does it take to get divorced? Under Tennessee law, a divorce based on irreconcilable differences must wait for a minimum statutory period before a final decree is granted. If there are minor children (under 18) the waiting period is 90 days. If there are no unmarried minor children, then the period is 60 days. The time period starts when the complaint for divorce is filed with…

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Irreconcilable Differences Divorce (Part 1 of 3)

Irreconcilable Differences Divorce (Part 1 of 3)

In Tennessee, a divorce based on irreconcilable differences has special requirements that are not used in other types of divorces. Irreconcilable differences is often referred to as a no fault divorce; however, that is not an accurate term. This type of divorce is not truly a no-fault divorce, because it requires agreement by both parties. Under this type of divorce, both parties must agree in writing on the custody and support of the children and for the distribution of property…

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Proposed Law Would Create a Defense to Violation of Protection Order

Proposed Law Would Create a Defense to Violation of Protection Order

Two bills have been proposed in the Tennessee legislature that would create a defense to a violation of a protection order (order of protection). House bill HB1139 and Senate bill SB1882 attempt to fill a gap in the current law by amending Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-3-610. Under the current law a person who violates an order of protection can be held in contempt of court by having contact with the party that took out the order. Being held in…

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Not the Biological Father? No Child Support (Proposed Law)

Not the Biological Father? No Child Support (Proposed Law)

A set of new bills in the Tennessee Legislature would allow men to stop paying child support if a paternity test shows they are not the father. Tennessee House Bill HB1523 and SB1949,  would amend T.C.A. section 36-5-101. If the bills become law, men who could prove they are not the biological father would be exempt from paying child support. This issue has come to be known as Paternity Fraud. In many states even if a man can prove that…

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Single Parenting and Today’s Family

Single Parenting and Today’s Family

Over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called "nuclear family" consisting of a mother, father and children. Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren. Life in a single parent household – though common – can be quite stressful for the adult and the children. Members may unrealistically expect that the family can function like a two-parent family, and…

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Discovery in Divorce

Discovery in Divorce

Discovery is the legal process of fact finding. It is where lawyers try to get information from various sources about the facts of the case. It usually occurs somewhere between filing the divorce complaint and trial. Although there are several forms and methods of discovery, I will attempt to demystify the major ones here. Depositions- This is probably the form of discovery that is most familiar to people. A deposition is where a lawyer asks a party or other person,…

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