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Montgomery County Divorce Law Blog

How can I diffuse parental conflict?

Parental conflict can be damaging for your children's psyche's and emotional development. Even babies exhibit symptoms of distress -- such as sadness, anxiety, anger and fear -- when their parents are arguing. Older children may develop patterns of delinquency and various emotional and behavioral challenges as a result of parent fighting. Due to these risks, single Tennessee parents may want to diffuse any kind of parental conflict either before or as soon as it arises.

Here's how to diffuse parental conflict:

  • Swallow your pride and turn off your "argument mode" as soon as you find it raising its ugly head. Present a united front with your children at all times and show them that you and the other parent are working as a team.
  • Do not blame the other parent or criticize him or her in front of the kids. If you need to vent about your ex, do it to your to your therapist or a very good friend. When you show respect to your spouse, you help your children feel safe and emotionally secure. Seeing you and your ex talk in a calm way will be experienced positively by your children.
  • If you're currently in difficult conflict, resolve it with your ex when your children are not watching.
  • For high-conflict exes, a monitored child custody exchange could be easier on your children. Monitored exchanges allow exes to exchange their children without the other ex present. The children are dropped off at a location that has professional staff. Ten or 15 minutes later, the other parent arrives to collect the children.

What Tennessee parents should know about custody

When you begin the divorce process with young children in tow, the question of custody becomes a major issue. Knowing the basics of how Tennessee law approaches custody can help you better understand how to move forward.

Tennessee parents may have legal custody, physical custody or both. Legal custody means having the authority to make decisions about education, medical issues and general well-being. Physical custody means taking care of everyday living.

Military family law: When children are born abroad

Any child born to a U.S. citizen will also receive citizenship, even if the child is born overseas on a military base. However, when it comes to military parents and their children born overseas, they usually have questions about how citizenship works. In this article, we'll review the different ways babies receive their citizenship when born to U.S. citizens overseas.

Here is how citizenship gets approved if the parents are married:

  • When both the of parents are U.S. citizens and one of them lived inside the United States prior to the child being born.
  • When one of the parents is a U.S. citizen and lived in the United States of a minimum of five years before the birth of the child -- and two of those years were after 14 years of age. For these purposes, if some of that time was spent as an overseas military service member, then this time will serve as "time spent in the United States."

3 common prenup mistakes to avoid

Signing a prenup can be a stressful process, but running into complications once you tie the knot can affect your emotions and finances even more. Your prenup could be invalid if you make some simple mistakes. What if your prenup does not protect your assets the way you want? Even celebrities make common errors that lead to trouble.

If you want to ensure your agreement is fully enforceable, you will want to craft it carefully and avoid mistakes before signing it. Here are some pitfalls to avoid to ensure your prenup is valid.

The 3 types of alimony

In most Tennessee divorce cases, alimony awards are temporary. However, in some situations, there is the possibility that alimony will be awarded indefinitely. In this article, we will review the three types of alimony that Tennessee family court judges may award and what these kinds of alimony entail.

Here are the three kinds of alimony you might encounter:

  • Alimony in Futuro: Alimony in futuro might not have an end date associated with it. This indefinite alimony is not often awarded to spouses in Tennessee. However, if a marriage endured for decades -- and in other rare circumstances -- a spouse might have the ability to receive this kind of alimony.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: Rehabilitative alimony is temporary. As such, a judge will specify the exact time period of the alimony and how much the payments will be. Rehabilitative alimony is intended to assist an ex-spouse to complete education required to improve the spouse's employability. In many situations, a stay-at-home parent will be able to receive rehabilitative alimony.
  • Transitional Alimony: Transitional alimony is also temporary. Unlike rehabilitative alimony, it is not intended to pay for the recipient's educational needs. Rather, it is a temporary allotment intended to assist the recipient in paying for living expenses and other needs while the recipient is transitioning to life as a financially independent single person.

The worst mistake a parent can make during a divorce

Divorce can be a difficult and terrifying experience for anyone. When children are involved and two parents are parting ways, the stakes and fear become even higher. Not only will the parents themselves be dealing with numerous fears and worries about how the divorce could affect their children, but the children themselves will also be dealing with their own emotional difficulties. This is why, whenever a parent tries to use his or her children as pawns to get something during the divorce process, it is huge mistake in judgment -- and perhaps, it's the very worst mistake that any parent could make during a divorce.

Sometimes the parent who is serving as primary caregiver will threaten to take away access to the children, using the threat as leverage to gain more financial support. Invariably, this kind of threat will activate the worst fears that the other parent has, as no loving parent will find it easy to deal with the chances of losing contact with his or her children.

3 common mistakes men make during divorce

A divorce can quickly turn ugly, especially if you do not have a prenup. It is easy to make errors during the divorce process. With all the emotional turmoil and legal complications involved, you can make some mistakes that impact your whole life, including finances and children. Do not let your anger drive you and turn your divorce into an all-out war.

Divorce does not have to be emotionally crippling and financially devastating. Read this list of the most common mistakes men make during divorce and what you should do instead.

Can I have primary custody of my kids as a military member?

There's a false idea floating around about child custody as it applies to military parents. It's that military service members cannot maintain primary custody of their children. This is not true.

As long as you create a shared parenting plan that honors the needs of both parents and the best interests of your children, as a military service member, you can get approval for the primary custody you desire. Courts will be strict when reviewing your plan, however, so you may want to get help from a qualified legal professional when creating your child custody arrangements.

Dads have a right to see their kids

Many years ago, when two parents got divorced, Tennessee fathers invariably got the short end of the stick. In the vast majority of cases, the mother would receive full custody of the children. As such, the children would live with the mother full-time and the father would only receive visitation rights. Sometimes, those visitations were few and far between. Perhaps a father would only get to see his kids for a little while during the summer, every other weekend or just a couple times a month.

These days, the story is quite different. After extensive research and investigation by child and family psychologists, the consensus is clear. Children benefit immensely from spending as much time as possible with both parents. In fact, some psychologists have described children deprived of contact with their fathers as "father hungry." The simple fact is this: Kids need to spend time with their dads, and Tennessee family law courts recognize this.

Is shared parenting best?

In the late 1970s, psychologists started to recognize a symptom of divorce known as "father hunger." When a single mother reared her children without regular involvement and visitation from the father, it was not uncommon for children and fathers to want to have more time with one another.

Previously it was the belief that mothers were the most important person in their children's lives and fathers were not entirely necessary. As a result, mothers were given priority in court-ordered divorce decisions, and fathers were given the short end of the stick.

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