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Montgomery County Divorce Law Blog

Modern paternity testing: Proving that you're the dad

In the past, unmarried fathers were very much out of luck when it came to establishing paternity. Before the advent of blood testing and DNA testing, there was very little one could do to prove -- beyond a shadow of a doubt -- that a particular man was the father of a particular child. However, these days, the process of proving and establishing paternity has become fairly routine.

It was during the mid-20th century, that paternity testing by way of blood tests first became a reality. Through a special laboratory process, chemists could perform a blood type analysis on samples of blood to determine biological parentage with a good amount of accuracy. Eventually, in the 1970's, paternity blood analysis became so accurate that they boasted a 95 percent rate of accuracy.

Understanding alimony in Tennessee

Alimony is a form of legally ordered financial support for an ex-spouse, which in some states is also called spousal maintenance or spousal support. A court may order alimony when one spouse has a need for support and the other spouse is able to pay.

Tennessee has four types of alimony, each with its own purposes and requirements.

Supreme Court ruling lets veteran pay less money to ex-spouse

A disabled veteran won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month. The ruling means that his ex-wife will receive less in military retirement benefits each month. The ruling could also affect other disabled veterans when it comes to how much of their retirement pensions they need to split with their exes.

In this case, Howell v. Howell, the disabled veteran qualified as 20 percent disabled in 2005, making him eligible to receive disability benefits. However, those who are less than 50 percent disabled cannot receive a veterans disability check and their veterans retirement pension at the same time. Since disability benefits are tax-free, the veteran elected to receive the disability benefits in exchange for a reduction in retirement benefits.

3 reasons to consider a prenup

As exciting as marriage is, it can also be quite nerve wracking. As the date of tying the knot gets closer, you likely have several questions running through your head. If you are concerned about money, property and finances, then it is time for you to consider the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a prenup.

A prenup is not as scary as it might sound. It does not have to be a selfish gesture void of romance. Continue reading to determine whether a prenup is right for you.

Could mediation help with your divorce?

Most Tennesee spouses going through a divorce will have moments when they feel like they're not getting along with their soon-to-be ex. These moments -- which could even involve fighting, anger and raised voices -- can be enough to discourage anyone from wanting to sit down at a mediation table with their spouse. However, even if you're not getting along with your spouse, mediation might be an excellent way to navigate your divorce proceedings diplomatically.

Let's take a look at the different factors that could indicate that mediation is right for you and your spouse:

4 same-sex couples sue the state of Tennessee

Four same-sex couples have sued the state of Tennessee regarding a new law that they allege denies them parental rights. The same-sex, female couples are married. Each couple says it expects to have a baby this year. The women are concerned that the new law, which states that undefined words Tennessee family law shall have their "natural and ordinary meanings," will undermine their parental status.

According to certain advocates of the law, like Republican state lawmaker Andrew Farmer, the legislation was not intended to have any effect on same-sex marriages or gender issues. Opponents of the legislation, however, believe that the words "wife" and "husband," "mother" and "father," and other such words could now be interpreted by the courts in a way that denies same-sex spouses their marriage-given rights to being a parent.

4 reasons why you might need a child support modification

Life is not constant, and sometimes we hit a serious roadblock when it comes to our income generating potential. If you're just a single Tennessee resident with no family to support, a big change in your income might be easier to handle. However, if you have to pay child support each month, you could find yourself in serious trouble with the law if you get behind.

In circumstances where your income changes drastically, you can usually petition the court for a modification to your child support obligations. Here are some of the life circumstances that might allow you to gain approval of your child support modification request:

What you need to about divorce mediation in Tennessee

You may have heard of the concept of divorce mediation but may not be sure how it applies to your situation. To begin with, Tennessee law does require most divorcing couples to attempt mediation. Divorcing parents may need to attend court-ordered mediation sessions geared primarily at developing a parenting plan.

Many people find mediation offers them several benefits litigation may not. Because mediation centers on cooperation rather than confrontation, divorcing couples may find it easier to concentrate on looking for solutions rather than reacting to one another's actions. A mediation setting can lower the emotional stakes and help the parties into a more rational way of thinking.

Child custody in military divorce proceedings

Child custody disagreements concerning military divorce proceedings can be a little more complicated than normal divorce matters. One of the main issues relates to the service member who is deployed and working overseas away from his or her family. This service member may have a hard time advocating for child custody because he or she is not present to care for the child.

It's not uncommon for military parents deployed overseas to lose child custody while they are deployed. The loss of custody might technically only be temporary, but once the service member returns home, it could be hard to regain custody of the child. In fact, in some child custody situations, courts will deem that the child's best interest is served by allowing the child to stay with the parent who cared for him or her while the service member was deployed.

The unique challenges faced by military couples

In virtually every Tennessee divorce, the most important issues for consideration boil down to money and children. When it's a military divorce, the long deployments and constant moving around cause child- and money-related issues to create even higher levels of consternation.

Because of the added stresses of military life, many military marriages end up in divorce. Usually, these divorces happen when children are still quite young. Because divorces tend to happen while children are still children, it means that the military member could be responsible to pay for child support -- and also spousal support in a lot of cases.

The Law Office of Steven C. Girsky
503 Madison St.
Clarksville, TN 37040

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