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Montgomery County Divorce Law Blog

Tennessee judge upholds singer's prenuptial agreement

Singer Jill Scott's break-up with her husband just 15 months after the two married has garnered considerable media attention largely because her estranged husband, Mike Dobson, has been seeking spousal support. He's asking for this money despite the fact that the couple's prenuptial agreement stipulated that neither party would seek support.

According to a court document that's been made public, the prenup also stated "the parties' specific intention not to create any marital property." Nonetheless, Dobson has sought half the assets acquired by both of them during the marriage.

How to increase odds of successful mediation

For a majority of couples, divorce will be an arduous process. One doctor recently recommended for a Tennessee couple to divorce to help pay for their child's medical bills, so that is one instance where a couple still loves each other and gets along perfectly. 

However, for other couples, there will be animosity present. This animosity can greatly delay the divorce process, which is not good for either party. This is why many couples pursue mediation to help resolve issues before going to court. If you think mediation could help your divorce, you can take specific actions to have more productive sessions. 

What you should know before you put your child on a plane alone

If you're a divorced parent who lives a long distance from your co-parent, you may be considering the option of letting your child fly alone to spend part of the summer with them. If that goes well, you may let them do this for spring breaks and part of their winter vacation as well.

The prospect of letting your child travel alone can be frightening. Even the term that the airlines use -- "unaccompanied minor" -- might make you feel guilty. However, kids fly alone often enough that airlines have procedures and rules for unaccompanied minors.

Preparation is key for co-parenting over summer vacation

If you're a divorced parent, you've likely begun planning for your children's summer vacation. Typically, the earlier parents can finalize plans regarding child care, summer camps, trips and holiday activities, the less confusion and conflict they'll experience when summer arrives. If you and your co-parent included summer vacations in your original child custody agreement, you're a step ahead of parents who didn't.

Whether the schedule is included in your agreement or you're working it out now, it's important to let your kids know the details. Younger kids may have an especially difficult time adjusting to a summer schedule divided between two parents' homes -- particularly if they're still getting acclimated to their school year custody schedule. However, older kids need to know what the schedule is so they can more easily plan their activities with friends, their soccer team, summer jobs and more.

Proposed law could help Tennessee fathers seeking shared custody

Tennessee state lawmakers are considering a bill that could make it easier for fathers to get joint custody of their children after divorce. The proposed law would create a presumption for judges that it's best for children when parents share custody.

An official with The Tennessee Fathers' Rights Movement, which is supporting the bill, explains that traditionally family courts have granted greater custody rights to mothers. He says the bill could help "level the playing field for fathers seeking to spend more time with their children." He argues that it will also help prevent "highly contested disputes that can last for years" and hurt the children at the center of them.

Why is infidelity the leading cause of divorce?

With the divorce rate peaking at almost 60 percent, many people may wonder why. One of the top contributing factors of divorce in the U.S. every year is infidelity.

Extramarital affairs continue to occur, even in the face of newfound technology aimed at nabbing cheaters in the act. Why is infidelity such a common cause of divorce?

Remaining positive helps kids adjust to shared custody

One of the biggest challenges for many divorced co-parents who are sharing custody of their children is maintaining a positive attitude about your kids' time with their other parent. However, that's crucial to helping them adjust to spending time with the parents separately and across two homes. No matter how you feel about your co-parent, it's essential to your children's well-being to encourage a good relationship with them.

One way to ease your children's anxiety about the custody arrangement is to have a clear schedule and to stick to it. It's often helpful for both parents to print out a copy of the schedule and have it in both houses where kids can see it. You may want to let them have a role in decorating the schedule or adding their own artwork to it. If you have older kids with their own electronic devices, you may want to let them have access to their schedule online. This can help them as they plan their extracurricular and social activities.

Don't forget your role as co-parents after your kids are grown

Whether you waited until your children were grown to divorce or you've been co-parenting with your ex-spouse for many years, parents often believe that adult children aren't seriously impacted by their parents' divorce. You may not even consider yourselves "co-parents" any longer.

However, you and your ex will remain your children's co-parents for the rest of their lives. That's why it's essential to remember a few things that can save your kids some pain and stress.

Tax options for separated and divorcing couples

Tax time is always a stressful time of year, no matter what else is going on in your life. It can become overwhelming if you are going through a divorce at the same time. You have a lot of factors to consider right now. Apart from all the emotional and procedural aspects of ending your marriage, you need to think about how it impacts your tax filing and return.

While your mind may mostly be pre-occupied with child custody and asset division, taxes deserve your attention too. Take a look at some of these tax guidelines to follow as you proceed with your divorce.

Getting organized is key if you're contemplating divorce

When you've come to the decision to end your marriage (or perhaps your spouse has made that decision for both of you), it's only natural to feel stressed out and emotionally fragile. Likely, the last thing you want to do is start combing through file cabinets, drawers and online folders for documents. However, it's essential to start getting documentation of your marital assets and debts organized to bring to your attorney.

Following are some of the documents you should locate:

  • Bank, retirement and investment account statements
  • Mortgage and other loan documents (including credit card statements)
  • Property deeds
  • Estate plan documents
  • Insurance policies
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

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