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Montgomery County Divorce Law Blog

For the best visits with your children, make it about them

For many noncustodial parents, the day that they moved out of the family home – or the day their spouse and children left the family home – was one of the most difficult days in their lives.

Although you may be enjoying a healthier, less toxic home life because you're no longer enduring a relationship based on incompatibility, you're probably missing the "pitter-patter" of little feet and the opportunity to be with your children full time, every day. For this reason, you probably want to enjoy the visitation time you have with your children to the max.

What are my rights as a Tennessee noncustodial parent?

Even if you don't have physical custody of your children, if you're a noncustodial parent, you still have legal rights with respect to your status as a parent under Tennessee family law.

Here are the most important noncustodial parental rights you have (as long as they don't interfere with the best interests of your child):

Importance of planning for college in a divorce

Going through a divorce in Tennessee entails more than figuring out alimony and child custody. Both parties have to plan for the future, and if they have children, then it is a good idea to plan for college throughout the divorce process.

You do not want your divorce to negatively affect your kids' futures. There are several steps to take, and no matter how you feel about your soon-to-be-former spouse, you want to make sure you both prepare accordingly for the well-being of the children.

How do courts enforce a child custody order?

Imagine that you and your children have benefited from court-ordered child support payments for years, but suddenly, the father of your children doesn't want to send the money anymore. Now, you're struggling to make financial ends meet for your family and you don't know what to do. Fortunately, the law is on your side.

A parent who refuses to pay child support in contravention to a court-ordered child support award will be in contempt of court. In fact, police could arrest and jail a parent who is delinquent like this, but the preferred method of enforcement is not jail time because that would interfere with the parent's ability to pay. Rather, district attorneys are more likely to employ the following enforcement strategies:

  • Garnishment of wages
  • Seizing of property
  • Suspension of an occupational license
  • Suspension of a business license
  • Revocation of a driver's license
  • Denial of a passport in cases where over $2,500 or more worth of child support is owed.

Do these 2 things before you file for divorce

Jumping head-first into your divorce proceedings without advanced preparation is not the best idea. If you want to be ready for what's to come in the best way possible -- and not get blindsided by unfortunate surprises -- there are a few things you might want to do before filing your divorce papers. You might even want to do these things before discussing the wish to divorce with your spouse.

Here are two things to do before you file for a divorce:

Stopping co-parenting issues before they arise in divorce

One assumption that many people in Tennessee make when leaving their spouses is that they will be able to sever all ties to the other parent entirely. While the law allows for people to end their marriages with divorce, it does not stop them from being parents.

In order for parents to co-parent peacefully and effectively, they must communicate and act respectfully to each other. Some people have a hard time dealing with all of the emotions and concerns divorce brings about and become incredibly challenging to work with. If you are contemplating a divorce, take time to understand your situation and everything that is at stake. Keep the following pointers in mind about co-parenting through divorce.

What should I put in my prenuptial agreement?

When it comes to planning your prenuptial agreement, you will have a lot of flexibility with regard to how this legal document is worded. Since the way you draft this document will govern how your divorce will proceed -- in the unlikely event that you even have a divorce -- you will want to take care to ensure your prenuptial agreement is lawful, treats your fairly and preserves your legal rights.

Here are a few things you might want to consider incorporating into your prenuptial agreement:

3 tips for adoptive parents in a divorce

Adoption is a wonderful way to build your family and create a loving home. Parents who adopt do not always stay together, though, and navigating divorce after adoption can be a tricky task. Adoptive children may have a fear of familial instability, so it is important to approach the transition carefully and provide your whole family with as much support and sensitivity as you possibly can. 

The following are three tips you may follow as an adoptive parent to make the situation minimally stressful. Even though divorce is difficult, you can emphasize positive outcomes and guide your family into this new phase.

Can my soon-to-be ex-spouse take part of my inheritance?

A sudden influx of inherited money is a boon for all families. However, what will happen to your inheritance in the event you get a divorce? Will you get to keep the entirety of your inheritance? Will your ex-spouse take part of these assets? The answers to these questions may be different depending on what you did with the inheritance after receiving it.

On a very general level, an inheritance remains the individual property of the spouse who receives the inheritance. In other words, if your uncle passed away while you were married -- or even before you were married -- and left you a considerable sum in his will, these assets will remain classified as separate property under your individual ownership. There are, however, some very important exceptions to this rule, and every married person who plans to receive an inheritance needs to be aware of them.

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

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