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July 2015 Archives

Military deployment and child support -- Part I

Service members throughout the country, including those in Tennessee, understand that military life exacts certain prices on family unity that most civilian families never have to pay. When service members are deployed for long periods, their absence from home can put extreme stresses -- both emotional and financial -- on their families still at home. As a result, many service members' marriages break down and divorce becomes almost inevitable. When a service member is a noncustodial parent, that person's connection with a family may be limited to paying regular child support.

Locating a service member to establish child custody orders

In Tennessee, just like everywhere else in the United States, it may not be possible for a custodial parent to know about the location of a non-custodial parent, particularly if the individual is a service member. The nature of the military service is such that the work station, along with the primary address of the person, may change frequently. Also, for reasons of national security, a service member may not be allowed to disclose where that person is working. That often happens when a service member is deployed into the war zone.

Establishing fathers' rights in Tennessee

Many single men in Tennessee feel that although the family law of the state recognizes the fathers' rights, when it comes to obtaining child custody after the divorce, a mother is often the preferred parent to obtain child custody. In fact, fathers in the U.S. have taken the child custody disputes to the legislatures. Almost 20 states will take measures that will indicate which parent will be awarded child custody in the event of a divorce. However, many people are of the opinion that children do much better when they are with both parents.

The various forms of child custody -- Part II

Most Tennessee residents know what child custody is and the general forms it can take. The previous blog post discussed four types of child custody, including physical, joint, legal and sole. If any parent in a joint child-custody arrangement feels that the other parent is taking unfair advantage of their current arrangement, then the parent is free to approach a Tennessee court and request a change from joint custody to sole custody. In general, courts are less inclined to grant sole custody because they feel that joint custody is in the best interests of most children.

The various forms of child custody -- Part I

As with divorces everywhere, minor children in Tennessee are usually the ones who experience the strongest sense of anxiety about the future. Their parents may be eager to move on with their lives, but children have no real idea what to expect in the coming weeks, months and years. Fortunately, courts almost always look to make decisions about child custody and child support with the best interests of the child in mind. They typically award custody to one parent and order the other to pay support.

To share or to sell the marital home is a million dollar question

Divorce is not just about the cutting of the emotional bond between couples. There are also financial issues involved in a divorce, including property division matters. As any Tennessee resident knows, property division, particularly that of a marital home, can become quite complex. Besides the love and attachment to the home, there is also the prestige that comes with owning the marital home.

Tennessee's Putative Fathers Registry handles 5,000 cases a year

A putative father is one who does not have any legal relationship with their child but claims to be the child's father. A putative father can also be the man whom the woman believes to be the child's father. The Tennessee Department of Children's Services keeps a record of putative fathers in the putative fathers' registry. This is a list of men who have provided a notice of intent of being a child's father -- the child must have been involved in adoption or parental rights' termination.

Signing child support agreements can help parents and children

Like the other financial aspects of divorce, such as property division and alimony, child support is often a point of contention. It is true that the purpose of child support is to fulfill the needs of the child; however, in many cases, child support obligations lead to parents not paying on time because they are unable to keep up with the payment schedule for a number of reasons, such as insufficient income.

What role does religion play in child custody cases?

There are many people who are married to a person from another religion. Many interfaith couples and their children practice either religion or both religions. However, in the event of divorce, the child's religious practices may become a point of contention after the parents separate.

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