barnettlegalteam Just another WordPress site 2020-06-29T12:49:09Z https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/feed/atom/ WordPress barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[Does it matter who is at fault in a divorce?]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=617 2020-06-29T12:49:09Z 2020-06-29T12:49:09Z Overview of the grounds for divorce in the Tennessee Courts Tennessee has two different types of divorces: Uncontested divorce which is normally based on irreconcilable differences and contested divorce which requires proof of grounds for a divorce. Irreconcilable differences divorce requires that both parties agree to the divorce, and both parties agree to wait ninety … Continue reading Does it matter who is at fault in a divorce?

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Divorce Attorneys - Knoxville, Tennessee

Overview of the grounds for divorce in the Tennessee Courts

Tennessee has two different types of divorces:

Uncontested divorce which is normally based on irreconcilable differences and contested divorce which requires proof of grounds for a divorce.

Irreconcilable differences divorce requires that both parties agree to the divorce, and both parties agree to wait ninety (90) days or sixty (60) days if there are no children to divorce. In addition, you must have a written Marital Dissolution Agreement that divides your property fairly and equitably. If you have children you must also have a Parenting Plan that makes arrangements in writing for the custody and support of the minor children in the marriage.

It is oftentimes more expedient to file for an uncontested or “irreconcilable differences” divorce. 

As for assessing fault for a marriage – you only need to say that differences have come to light that will prevent you from living together in the future as husband and wife.

**Fault in a divorce does not prevent or allow you to obtain a divorce. Fault does have a role in establishing custody and parenting time and the award of attorney’s fees – call us to learn more. 

Contested Divorce in most cases is a divorce is brought upon under contested circumstances because of the actions of one or more of the parties.  In Tennessee this is called a “contested divorce” and it is based upon the argument that one party did something “wrong” and therefore has fault for causing the breakdown in the marital relationship.

A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree and therefore must go to trial. 

**It is important to understand what grounds the courts of Tennessee will recognize in assigning fault. 

Grounds for a contested divorce are: 

  • Abandonment
  • Adultery
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Bigamy
  • Felony conviction and jail sentencing
  • Impotence / Sterility
  • Inappropriate marital conduct / Cruel inhuman treatment
  • Indignities offered by one spouse to the other
  • Living separately for two years with NO minor children
  • Malicious attempt on your spouse’s life
  • Pregnancy of the wife by another before the marriage without the husband’s knowledge
  • Refusal or neglect of providing for spouse
  • Refusal to reside in Tennessee w/ your spouse / living apart for two years
  • Willful malicious desertion for one year without reasonable cause

Attorney Ben Barnett has been recognized as a CITYVIEW MAGAZINE top divorce attorney (2018, 2019 & 2020) because he understands that not all divorces involve fault. When divorces DO involve fault, he understands the relevant law and knows how to use it in aggressively pursuing and protecting his client’s best interests. 

If you have questions, we want to help provide you with answers and we invite you to a free phone or video consultation to discuss your best options when considering whether or not file for a contested or uncontested divorce! CALL OR EMAIL US TODAY FOR HELP!

 

 

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[What You Should Know about Spousal Alimony and the Factors Affecting It?]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=589 2020-06-01T14:44:07Z 2020-06-01T14:44:07Z What You Should Know about Spousal Alimony and the Factors Affecting It? Divorce can be difficult, especially if one of the partners is not going to be financially independent after the separation. Alimony is considered important in a divorce to ensure financial balance among the partners. How Is Alimony Defined? Alimony is defined as the … Continue reading What You Should Know about Spousal Alimony and the Factors Affecting It?

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What You Should Know about Spousal Alimony and the Factors Affecting It?

Divorce can be difficult, especially if one of the partners is not going to be financially independent after the separation. Alimony is considered important in a divorce to ensure financial balance among the partners.

How Is Alimony Defined?

Alimony is defined as the legal obligation on a person who will have to provide financial support to his/her spouse during the proceedings of the divorce and after separation. The court orders alimony payments when it is found that the divorce may result in imbalanced financial stress for one of the partners in the relationship.

What Are the Different Types of Alimony in the State of Tennessee?

The courts of Tennessee may order one or a combination of the below-mentioned types of alimony:

Rehabilitative Alimony

This alimony is offered when the dependent spouse needs additional capabilities to become self-sufficient. It may be used for pursuing higher education or to improve employment prospects.

Periodic Alimony

The court recognizes various instances based on the requirements of the dependant partner and a periodic payment is provided by the spouse for financial support.

Transitional Alimony

Transitional alimony is a short-term solution awarded by the court when rehabilitation is not required. Spousal support is provided to the economically disadvantaged partner to cope with the economic consequences of a divorce.

Lump-Sum Alimony

It is a one-time payment that equalizes the financial standing of both partners.

What Factors Determine the Payment of Alimony?

The factors that determine the payment of alimony in the State of Tennessee are:

  • The earning capacity, needs, obligations, and financial resources of each party, including income from pension, retirement plans or profit-sharing policies
  • Duration of marriage
  • The education and training of each party, the capability to secure the education and training to boost earning capacity
  • Age and mental health of each party
  • Physical health of each party, not limited to physical inability or incapability due to a chronic disease
  • Restrictions on a party to seek employment for being the custodian of a minor child
  • Tangible and intangible assets of each party
  • Standard of living established by the couple during the marriage
  • Monetary and homemaker contributions made by each party towards the success of the marriage.
  • The extent of fault on the parties involved
  • Equities and tax consequences involved

How Is Alimony in Tennessee Determined?

The Tennessee courts are directed by two primary sources of law. The statutory law and the case law.

The statutory law defines the following:

  • Types of alimony
  • Length of the alimony payments
  • Payment amount
  • Possibilities for payment modification
  • If alimony can be terminated automatically or by an application of elimination by the court

The Tennessee case law describes the decisional body of law developed by the appellate courts in Tennessee. The Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Tennessee together constitute the appellate court in Tennessee.

The decision of the appellate court is issued as a written legal opinion. A few of these decisions are instructive and have an impact on the trial courts. The others are considered as memorandum opinions. It should be noted that the opinion of the appellate courts determines the details of granting alimony in Tennessee.

For How Long Is Alimony Paid in a Tennessee Divorce?

No predefined payment period or length of the term has been put in place. The duration of paying alimony depends on these factors.

  • Length of marriage
  • Income disparities among the partners

Long-term marriages will result in longer-term alimony when compared to a shorter marriage term. However, if the court finds that the spouse is not self-sufficient or will not be able to self-support due to disabilities or prevailing health conditions, the length of the alimony payment can be made permanent even if the marriage term is short.

When Can Alimony in Tennessee Be Stopped?

The payment of alimony can be stopped by appealing to the court and obtaining a legal order in a few scenarios.

  • In the case of lump-sum or transitional alimony, the payer may stop payment after the tenure stated by the court order ends
  • If the alimony awarded is transitional or periodic and the recipient is living with another person, the payer may appeal to terminate or modify the obligation based on the presumption that the recipient is either providing or receiving support from a third party
  • If the alimony is rehabilitative, the payer can appeal to reduce or modify the alimony obligation after stating the changes in situations or the reason for the termination/modification

What Is Temporary Alimony and How Is It Determined?

The courts in Tennessee have the authority to order one of the parties to provide temporary alimony, child support, and lawyer’s fees until the divorce case is pending. The objective of providing temporary support is to ensure that existing bills, mortgages, and financial needs are being taken care of.

The factors that determine the amount of temporary alimony are:

  • The requirements of the party to whom the temporary alimony is to be paid
  • The ability of one of the partners to pay
  • The standard of living of the couple while separation

It should be noted that unless there is a compelling reason, the court insists on timely payments of the existing bills and mortgages. Usually, the court allocates this responsibility between the spouses. The responsibility of providing child support and attorney fees are also considered.

What Is “Fault” in Alimony as per Tennessee Law?

Fault refers to any kind of wrong-doing that results at the end of the marriage. Courts of Tennessee assign blame on one of the spouses for the failure of the marriage. The examples of marital fault are, but not limited to:

  • Cheating
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs
  • Wasteful spending
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Adultery

How Can Fault Impact an Alimony Claim?

Fault is considered as an important factor in the determination of alimony. However, it may not be the defining factor in short-term marriages. In the case of long-term marriages, fault cannot be punitive. Also, the court cannot award alimony to a spouse or allocate additional financial burden because of marital misconduct. The extent of application of fault on alimony depends on the decision of the judge, seriousness of the fault, and the impact of the wrong-doing and failure of the relationship.

Which Defenses Can Be Presented against Fault?

Fault is a broad term that includes adultery and cheating. Under Tennessee law, five different defenses to a fault can be presented. They are:

  • Recrimination: The other partner is also at fault or engaged in similar behavior.
  • Condonation: Proving that a spouse knew about and forgave the act of adultery, while resuming marital relations.
  • Connivance: The complaining spouse approves and partakes in the act of adultery or creates such a prospect by enticing someone to seduce the spouse.
  • Provocation: The act of provoking the partner in a certain way.
  • Collusion: An agreement between the partners to formulate the grounds of divorce.

When a defense is proven, the court may either lessen the impact of fault on the alimony allocated or may not grant the divorce.

What Happens If the Payer Refuses to Pay the Alimony?

The recipient can initiate legal action against the payer upon non-payment of alimony. This involves filing a petition of civil contempt, criminal contempt, or both in the court.

Proving contempt requires proof of the alimony payment order as issued by the court and the violation of this order. If the recipient proves that the payer has the present ability to pay, but did not pay, it is called as civil contempt. Civil contempt ends when the party in question complies by the court order or when the underlying case is resolved.

If it is proved that the payer had the ability to pay when the payments were due but did not do so, it is criminal contempt, and the payer may be punished for it.

How Can Legal Assistance Help?

When the financially disadvantaged spouse seeks legal help, the attorney provides support to effectively navigate through the complex alimony laws and other factors. This helps in strengthening the financial stand of the disadvantaged spouse. Also, an experienced attorney can help when the alimony payer experiences financial crisis or the payee exceeds earning expectations by appealing for modifications in the alimony schedule.

A divorce involves several intricacies and understanding them may be difficult. The points above elaborate on the divorce laws applicable in the State of Tennessee and the important factors that help in determining alimony as a part of the proceedings. Hopefully, this information will provide you with a clear idea of the types of alimony, how it is granted by the Tennessee court, and how seeking legal assistance can be helpful.

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[Why do I have to pay child support if I don’t get to see my child?]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=584 2020-05-19T19:34:07Z 2020-05-15T00:00:28Z Why do I have to pay child support if I don’t get to see my child? The aspect of child support in divorce cases can be contentious. Several factors, like who will pay child support, the amount of money needed to support the child, and if the amount can be modified in future, need to … Continue reading Why do I have to pay child support if I don’t get to see my child?

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Why do I have to pay child support if I don’t get to see my child?

The aspect of child support in divorce cases can be contentious. Several factors, like who will pay child support, the amount of money needed to support the child, and if the amount can be modified in future, need to be determined and followed.

Child custody is determined by the court.

It may seem unfair if the parent paying child support is not allowed to meet his / her children by the custodial parent. Though this reason may motivate the paying parent to stop providing child support, it is not the best way to deal with the problem.

The parent must consider getting legal help to enforce his/her visitation rights or reach an agreement with the other parent, if possible.

Let’s elaborate on this and the legal aspects of child support payments in the state of Tennessee.

Is It Important to Continue Paying Child Support Even When Denied Visitation?

It is important to provide uninterrupted child support payments even if the non-custodial parent is not allowed to meet the children by the custodial parent. This is because stopping child support payments without consent from the court is as punishable as not allowing the non-custodial parent to meet the children. The only option for the paying parent is to lodge a complaint against the custodial parent for violating the court order.

The fact is that even if the parent providing child support is behind on the payments, the other parent cannot deny visitation time.

If visitation rights of the non-custodial parent are denied, he/she can document this. This evidence will help him/her obtain potential legal help and ensure that his/her rights are enforced. The parent denying the court-ordered rights may be fined or jailed.

Furthermore, the court may consider modifying the custody arrangement favorably for the non-custodial parent or provide him / her with full custody of the child in extreme scenarios.

What Is the Purpose of Child Support Payments?

According to Tennessee child support guidelines, the purpose of child support payments is to:

  • Provide monetary benefits to children living in single-parent families
  • Ensure that the parent paying child support is in contact with the child
  • Make child support awards equitable while considering the interests of the child and the parties involved
  • Ascertain that the economic impact of the divorce on children is minimized
  • Enable the custodian and the child to maintain a decent standard of living

How Is Child Support Determined in Tennessee?

The determination of child support begins with providing the information in the child support worksheet.

The Tennessee child support laws include an average amount for the expenses that go into housing, food, and transportation needs of the child. The Basic Child Support Obligation (BCSO) includes expenditures for clothing, entertainment, and the basic expenses related to academics for public school education.

However, BCSO does not include the child’s health insurance premiums, work-related childcare costs, child’s uninsured medical expenses, and special or additional educational expenses due to its variable nature.

The calculation of BCSO is based on the gross income from these sources:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Commissions
  • Fees
  • Tips
  • Fringe benefits
  • Bonuses
  • Severance payments
  • Income from interests
  • Dividend income
  • Trust income
  • Annuities
  • Disability or retirement benefits
  • Benefits from workers’ compensation
  • Gifts, prizes, and lottery wins
  • Benefits from judgments for personal injuries and awards
  • Income from self-employment
  • Pension and retirement plans
  • Unemployment insurance benefits
  • Alimony or maintenance received

How Is Child Support Paid?

The court can order the holding of the child support amount from the paying parent’s wages and transferring it directly to the recipient. Under Income Withholding (IWO), the employer can hold the child support amount from the parent’s salary and send it to the state agency. The state agency then transfers this amount to the custodial parent.

Income withholding is mandatory to provide child support payments. However, if the parties involved agree to an alternative mode of payment, the court should be notified and this needs to be mentioned in the child support order.

Furthermore, enforcing income withholding may not be possible if the paying parent is self-employed. In these cases, the parent can make the payment to the state agency, which is then transferred to the custodial parent. The paying parent has the duty to make timely child support payments even if he/she cannot comply with income withholding.

How Can Child Support Payments Be Documented?

Child support payments can be documented in the following ways:

  • Physical evidence of monetary payments made to the child’s caretaker can be in the form of canceled checks or money orders to the parent receiving child support
  • Any evidence of child support payment under another child support order can include payment history from the tribunal clerk or child support office
  • Evidence of remuneration reduced to a monetary amount approved by the court or agreed by the receiving parent

When Can the Obligation to Pay Child Support Stop?

The obligation to pay child support stops when the child in question turns 18 or completes his/her graduation from high school through regular classes. Furthermore, child support can end earlier if the child quits education, gets a job or marries. However, the continuation of child support is possible if the child is disabled.

What Happens When a Parent Refuses to Pay Child Support?

The laws of Tennessee are stringent when enforcing child support orders and collecting payments. A parent refusing to pay child support may be subject to the following actions by the court:

  • Withholding of wages or regular income
  • Seizing of bank accounts or assets
  • Stopping of federal tax refunds
  • Cancellation of driver’s license and other professional licenses
  • Reporting child support payment delays to credit agencies, negatively impacting credit scores
  • Holding back of personal loan or property

When Can a Child Support Order Be Modified?

According to the Tennessee guidelines of child support, an order can be modified if there is a significant variance between the original amount and the proposed amount in the modified order.

Parents are also eligible for child support modifications in the following scenarios:

  • Significant decrease in custodial parent’s income
  • Child in question becomes disabled
  • The child in custody moves out of or another child moves into the house
  • Increase in health insurance expenses
  • Extra child care costs
  • One of the parents has another child

Temporary changes can be made in case:

  • The child in question has a medical emergency
  • The parent paying child support cannot pay due to illness or loss of employment
  • Any temporary hardship experienced by the receiving parent

The parent requesting the change will have to submit a formal request to modify the child support order. This process will need additional documents and paperwork.

How Are Visitation Rights Exercised in Tennessee?

The state laws of Tennessee consider the best interest of the child when determining custody arrangements. The purpose of these rights is to establish contact between the non-custodial parent and the child.

The custodial parent cannot deny child visitation rights to the non-custodial parent at any point in time. Denial of visitation refers to the custodial parent not allowing the other parent to meet the child. This may be done in cases of sickness of the child, a genuine emergency or other activities scheduled for the child. Regardless of the reason, the other parent must be notified and the visitation time should be compensated. Denying visitation to a co-parent is a violation of the law and punishable.

Even if there is a history of past abuse, the parent is allowed to spend time with the child under supervision. The court may deny visitation rights only if it deems that contact with the non-custodial parent may cause harm to the child.

It should be noted that the custodial parent cannot relocate the child if it interferes with the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.

How Can Legal Assistance Help?

An experienced attorney can deal with visitation issues effectively. In a few cases, the lawyer may be able to contact the attorney of the custodial parent and solve the issue through a mutual agreement. If this is not possible, the lawyer will use the court system to enforce visitation rights. This solution avoids legal complications and proves better when compared to simply stopping the child support payments.

Furthermore, an attorney can help with:

  • Establishing the paternity of a child
  • Enforcing child support orders
  • Establishing and enforcing orders for child’s medical support, health insurance coverage, and cash medical support
  • Modification of child support orders, if required
  • Enforcing spousal support orders, if required

Establishing and enforcing child support orders can be complicated. It can also be tempting for the non-custodial paying parent to stop child support payments when he/she is not allowed to meet his/her kids. However, this will only prove imprudent in the long term. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the importance of making timely child support payments. You should also be able to comprehend the consequences of violating the court’s child support orders and the wisdom in seeking legal help to establish visitation rights.

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[Do I Have To Comply with My Parenting Plan During COVID-19]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=579 2020-04-30T19:33:48Z 2020-04-30T19:31:32Z Do I Have To Comply with My Parenting Plan During COVID-19 Tennessee’s schools are closed for the rest of the school year. Many families are trying to adjust their schedules and have questions surrounding their parenting plan during this pandemic. How does the pandemic affect my parenting plan? Parents are encouraged to follow the school-year … Continue reading Do I Have To Comply with My Parenting Plan During COVID-19

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Do I Have To Comply with My Parenting Plan During COVID-19

Tennessee’s schools are closed for the rest of the school year. Many families are trying to adjust their schedules and have questions surrounding their parenting plan during this pandemic.

How does the pandemic affect my parenting plan?

Parents are encouraged to follow the school-year calendar for custody on school and non-school days even if schools are closed.

Should parents follow court orders and child exchanges during this pandemic?

A parent who violates an existing order may claim immediate risk of harm to the child or children as a defense. However, the general risk of community infection may not be enough to avoid being held in contempt. First responders and medical professionals who risk exposure to Covid-19 are being taken to court by ex-spouses who want to keep them away from their children.

How to Navigate Your Parenting Plan During the Pandemic?

During the pandemic most state and county family courts are closed, or open ONLY for emergencies involving abuse or endangerment. This means that even if parents want to modify pre-existing custody agreement they cannot do so right now.

If you believe that sending your child to your ex’s home could pose a risk to your child’s health, you can ask your ex to agree to temporary changes in parenting plans. If your child’s health is at risk, you may want to ask a judge to intervene. You or your attorney may be able to obtain an emergency temporary child custody order from your local family court. Please keep in mind that there are NOT universal laws to follow during this pandemic. COVID-19 is unchartered water for both divorced parents as well as divorce / family law attorneys. Please contact us for help!

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[6 Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement in Place before Tying the Knot]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=564 2020-04-13T16:43:56Z 2020-04-13T16:43:56Z 6 Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement in Place before Tying the Knot So, you are engaged and have probably started planning your wedding. But, have you thought about getting a prenup? The answer, most likely, is no. Most people are under the impression that prenups are only for the rich and the famous. However, … Continue reading 6 Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement in Place before Tying the Knot

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6 Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement in Place before Tying the Knot

So, you are engaged and have probably started planning your wedding. But, have you thought about getting a prenup? The answer, most likely, is no.

Most people are under the impression that prenups are only for the rich and the famous. However, they are far from the truth. In reality, any engaged couple, rich or not, can and should sign a prenup to protect their wealth just in case the union ends in a divorce.

In fact, an increasing number of couples, especially millennials, are requesting prenuptial agreements. There was a 62% rise in the demand for overall prenups between 2013 and 2016 for a variety of reasons.

Before we see why signing a prenup is important, let’s see what it includes.

What Is a Prenup?

A prenup is short for a prenuptial agreement. It is a legally binding contract that determines how separating spouses will divide their assets and debts. Having such an agreement goes a long way in helping couples avoid a bitter and lengthy property battle during divorce proceedings.

Critical Elements of a Prenup

While the details of a prenuptial agreement will vary from couple to couple, a typical prenup drawn up by a competent family lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee comprises the following.

Disclosure of Finances

A disclosure clause usually indicates that both spouses have disclosed all of their assets, debts, and other obligations. Apart from the finances, the disclosure clause may include, but is not limited to, criminal records, previous marriages, and any other relevant personal details that may affect the separation process.

Division of Debts

Most young couples, especially millennials, may not have a lot of assets when they get married. However, they do have considerable debts in the form of student loans usually. With this clause, you can protect spouses from each other’s debt.

Division of Property and Assets

In this clause, you can make decisions on how you will divide the jointly owned assets. In most prenups, separately owned assets and properties go back to their respective owners after legal separation.

Financial Arrangements

This clause covers the details related to who will pay for which expenses during the marriage. For example, the husband may pay for the mortgage on the house while the wife takes care of different types of insurance and car loan payments. In other words, it allows you to outline your spending and saving strategies.

Waiver of Default Rules

As the family law varies by state, the default rule for division of property in case of a divorce is also different from state to state. If your prenup doesn’t have any specifications pertaining to the property division, it will be split between you and your spouse as per the state’s default laws. Including a waiver of the default rules will allow you to set property division rules in your prenup.

Protection against Invalidation

As a prenup is a regular contract between two individuals, the court has the right to deem it invalid. With this clause, you can protect yourself from potential contract invalidation by a judge.

Reasons to Have a Prenuptial Agreement

Different couples will have reasons of their own to sign a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. However, there are a few common reasons why people sign it, and you should too.

Prevent Your Credit from Ruining

The division of finances and assets is a crucial part of your divorce proceedings. It also affects your credit to a great extent as divorce and credit scores go hand in hand.

Separating joint accounts, investments, and debts is often extremely tricky, especially involving a bitter divorce. In a divorce, the judge will usually issue a ruling known as the divorce decree. It will state how your assets and debts will be divided.

For example, if you own a house jointly, the judge will tell who keeps the house and who pays the mortgage. However, your bank (or any other lender) is not likely to honor the divorce decree. As a result, if your spouse fails to pay the mortgage on a house you live in, the bank can still foreclose it.

Having a prenup, however, can stop you from being on the wrong side of the financial responsibility after a divorce. It can prevent you from paying for the debt incurred by your spouse. Although it is not completely foolproof, it can certainly help ensure you are in a much better financial position.

Better Manage the Stress of a Divorce

Going through a divorce is an emotionally demanding process. Most people are already under a lot of mental pressure while dealing with guilt, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and other emotional health problems that come with an ugly divorce.

With a prenup, however, you don’t have to deal with the stress of unfair financial separation. For example, you don’t have to face the stress of losing your inheritance or paying for your spouse’s debt.

You need not worry about your or your children’s financial future either. It especially comes in handy if you are dealing with a spiteful spouse, who will try to take everything from you.

Protect Your Inheritance

Many people get some form of inheritance from their loving grandmother or an uncle. The purpose of inheritance is to secure your financial future. However, during a divorce, you may have to split your premarital inheritance or one received during the marriage with your spouse, especially if things get ugly.

With a prenup, however, you stand a good chance of protecting your inheritance from getting split. You should hold the inherited asset or money separately. If it gets commingled in with marital funds, you may have to share it with your spouse when separating.

You can, however, create a prenup that specifically addresses the issue of inheritance. You can draft it to make sure that your present and future inheritance will remain with you in the event of a divorce.

Shorter Court Proceedings

Another great advantage of having a prenup is that it allows you to avoid a drawn-out and costly divorce. Especially if you are going through an un-amicable divorce, it can make your spouse deliberately challenge every asset division, dragging the process further.

A lengthy court proceeding can put a lot of pressure on you and your loved ones. A prenup, however, clearly states how you are going to divide your assets, personal finances, and debts, things can get a little easier.

It can help you shorten the divorce proceedings considerably. For example, your asset division may already have been resolved as per the prenup. So, you will need less time and expenses for the discovery.

There is also less need for the court to intervene as the prenup has covered most of the things. Thus, you will be spending less time and money on your Knoxville, Tennessee family lawyer and legal actions.

Avoid Getting Your Pets Involved in the Break Up

Most people tend to treat their pets as family members. So when it comes to deciding who gets the dog (or cat) after a divorce, things can get pretty ugly.

In fact, as leading family lawyers in Knoxville, Tennessee, we have seen many spouses use their furry pets to hurt one another. Pets can often be used as emotional blackmail to get what they want by a spouse.

Fortunately, you can put your pet in a prenup, offering yourself peace of mind. It will also prevent your spouse from taking advantage of your emotional attachment to your pet to turn the table against you.

Prenup Supersedes Most State Laws

The purpose of a prenup is to secure your financial future in the event of a divorce. It essentially allows you to create your own set of rules for dividing your assets. So, instead of the cookie-cutter laws in your state deciding what you can and cannot keep after the divorce, you can decide it.

However, most state laws do dictate what you can include in a prenup. In Tennessee, for example, you can include your take on child custody and support in a prenup. But, you can’t decide custody and support in a prenuptial agreement unilaterally.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, from protecting your inheritance and assets to avoid getting pets involved in your divorce, signing a prenup before getting married comes with various benefits. Hopefully, learning about these benefits will help you to take the right steps and think of prenup as insurance. Have you thought of signing a prenuptial agreement?

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[What Happens to a Family Business in a Divorce in Tennessee?]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=556 2020-03-30T18:10:36Z 2020-03-30T18:08:37Z What Happens to a Family Business in a Divorce in Tennessee? Source When couples contemplate divorce, they look forward to the fair distribution of their property like their family home, real estate, financial accounts, and retirement accounts. One important asset they should be thinking about is the family business, which may be subjected to marital … Continue reading What Happens to a Family Business in a Divorce in Tennessee?

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What Happens to a Family Business in a Divorce in Tennessee?

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When couples contemplate divorce, they look forward to the fair distribution of their property like their family home, real estate, financial accounts, and retirement accounts. One important asset they should be thinking about is the family business, which may be subjected to marital distribution.

Some people commit to a relationship while already owning an established business. Others may have begun the business after their marriage. In several cases, family businesses are set up as a joint enterprise, wherein the couple works as business partners. Sometimes, however, one of the partners may not realize that he/she is a partial business owner and may have a rightful claim over it.

Regardless of the situation, it is important that a close evaluation is conducted to ensure that both parties obtain their fair share.

We can help you understand:

How to File for Divorce in Tennessee?

What Is the Process of Filing for Divorce?

How Are Assets Split during a Divorce in Tennessee?

The court may consider several factors before performing this distribution. A few factors are:

  • The contribution of the partner towards the increase or decrease in value of the marital/non-marital property
  • The total length of the marriage
  • Financial dependency and resources of both the partners involved
  • Age and health of the partners
  • Vocational skills and employability of the partners in question

How Is the Value of the Business Determined?

As is the case with other assets, the division/distribution of the family business during divorce begins with its proper classification as either a marital or a non-marital asset. Like all other assets that are accounted for in a divorce case, the business should be valued. However, unlike other assets, the valuation of a business can be complex and subjective.

Businesses may depend on technology and ideas that can make it difficult to be valued. A few others may be in the infant stage of growth with plenty of room to develop in the coming years. In these cases, a definite value cannot be appropriately allocated for the business.

Furthermore, if the couple has invested equally in the business, it may become difficult to estimate the actual value of the business and divide it among the two.

Also, couples may get anxious about the future of their business during the course of their divorce proceedings. This anxiety may tempt them to hide assets and the exact details of the business. This attitude may also have a negative impact on the growth of the business.

One partner may falsely try to show increased contributions towards and decreased debts owed by the business. Providing deceitful information may further complicate the proceedings. 

Understanding the Different Options Available for Dividing the Business

Once the business is valued appropriately, the couple gets a realistic idea of what they may be entitled to after the divorce. It is, however, important to note that the estimated share of business and the share decided by the court after a divorce trial may not be the same.

In several cases, litigation has proved to complicate matters for the couple. They may, therefore, negotiate a settlement that is mutually beneficial. The different options available for a negotiation are:

  • One of the partners may convince the other to sell their share. Though this reduces the number of liquid assets, it may be beneficial if the idea is to retain the business ownership.
  • The couple may choose to continue to co-own the business. However, this may not work in contentious scenarios.
  • The couple may sell the business to a third-party and divide the amount among themselves. Though this may result in the dissolving of the business, it increases the liquid assets owned by the couple.

Furthermore, if the couple has signed a pre-nuptial agreement that addresses business ownership, the clauses therein will apply to the proceedings of the divorce trial. The court will be obliged to act accordingly and offer the right to perform business operations as mentioned in the pre-nuptial agreement.

Which Factors Are Considered for the Equal Division of a Family Business?

According to divorce laws, a family business is to be divided equally in the following scenarios:

  • If the business ownership was acquired during the course of the marriage.
  • If there is a considerable increase in the growth of the business. This is applicable even if the business was started before marriage. The other partner is entitled to obtain reimbursements for any kind of contributions made towards the business.
  • If one or several of the business assets were acquired after marriage. For example, expansion of operations and acquiring other businesses.

What Are the Ways to Estimate the Value of a Business for Division during Divorce?

Here are the various approaches used to find the actual value of a business.

  • Market Approach

This is the most commonly used method to determine the approximate value of a business. In this, other businesses of the same domain and nature are compared and evaluated. The purchase history of the business is also taken into consideration. The state of other businesses in the market is evaluated. An estimation of what other businesses will sell for offers a brief idea about the value of the couple’s business.

  • Income Approach

The business in question is evaluated based on its current state of earnings in the market. This value is then used to determine its future income. The total value of the business is estimated based on this value of income.

  • Discounted Income Approach

The amount of cash flow that can be expected in the future is estimated. This cash-flow is then discounted based on various risk factors that may impact it, resulting in an increase or decrease in the cash flow. This value is used to estimate the worth of the business.

How Does a Divorce Attorney Help?

Dividing a business during a divorce can be a grueling process. It is important that the interest and mutual benefits of the couple be considered.

It is best to hire a divorce attorney as he/she will expertly resolve the matter in the best possible way.

Wrap Up

Splitting the family business during a divorce can add brand new challenges to an already complicated process. Each party will have to state their intent for their association with the business, as well as propose the best way to divide the business financially. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the several important aspects involved in a divorce and the fair division of a family business in the state of Tennessee. 

Contact A Knowledgeable Diroce Attorney For Help!

Arrange a consultation at our office by dialing or by messaging our firm.

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[Tips For A Healthy Divorce]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=545 2020-03-06T17:48:21Z 2020-03-06T17:47:56Z Great Article @ https://www.chicagoparent.com/learn/general-parenting/how-to-have-a-healthy-divorce/ Please read some tips from the article below. Tips for parents on the brink of divorce Find therapy or counseling. It doesn’t have to be about reconciliation, but rather how to best navigate a separation. It helps to have an objective third person, preferably with a mental health background, to help define … Continue reading Tips For A Healthy Divorce

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Great Article @ https://www.chicagoparent.com/learn/general-parenting/how-to-have-a-healthy-divorce/

Please read some tips from the article below.

Tips for parents on the brink of divorce

  1. Find therapy or counseling. It doesn’t have to be about reconciliation, but rather how to best navigate a separation. It helps to have an objective third person, preferably with a mental health background, to help define boundaries.
  2. Be a united front with your kids. “If they see two parents as a united front talking to them and lovingly explaining to them that they are still a family but that the living arrangement is going to be different, it is going to be so much easier for them to accept it.”
  3. Embrace tech. There are all kinds of apps available to help co-parenting such as Fayr, to coordinate schedules, communicate and split expenses easily. Find the one that works best for your family.

Find us on Google @ The Barnett Firm!

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[How To Divide Your Business in a Divorce In Tennessee]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=510 2020-03-06T17:40:54Z 2020-01-06T19:41:49Z How To Divide Your Business in a Divorce In Tennessee Dividing Assets Can Make Divorce More Complex When a couple goes through a divorce, assets and liabilities are split. The court will classify property as either marital or separate – then place values on the property, and then distribute the property amongst each of the … Continue reading How To Divide Your Business in a Divorce In Tennessee

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How To Divide Your Business in a Divorce In Tennessee

Dividing Assets Can Make Divorce More Complex

When a couple goes through a divorce, assets and liabilities are split. The court will classify property as either marital or separate – then place values on the property, and then distribute the property amongst each of the spouses.

Some types of property is easier to distribute and divide than others. Vehicles will need to be split, homes or residences will need to be split, etc. To distribute the residence, often times the spouses will agree to sell the house and split the proceeds. Other times, one party may want to stay in the house, and in these cases one spouse would have to buy out the other spouse. Along with this a property evaluation would need to be performed to understand what a fair value of the home or residence would be.

One asset that can be particularly difficult to divide is a family business. There are typically three methods often used when dividing a business interest.

THE BUY OUT

This is where one spouse buys out the other spouse’s portion of the business.

First a valuation must be placed on the business. For example purposes, if both spouses can agree that the value of the business is $1,000.000.00 then the spouse keeping the business would owe the other spouse $500,000. There are many calculations and valuations that must be done in order to ensure that each spouse is getting their fair share in these cases. It is ALWAYS best to consult with a family law attorney for help.

A buy out can be structured in a few different ways, this can be a lump sum payment or installment payments, etc. In some situations, assets from the home, IRA, or 401k may be used to perform the buyout – it is important to understand that these events may have tax implications and these implications must be factored in to make sure each party gets their fair share. These cases can get complicated and there are many things to consider.

CO-OWNERSHIP OF THE BUSINESS

Some parties may decide to continue to jointly own the business after the divorce. Under amicable circumstances each person could continue to co-own and run the business after a divorce. Some co-ownership arrangements exist where one spouse continues to run the business while the other agrees to accept payments from future business profits to satisfy their share of the marital assets. Co-ownership only works when both parties are amicable and can continue to trust and respect one another.

SELL THE BUSINESS OPTION

Each spouse can be compensated for their interest in a business by simply selling the business. This option will not work if one spouse wishes to continue to operate the business.

A divorce and family law attorney can help you understand your options and the pros and cons of dividing a business during a divorce to make sure that your rights are protected. It is important to know and understand your rights so that all implications and consequences are thought out and planned for.

You can learn more about – How To Divide The Family Business In A Divorce @ FORBES. The article discusses how working with a lawyer and a trusted team of advisors can help you determine the solution that makes the most sense for your financial well-being.

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[Why Do Unwed Fathers Have No Parental Rights?]]> https://www.barnettlegalteam.com/?p=444 2020-03-06T17:41:20Z 2019-12-10T18:10:23Z The Law States: An unmarried woman who gives birth to a child has custody of the child automatically. Rights of an Unmarried Father If you are an unwed father, there are some things that you need to know in order to gain parental rights. If you are an unmarried father, you will need to establish … Continue reading Why Do Unwed Fathers Have No Parental Rights?

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The Law States: An unmarried woman who gives birth to a child has custody of the child automatically.

Rights of an Unmarried Father

If you are an unwed father, there are some things that you need to know in order to gain parental rights.

If you are an unmarried father, you will need to establish paternity to prove that you are in fact the father of the child. Without establishing paternity, an unwed father has no legal rights to a child in relation to child custody, visitation and other decision making.

Some rights of a parent:
• the right to decide who sees the child and for how long
• the right to enroll the child in school
• the right to get public benefits for the child
• the right to obtain medical treatment
• the right to restrict visitation

Unwed Fathers Will Need to Establish Paternity

The easiest way to establish paternity is to include the unwed father’s name on the baby’s birth certificate. When a child is born outside of a marriage – there is no legal presumption of paternity. If you are at the hospital with the mother when the baby is born and are able to help her fill out the birth certificate to include both of your names as mother and father, then paternity is established. In some case’s this may not be possible for a variety of reasons. In these cases, an unwed father can complete a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form in your state.

If the mother contests the father’s paternity, the father can petition a court to establish his right to paternity. The unwed father will need to take a paternity test to prove he is the father of the child.

Child Custody & Visitation Agreements

After paternity is confirmed, parents can begin negotiating a parenting agreement or parenting plan. A parenting agreement / plan will normally include details like which parent will have primary custody, specifics on the other parents visitation schedule, details on which parent will make decisions regarding the child’s education, health care, religion, and procedures for how potential changes to the arrangement will be handled.

The visitation rights of unmarried fathers will also depend on other factors like their relationship with the child, any drug or alcohol use, or any history of child of past child abuse, etc.

If both parties are unable to agree to a parenting agreement / plan the either parent may petition the court for child visitation or custody help. If the parents cannot agree on these arrangements, either one may ask the court to grant his or her request through a contested hearing.
Courts deciding on child custody and visitation issues will determine what is in the best interest of the child. Courts assume that most children will benefit from having both parents involved in their care. If one parent can show evidence that the other parent would likely cause harm to the child, then the courts will take this into consideration when making a decision.

To learn more about unmarried fathers’ custody rights contact an experienced family law attorney for help.

A Lawyer Can Help Protect the Rights of Unmarried Fathers
Each state has its own laws surrounding these issues. Unmarried fathers need to understand their parental rights. Contact a local attorney to understand your rights as it relates to children and unmarried fathers.

Find us on Google @ The Barnett Firm!

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barnettlegalteam <![CDATA[Jealousy is not uncommon during divorce]]> http://localhost/barnettlegalteam/?p=336 2020-03-06T17:41:41Z 2019-10-21T06:49:06Z There are many ways to break down the emotional challenges that couples often face when they navigate through the divorce process. In this post, we will take a look at jealousy, and some of the reasons why this can be problematic. If you have these feelings, you should not be hard on yourself, especially since … Continue reading Jealousy is not uncommon during divorce

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There are many ways to break down the emotional challenges that couples often face when they navigate through the divorce process. In this post, we will take a look at jealousy, and some of the reasons why this can be problematic. If you have these feelings, you should not be hard on yourself, especially since many people are unhappy with how their divorce is moving forward. Moreover, feelings of jealousy frequently arise after a divorce, especially when they involve finances or kids. With this being said, jealousy can make life harder and may get in the way of your attempt to secure a good outcome.

Some people are very jealous that their ex will be able to have more time with the children, while others may be jealous about some other facet of their former spouse’s life (such as their career or their lifestyle). Sometimes, those who have had to work hard to acquire assets may be unhappy that their property was subjected to division during the divorce. Moreover, some people may be jealous that their former wife or husband has more support from friends, family members and even their own children.

Unfortunately, feelings of jealousy can become very overwhelming and they can cloud one’s mind. These emotions can get in the way of someone’s ability to prepare for their divorce and do all in their power to obtain a better outcome. You should try to set aside any negative emotions you are experiencing during a divorce, but at the same time, you should also realize that these feelings are completely normal.

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