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Nashville, Tennessee Family Legal Blog

Dealing with pet custody

As you prepare for your divorce proceedings in Nashville, you may be ready to move on from many aspects of your marriage; your relationship with your pet, however, may not be one of them. Pets are often afforded a great deal of love and sentiment. Just as you cannot imagine not having your children in your life following your divorce, you may feel the same way about your pet. Many have come to us here at Rogers, Kamm & Shea in your same situation wondering how the court handles the issue of pet custody. The answer can be quite complicated. 

You might think pets are treated legally in the same manner as children, yet they are not. Per the Animal Legal Defense Fund, pets are considered to be personal property. Therefore, in the context of your divorce, ownership of your pet will be determined during property division proceedings. Whereas custody of children is influenced by what the court believes to be in your kids' best interests, no such considerations may be given when deciding who gets to keep the family pets (unless, of course, there have been documented cases of animal abuse by either you or your spouse). 

Combat adjustment issues in children during divorce

Divorce turns a child's life upside down, but it is sometimes unavoidable because the adults simply can't live together any longer. For the parents, this presents a challenge because they can't just leave each other alone since they do have kids together. Working as a team can be hard at times, but working through the issues can lead to a well-adjusted child who has the support of both parents.

Sometimes, children will have a lot of trouble adjusting to the situation. This might lead to behavioral problems, which can cause more work for the parents. Figuring out how to help the children during this time must be a priority.

What is a right of first refusal clause?

The most difficult aspect of your divorce in Nashville may likely be not having your kids around you all the time. Placing distance between you and your children no doubt makes parenting more difficult. Yet you can still be a successful parent if you are able to make the most of your parenting time. That includes taking advantage of every minute that is available for you to spend time with your kids. Doing that may be much easier if your custody agreement includes a right of first refusal clause. 

It is inevitable that there will be instances when your ex-spouse is called away or makes plans while the kids are in their custody. According to the website, including a right to first refusal clause on your divorce settlement places the requirement on your ex-spouse that in cases where they must leave the kids, they have to contact you first before arranging for another to come watch the kids. This can include instances where your ex-spouse: 

  • Goes to work
  • Travels out of town
  • Goes on a date
  • Spends a night out with friends

Debt takes priority over saving after divorce

If you are like many people in Tennessee, you may have experienced a period of financial stability and even growth in the last decade as the nation and the world emerged from the most recession economic downturn. Regardless of the state of the economy, however, when you get divorced, your financial situation can take a turn for the worse. This can be a very hard situation to adjust to, especially if you have not generally had to worry about your financial health before. 

The realities that face many divorced people include the need to pay spousal support and child support while simultaneously needing to support one's own life on an income much less than what they are accustomed to. This may be why a new survey from CNBC found that people who have been divorced commonly identify paying down debt to be a bigger priority than saving money. Divorced people were also more likely than their non-divorced counterparts to feel that they did not earn enough money to support themselves or pay for everything they needed to pay for.

Benefit of prenuptial agreements

To many people in Tennessee, the thought of asking a partner to sign a prenuptial agreement might sound like the antithesis of romantic and contrary to what a couple in love planning their future together should be doing. However, marriage is as much a business transaction as it is an emotional one and addressing both sides of this experience is important.

As explained by, a prenup can actually help a couple prepare for a solid marriage. Being forced to be completely open and honest about all financial matters is not easy. This may well be why money is such a common trigger for marital arguments and divorces. A prenuptial agreement can help partners determine how they want to manage their money together once they are married, setting them up for success.

Hard facts to face in a divorce

If you are facing a divorce, even if you are the one seeking it, it can open up a few cans of worms. You may be astonished by the feelings of loss and regret that wash over you from time to time during the divorce process.

It should be helpful to learn that those feelings and emotions are completely normal under the circumstances. After all, this person was supposed to be your partner and designated plus-one for life. Severing these ties may not be as easy as you first had thought.

My financial situation changed. What about alimony now?

Tennessee couples who have gone through a divorce will also likely have to deal with alimony payments. However, these payments may be modified in some cases to better reflect your current financial situations. Rogers, Kamm & Shea, attorneys at law, are here to explain more.

Alimony payments are made either through negotiation or the decision of a judge. Regardless of which path you take to get there, the same sort of factors will be examined. How much money are you and your spouse bringing in? Do either of you have any recurrent financial drains to keep in mind, such as chronic medical conditions? Do either of you have secondary support, such as with a second household income?

What matters can you address in a parenting plan?

While many aspects of a Tennessee divorce can prove difficult, you may find that sharing your time with your children is an especially hard part of the process. In addition to missing your children when they are not with you, you also have to learn how to co-parent with your ex, and sometimes, planning ahead can work wonders in terms of improving your co-parenting relationship.

According to Psychology Today, a parenting plan is something that sets guidelines you and your child’s other parent agree to follow when it comes to raising your son or daughter. The information included in a parenting plan can range from general to highly specific and will also vary broadly based on your child’s age, but there are certain aspects of child-rearing and co-parenting that most of them address.

An overview of 2019's new alimony taxes

You may have already heard about the new alimony tax structure on the federal level. Federal taxes have the potential to make a major impact on your finances after divorce. Here is what the new rules could mean for you.

You may want to note that these are all federal laws, and are independent of any type of income tax that Tennessee imposes. Tax burden is by no means the only factor in your spousal support structure, so please make sure you know all the details before you make any type of agreement.

Managing your debt during a divorce

For a couple who makes the tough choice to end their marriage in Tennessee, the thought of splitting up their assets can be challenging. While choosing what assets to give up is a hard thing to do, spouses should also pay close attention to the fact that they must split up their debts as well. In some cases, how debts are assigned may factor into what assets are kept by either spouse or even sold.

When it comes to credit card debt, recommends that as soon as the decision to separate or file for divorce has been made, each person should keep very clear records about all income and expenditures. The more detailed these records can be, the better. It is also wise to close any joint accounts as soon as possible to avoid one spouse racking up more debt that the other person may be at risk for owing on. If closing an account is not possible, people should check into at least putting a freeze on the account so no further charges can be made to it.

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