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Williamson County Divorce Law Blog

How do courts determine child custody during divorce?

Perhaps the most crucial question to be addressed during a divorce settlement is deciding who gets custody of the children. In part, this has a lot to do with which of the parents can reliably provide the most appropriate upbringing, both financially and emotionally. In some divorces, this dispute is automatically settled by the circumstances that lead to the divorce, such as domestic violence.

The judge presiding over the case generally needs to address the issue only when both parents are seeking custody and cannot mutually decide on what is in the best interests of the child. It is that concern that guides the decision of the court as well; however, it may require an in-depth investigation into the lives of the parents to reach a decision on child custody. This is, however, likely to vary, depending on the state in which the case occurs.

Understanding what behaviors "domestic violence" includes

According to certain Tennessee legal organizations, domestic violence comprises of aggressive behavior that is exercised in order to gain power and control over an intimate partner. In addition to physical abuse, domestic violence also involves coercive behavior that affects an intimate partner's psychological and economic well-being. Often, women are victims of domestic violence, but there are number of instances when a male partner has also been subjected to abuse.

Domestic violence can be perpetrated in a number of ways and does not always necessarily involve physical abuse or violence. Some advocates in Tennessee define domestic violence as any of the following acts:

  • Emotional abuse where a victim is forced to perform activities against his or her wishes. The victim may find that activity violates his or her moral or religious principles.
  • Isolation is another form of domestic violence. In this, the perpetrator raises objections over his or her intimate partner's social contacts, including family members. In such cases, victims are often left without anyone to confide in.
  • The perpetrator may also threaten to harm an intimate partner's child if that partner does not heed to the unreasonable demands of the perpetrator.
  • Often, gender role stereotypes play a significant role in domestic violence cases. Generally, these are "male privileges" which may enter into a relationship.
  • Economic abuse is another form in which, a perpetrator manages to restrict a victim's access to money by various means, thus limiting a victim's chances of escape or retaliation.
  • Sexual abuse is another, and fairly common, form of domestic violence. In this, a victim is coerced into performing sexual activities that he or she feels are immoral.

High asset divorce could cost oil mogul half his billions

Tennessee residents who follow divorce news would know that billionaire oilman Harold Hamm's divorce settlement proceedings could cost him half of his $17 billion fortune to his wife of more than two decades. Hamm comes from a large family of humble origins. He was a scrappy wildcat oilman who grew a fortune during his marriage, which is currently ending in a divorce trial.

Hamm's fortune is one of the largest asset division amounts to end up in divorce court. Hamm is among the top 50 richest people, which could be due to his incredible business acumen and perseverance or good fortune. As is usual with high asset divorces, this case has taken an intense turn where the issue at hand is for a judge to determine how much of those billions can be labeled as marital assets for property division after divorce.

Protecting retirement assets during property division

As it is often cited in the media, national divorce rates are at an all time high with as many as nearly half of all marriages coming to an end over time. Although the divorce rate in Tennessee may not be overly alarming, it might be a good idea to plan ahead and cover all your bases for emotionally turbulent times. Among the many issues that may come up in the course of a divorce proceeding, property division could make for a volatile topic.

Property division can be a sensitive topic since a couple jointly invests their time and assets in a marriage, the dissolution of which might cause unwelcome financial upheavals. Hard earned money saved up as part of retirement assets, investments, and Individual Retirement Accounts are all geared towards planning for those years when working might not be an option anymore.

What do Tennessee's equitable property division rules mean?

Statistical data from all over the United States indicates that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. The end of a marriage signals many changes. For couples with children, child custody can be a major change. Meanwhile, for all couples financial matters can be a major source of contention.

But while property division is a consistent issue, the rules for handling property division are less consistent. In fact, although state divorce laws are generally similar, they can vary significantly on different issues. Matters like property division will differ depending on if the state is a community property state or, such as Tennessee, an equitable distribution state.

An overview of income distribution and alimony

Alimony, alternatively known as spousal support, is a form of monthly payment made by one spouse to another following a divorce. In many case, it is one of the major questions to arise during divorce proceedings. Money matters can become complex if there is a dependent spouse. Alimony is granted to rectify any unfair economic fallout following a divorce.

There is no set formula according to which alimony can be calculated. Each divorcing couple is different and as such the alimony calculation may also differ. Calculations are based on individual circumstances and there are multiple factors which play a role in dictating the outcome.

Domestic violence situations worsened by the presence of firearms

Domestic violence is a horrible crime that continues to plague society even after strict laws have been put in place. Like the rest of the United States, people in Tennessee also suffer from these cases, which leave its victims shocked and traumatized.

Transitioning from situations of abuse to a healthy life is difficult because the threat of cruelty can still linger. Survivors of abusive relationships often say that the absence of a weapon in the household is what saved their lives. In such violent situations, the presence of a gun in the household can prove lethal.

Custody battle between dad and Tennessee foster parents rages on

Child custody is one of the many serious issues that can be trigged by a divorce. Bitter and long-term battles can ensue, some raging for years. Tennessee family courts always take into account the best interests of the child over other issues in play. However, certain instances can occur where a custody battle ensues due to a disputed adoption, not a divorce.

A current custody dispute between a biological ex-con father and a foster-parent couple who raised the child while her father could not, are locked in a five-year battle which has taken place in a Tennessee courtroom and over social media for child custody. The child in question recently turned 10 years old this past week. The dispute began when a court ordered the child be returned to her biological father after he was released from federal prison.

U.S. Marshals apprehend domestic violence suspect

Historically, domestic violence was one of the more underreported crimes until the 1980s and 1990s. The social and legal paradigm shift that followed led to further development in the area of women's rights, culminating in a tougher stand against instances of domestic violence. In recent years, the law has aggressively pursued and tried suspected offenders. A recent incident illustrates the tenacity of authorities in resolving domestic violence cases.

A domestic violence call culminated in multiple law enforcement agencies collaborating and apprehending the fleeing suspect. Earlier in the month a La Vergne city police officer was responding to a domestic violence report when he spotted the suspect fleeing the scene in his vehicle. The officer pursued the suspect after unsuccessfully attempting a traffic stop.

Man arrested, charged with interfering with child custody

In the state of Tennessee and throughout the country, child custody cases stem from a variety of underlying issues, ranging from divorce to abduction. Recently, an 18-year-old youth was taken into custody for interfering with child custody in Jackson County, Florida, after it was revealed that he took a 15-year-old girl from a fireworks display to a bowling alley without her parent's permission.

Officers at the Sheriff's station said that they were informed of a runaway teenager through a phone call. After they received information about the 15-year-old girl who was seen at the bowling alley, deputies arrived at the bowling alley and found the girl. She had reportedly run away from a fireworks event in a neighboring county.

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