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Williamson County Divorce Law Blog

Tennessee child abducted to Mexico finally returned to parents

Child custody issues can become a huge problem during a divorce proceeding, largely because of the emotional ties that every parent has toward the children. Most parents feel that they would go to any length to be with their children.

However, Tennessee law takes issues related to child custody very seriously and does not allow parents to violate such child custody orders. The law is very strict because child custody issues are decided upon in court after hearing the evidence and arguments presented by each parent's attorney and then determining what is in the best interest of the child.

Resolving Tennessee high asset divorce cases

Divorce can be the forerunner of many bitter battles between estranged, yet intimate married partners. Major points of conflict in a typical Tennessee divorce often include property division, child custody issues as well as spousal support related issues. These financial issues can often overshadow the emotional turmoil and many times couples go to professional family law attorneys in order to facilitate an amicable resolution to these issues.

A divorce procedure is as unique as the people involved in it. Thus, the issues in a high asset divorce case can also lead to major problems for a couple. Legal advice given in such cases by experienced attorneys, like Judy A. Oxford, is tailored in order to fit every unique case. Many high asset divorce cases in Williamson County involve people who have amassed great wealth through their business acumen.

Tennessee Parenting Agreement

Tennessee parents often prefer to go for a settlement out of court or alternative dispute resolution approach like arbitration, mediation or even collaborative law in order to determine child custody instead of going through a long, drawn-out, bitter court hearing. All of the conditions and agreements that are reached between the parties involved and their attorneys are then enumerated in a child custody agreement, which is often referred to as a parenting agreement.

The agreement usually stipulates the visitation rights as well as the amount of time that each parent will spend with their children. In a lot of cases, such a parenting agreement is also facilitated between biological parents and third-party guardians who have been awarded child custody due to some extenuating circumstances.

Rehabilitative alimony in Tennessee

Alimony laws in Tennessee are based on the right to financial equity for divorced spouses and restitution to create that equity. In many cases, a couple independently influences the alimony arrangement after divorce when they decide that one spouse will work outside the home to take care for the family while the other spouse does to provide the family's income.

In this scenario, one spouse has sacrificed financial independence in order to help the family. In case of a divorce, the court would consider this kind of sacrifice to determine the amount of alimony to be paid to that spouse in order to compensate for the non-financial contributions to the family as well as provide rehabilitative funds for the loss of job experience which will impact finances after divorce.

How high-asset divorces can affect the elderly

A high-asset divorce can be complicated for Tennessee residents who have accumulated a lot of wealth over the course of their marriage. One of the most vulnerable groups of people to high-asset divorce is the elderly, who have already retired and have been married to their spouses for a long time. Those divorces are often referred to as silver divorces.

With such a vast amount of wealth at stake, many people in a high-asset divorce find it beneficial to consult an experienced attorney who can help the person to protect the assets, and, at the same time, help to get an amicable settlement in the divorce.

Father charged with kidnapping his daughter

Gaining child custody over one's minor children can be an emotionally grueling task. In many cases, the non-custodial parent is often resentful of the custodial parent. Non-custodial parents who violate a child custody order can be liable for not only civil lawsuits but also for criminal charges under Tennessee law.

In case the non-custodial parent goes against the child custody order or refuses to give back the child to the custodial parent, it is considered kidnapping under the law. The custodial parent has the legal right to consult attorneys, as well as state agencies in order to initiate a case, as well as to search for their children in case the non-custodial parent has taken the child across state borders or even international borders without authorization.

Lowering the cost of a Tennessee high-asset divorce

In some divorce cases, the biggest issues tend not to be emotional or related to breakdown of the longstanding relationship between spouses, but rather are the financial issues relating to the divorce. Tennessee residents who have amassed a vast amount of wealth prior to the marriage or even during the course of the marital union tend to have complicated financial issues associated with their divorces. In such cases, most attorneys strongly advise these high-asset clients to protect their wealth by obtaining a prenuptial agreement to shield these assets from an unfair divorce settlement.

One major factor in obtaining a fair and equitable divorce settlement, especially in a case of a high asset divorce is to wrap up legal action as soon as possible. A prolonged divorce settlement can lead to seemingly endless back-and-forth volleys between estranged spouses that only succeed in adding to legal time and costs.

Legal recourses in the event of parental abduction

Child custody can often be a controversial issue in a divorce or separation legal proceeding between Tennessee parents. The courts usually award child custody to one parent on the basis of the best interests of the child. Thus, violating such child custody orders can attract several serious penalties under the law.

In extreme cases, the non-custodial parent may wrongfully and illegally detain the minor child against court orders. The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act specifically prohibits such kind of illegal detention of the minor child by non-custodial parents.

Hiding assets can get divorcing spouses in trouble

Divorce laws in Tennessee allow equitable division of marital property. Spouses with a high net worth and valuable assets may wish not to disclose part of their assets, in order to protect them from being divided in the divorce. However, if that happens, the other spouse will not receive a fair amount of the marital property, which is illegal. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, more than 30 percent of high net worth individuals in the United States have been deceptive toward their partners when it came to representing the marital assets accurately.

Spouses who have been deceptive about their assets may have hidden cash from one another or may not have informed the other spouse about a purchase that the spouse has made. Hiding a bill or providing false information about finances, income and debt are also not uncommon. However, as stated previously, such acts are illegal and may have serious consequences.

Immediate physical child custody may be awarded to a petitioner

In Tennessee, family courts have temporary emergency jurisdiction in child custody cases when a child has been abandoned or a parent or a sibling of the child has been threatened or abused. If the court doesn't issue a temporary emergency order, it may try to ease the situation by finding a petitioner who can take immediate physical custody of a child to remove the child from the harmful situation.

This scenario is only possible when a child custody order has not been registered and confirmed. It is also valid in circumstances where the court which issued the custody order had no jurisdiction in Tennessee or the child custody order had been stayed or modified by a court that has jurisdiction. In cases where the respondent was supposed to receive notice regarding the proceedings of court about matters related to a child custody determination, but the notice was not delivered as required, the court may order a petitioner to take immediate physical custody of the child in the interim.

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Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law
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