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Williamson County Divorce Law Blog

High-asset divorces often require expert legal guidance

Many divorce proceedings in Tennessee, like elsewhere in the country, are complicated for a variety of reasons. Emotions often run strong over who will get custody of any minor children, who will pay child support and maybe whether spousal support should be paid. If a couple has considerable assets or properties that need to be split, the process of property division also can create conflict.

Attorneys in the law offices of Judy A. Oxford have had years of practice in dealing with such high asset divorce proceedings. Where large assets and multiple properties are to be split, complex calculations are often required and tax consequences should be factored into the disposal of property. Many times a spouse may be emotionally attached to a property or asset and be reluctant to let it go. Aside from the family home, these might include works of art or high-value collectibles. Judy A. Oxford can help her clients reach fair deals and compromises when it comes to property division, especially by using mediation.

What should women know about alimony reforms?

Alimony law is based on the legal principle of equity. Under alimony laws, one spouse provides financial spousal support to the estranged spouse after divorce. The principle is established as one spouse may have become the sole breadwinner of the family while the other had taken on the job of taking care of couple's home.

While many husbands also give up their careers or potential careers for the family, empirical data shows that women are still are the majority of alimony beneficiaries. The principle of equity underlying alimony laws are three pronged. Firstly, it is assumed that the spouse claiming alimony had given up a lucrative career in order to take care of the family. Secondly, by taking care of the family household, the spouse supported the sole breadwinner in furthering that person's career. Thirdly, at the time of the divorce especially in case of a long union, the earning spouse is presumed to be at the helm of that person's career trajectory while the other is practically unemployable due to a long history of not working.

Divorce in Tennessee and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

When a marriage breaks down, property division is often an area of conflict between separating spouses. Tennessee is an "equitable distribution" state, which means that courts divide marital property in a fair and reasonable manner. The equitable distribution is sometimes an equal division but it is also possible that the property division is not equal because of arguments and evidence presented in court by either spouse. One way to support the court's decision is by drafting and signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

The purpose of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is to identify each spouse's assets and debts and to decide about each spouse's rights toward that property and other related issues in the divorce, such as alimony. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement usually applies to marital property based on the principle of "substantial contribution." The contribution does not only have to be monetary -- a homemaker, who has helped rear a family may also be considered a substantial contributor by Tennessee courts.

Will Nick Cannon's net worth exceed Mariah Carey's after divorce?

As many Williamson County, Tennessee, residents may agree, celebrity divorces attract a lot of media attention. Once rich and famous spouses file for divorce, numerous speculative stories appear in the media discussing the possible division of assets and a possible legal fight for the custody of children.

In one such celebrity divorce involving singer Mariah Carey and TV show host Nick Cannon, various media stories are appearing, which discuss the potential positive effects of a divorce on Cannon's net worth. Most divorce laws across the United States, including those in Tennessee, provide for equitable distribution of marital assets after divorce.

Obtaining an order of protection in Tennessee - Part I

Newspaper reports indicate that domestic violence cases are rising across the United States, including in the state of Tennessee. This type of act is traumatic for the victim, and it may affect his or her life, physically, emotionally and financially.

An Order of Protection gives victims of domestic violence protection from those who have abused them. Depending on the victim's circumstances, this order can force the other person to move out of the house, or pay for the rent for another place for the victim to live. It can also give the victim temporary custody of any children, or order the other person to pay for support. It is important to remember, however, that an Order of Protection does not protect children.

Child custody battle seesaws in and out of Tennessee

A long-running child custody dispute that has received tremendous social media attention is yet again awaiting a court ruling. At the heart of the dispute is a 10-year-old girl who was adopted and brought to Tennessee as an infant and raised by foster parents. The girl's biological father had been convicted of a firearms crime and given a 15-year jail term, but his sentence was reduced and he was released earlier this year. He was subsequently given custody of his daughter by a Nebraska court, but that decision is being evaluated by a Tennessee appeals court.

Meanwhile, the girl has been returned to her father although she is technically a ward of the state of Nebraska, and is apparently doing well academically and socially, according to the father's lawyer. Further, jurisdiction on this child custody case had been shifted to Nebraska; however, the hearing has been deferred until the appeals court hands down its decision. The Tennessee court is thus also expected to weigh in on the jurisdiction issue.

Obtaining a fair resolution in a high asset divorce

When high net worth spouses head for divorce, the question of asset division often comes up. Residents of Williamson, Tennessee, may have read stories about celebrities or other wealthy couples who could not come to an agreement on how to divide various assets. While the issues could easily have had to do with some pre-existing animosity between the separating spouses, such asset disputes only tend to make divorces seem bitter and vindictive.

Generally speaking, resolving any divorce dispute - not necessarily a high asset divorce - involves establishing the financial contribution of the partners to the marriage and their status following the divorce. Usually, partners have some assets of their own that they have brought into the marriage. Most times, they get to keep those assets after the divorce. If there is a chance that the divorce will create a significant disparity in the spouses' finances, an arbitrating court may find it necessary to award spousal support in addition to the transfer of some of the assets.

How many types of alimony exist in Tennessee?

The most common definition of "alimony" is generally seen in the context of the divorce of a married couple. A general assumption may also be that the man has a higher earning capacity and is thus required by law to provide spousal support. However, it may surprise residents of Williamson, Tennessee, to know that state laws provide four types of alimony, which may be used individually or together depending on the circumstances.

Such a varied approach takes into consideration that society has evolved significantly since the inclusion of alimony as a divorce legal concept. In today's world, both spouses tend to be wage earners and employment is not altered by either marriage or divorce. In addition, a spouse who may have chosen not to work subsequent to marriage or childbirth can likely find suitable employment once again.

Maintaining full disclosure during property division in a divorce

Marriage, as the cliché goes, is about sharing and caring for each other. This process often means acquiring assets and liabilities in relation to setting up a home and, in many cases, a family. However, when the couple, seeks a divorce, all these acquisitions are likely to become a source of dispute, with either partner likely to stake a claim over them.

As residents of Williamson, Tennessee, probably know, when courts have to adjudicate the division of marital property, they operate on the principle of equitable property division. Per this rule, assets and liabilities are so divided as to ensure neither partner is put under undue financial stress subsequent to the divorce. This requires the total cooperation of the partners in terms of honestly listing any and every item of value owned by them.

NFL's domestic violence history sullies the league's reputation

Domestic violence is defined as any form of physical, emotional, sexual, economic or psychological intimidation by one intimate partner toward the other. Statistics show that every minute nearly 24 people become victims of physical violence at the hands of their intimate partners, including rape or stalking. Additionally, every three in 10 women and 10 percent of men are victims of domestic violence in the United States.

Many NFL players have been accused of domestic violence in the past. The punishment meted out by the league thus far has been complicated rather than consistent. Domestic violence cases may be one of the biggest issues plaguing the league which has led to the NFL announcing a new policy to curb domestic violence. Not a month after the new policy was announced, a video of Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens knocking out his then-fiancé was made public. Domestic violence led to more than 10 percent of NFL player arrests in the last decade. The league seems to be unsure about how to act after a player's arrest, keeping in mind the checkered past of other league legends.

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Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law
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Phone: (615) 791-8511
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