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Maryville Tennessee Legal Blog

Why are pedestrian fatality rates increasing?

Although it sometimes seems like people hop in their cars to drive a mile down the street to the grocery store, many people still walk to where they're going -- sometimes with tragic results. Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed by vehicles during 2016. That marked a 46 percent increase since 2009.

Pedestrian fatalities are increasing at a faster pace than overall traffic fatalities. Not surprisingly, pedestrian death rates are highest in larger cities. However, they can happen anywhere.

2 ways to prevent disputes with proper estate planning

When it comes to estate planning in Maryville, it helps if you anticipate every possible issue that could derail your plans. One issue that often gets overlooked is family disputes. You cannot control how your loved ones’ act after you die, but you do have control over how they might react to your estate plans. 

Family disputes over inheritances happen all the time. During a time when everyone should be mourning the loss of a loved one, they instead end up squabbling because they have issues with your final wishes. Disputes that involve inheritances can drag on indefinitely and bleed those involved dry. If you do not want all your estate planning to be in vain, take the following pointers to preventing inheritance and estate plan disputes under advisement. 

Successful long-distance parenting after divorce is a team effort

If you're the custodial parent of your children and your ex lives some distance away, he or she has to work to maintain a bond with the kids. These days, parents can stay in daily contact with their kids from across the country or the other side of the world via video chatting, email, texting and social media. However, it's essential for the long-distance parent to be consistent in that communication.

Maintaining the parent-child bond when one parent lives far away is a team effort. The custodial parent needs to support the long-distance parent. This means ensuring that your kids are available to video chat or talk with their parent at the scheduled times. You should also encourage your kids to feel free to contact their other parent whenever they want to.

Estate planning for a child who is an addict

Many parents throughout Tennessee and the rest of the country have a son or daughter who is struggling with addiction to illegal and/or prescription drugs. Addiction impacts the entire family emotionally and financially. Attorneys are increasingly seeing the conflicts faced by parents of addicts as they draft their estate plans.

How do you include a loved one who suffers from addiction in your estate plan? You don't want to disinherit them. Even if you do want to, you probably shouldn't. Such an action could cause them to spiral even further downward.

What should you do when your ex badmouths you to the kids?

As a divorced parent, you know that speaking negatively about your ex in front of your kids is wrong. Sometimes you may literally have to bite your tongue when your children tell you that Mom or Dad let them stay up late, watch an R-rated movie or have pizza and soda every night during their latest visit.

However, what if your co-parent isn't affording you the same courtesy? What if your kids are routinely passing on negative comments or criticism of your parenting from your ex? What if that negativity is coming from others on your co-parent's side of the family, like grandparents, aunts or uncles, or from friends of your ex?

The dos and don'ts of introducing your kids to your new love

Many divorced parents won't introduce their children to anyone they're dating until the relationship becomes very serious and perhaps even until they begin talking about marriage.

If this person is going to be a big part of your life, you want your children to like him or her, and vice versa. That can place a lot of pressure on your kids' first encounters with the new love of your life.

3 tips for investing in real estate

Investing in real estate is an exciting idea. If you do it successfully, you may accumulate enough funds to live on without working. One of the best reasons to invest in real estate is that it will usually remain more lucrative than stocks when the economy takes a dip. 

However, you must follow some tips and expert advice if you want to succeed as a real estate investor. Here are some general rules to follow as you embark on your journey of entrepreneurship.

Understanding probable cause

The U.S. Constitution, for too many Americans, is something they studied in high school and have long forgotten about, or perhaps don't remember accurately. However, many of our basic protections in this country emanate from this centuries-old document. One of them involves "probable cause."

The term "probable cause" comes directly from the Fourth Amendment, which gives Americans the right "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." People cannot be arrested or have their property searched or seized by law enforcement officers without adequate reason.

Why Facebook can be dangerous in marriage and divorce

Family law attorneys often caution their clients who are going through a divorce to stay off of Facebook and other social media. Don't look at your soon-to-be ex's posts or prowl around on his or her friends' pages. By all means, don't post anything yourself.

In many cases, Facebook is the reason that people find themselves in the middle of a divorce in the first place. One divorce attorney calls Facebook "the single greatest breeding ground ever for infidelity." He asserts that it breaks up more marriages than sites like Ashley Madison, apps like Tinder and Grindr and even pornography.

Can counseling help a couple as they go through a divorce?

Many people who go to couples therapy -- or any kind of therapy -- want the therapist to give them advice and answers, such as whether they should get a divorce. However, most therapists will tell you that this isn't their role.

Couples therapists often say that their job is to get people to listen to each other and to let them come to their own conclusions about whether they want to continue the marriage or call it quits -- even if asked point-blank by one or both of the spouses what they should do. As one mental health professional says, "A therapist should not encourage putting the final nail in the marital coffin. In fact, it's unethical and dangerous to push divorce if the clients' themselves haven't brought it up first."

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