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Maryville Tennessee Legal Blog

What jobs are most dangerous for child workers in the U.S.?

Most workers who are injured or killed on the job are adults. However, more than you might imagine are children.

Kids under 18 are part of the workforce here in the U.S. According to the Department of Labor, some 2.5 million children were employed during the summer of 2017. Likely, that's less than the real number. Kids working on family farms and doing work in people's houses often aren't counted in official statistics.

Why you should exercise your right to remain silent

In your lifetime, you probably will not have to worry about sitting across from law enforcement officers in an interrogation room. While you likely consider that fact to be a good thing, it may also be a disservice to you. After all, perhaps the best way to prepare for potential police questioning is to picture yourself in an interrogation room. 

As you probably know, the U.S. Constitution affords you the right not to incriminate yourself. Inherent in this broad civic right is another right: the right to remain silent. While you may think discussing a matter with officers is the best way to resolve it quickly, doing so could put you in significant legal jeopardy. 

You have a say in how expensive your divorce gets

Some unhappy couples "joke" that they only stay together because they're too poor to get divorced. Some couples really believe they can't afford to divorce.

All divorces carry some expense, but a divorce doesn't have to deplete your savings. It's up to you and your spouse how expensive your divorce will be.

Ways to designate beneficiaries outside of a will

Many people never get around to developing an estate plan -- even a simple will. They figure they'll do it when they get older. Of course, no one knows what the future holds. If a person dies without a will in Tennessee, their assets will be distributed to family members according to state intestacy laws -- regardless of how the deceased person felt about any of these family members or how close they were in life.

Even if you haven't gotten around to making a will (and if not, you should make that a New Year's resolution), there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that people you want to get some of your key assets will get them. Let's look at two:

Seeking custody when you have a history of alcohol abuse

If you're a parent going through a divorce who has struggled with alcohol, you may fear that your history will impact your custody and visitation rights. It's wise to be concerned -- particularly if your spouse wants to limit your access to your kids and the matter will need to be decided by a judge.

Every judge is different, of course. However, it's important to look at what kind of factors they typically consider when deciding a custody case that involves a parent with alcohol abuse issues.

When can you contest someone's living trust?

Many people choose to create living trusts when they develop their estate plans. They can place many of their assets, including their home and bank accounts, in the trust. There are numerous advantages to having a living trust. Chief among them is that it makes your estate easier and quicker to settle after you're gone.

Usually, living trusts (also called inter vivos trusts") are revocable. That means the person who established the trust (the grantor) can change or even terminate it while they're alive.

Do grandparents have a right to see their grandkids?

This time of year can be particularly difficult for grandparents when their adult child is divorced and their relationship with their former son-in-law or daughter-in-law is strained or non-existent. In most cases, divorced parents have a right to limit their children's contact with their grandparents or forbid it completely — at least when the kids are in their custody.

It might seem needlessly mean to keep children away from their grandparents and other family members on their co-parent's side of the family. However, if a grandparent is constantly berating or criticizing a parent in front of or directly to their children, it's only natural for that parent to limit their critic's access to their grandchildren to whatever degree they can.

The 'estate planning' documents your 18-year-old needs

If you've got a child turning 18 next year, you're likely concerned with things like how you're going to pay for college and how you'll adjust to them being away from home. You're probably not thinking about estate planning for them. That's many decades down the road, right?

In fact, as a legal adult, it's wise for your child to have a couple of documents traditionally associated with estate planning in place, with representatives given the authority to enforce them and your child's wishes. Once they turn 18, you'll no longer have the legal authority to make medical, legal and financial decisions for them if they become incapacitated and unable to speak or act for themselves.

Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings as you divorce

As a divorcing parent, you know that it's healthy to encourage your children to talk to you about what they're feeling. However, some kids require a lot more encouragement to do that than others.

Preschool-age children, in particular, may not yet have the vocabulary to communicate complex feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, frustration and fear. Therefore, they act out instead. That's why it's important for parents to try to talk with them using words that they can understand. Ask them leading questions that can help them tell you what they're feeling.

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