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Maryville Tennessee Legal Blog

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.

3 holiday hazards that cause injuries

The holiday season may be full of gifts and joyful celebrations, but a lot of accidents and injuries can occur during this time of year, too. With a significant amount of people out shopping, driving and consuming alcohol, a lot can go wrong from November through January.

Make sure holiday safety is a priority for you and your loved ones. Here are some common holiday hazards you should know about so you can stay safe throughout the season.

What to consider before accepting the role of estate executor

A loved one has passed away, and you learn that you were named the executor of the estate. Too often, when people craft their estate plans, they never get around to asking the person they choose as their executor if they're willing to fulfill the role. Sometimes, people will agree to the responsibility and then forget all about it until the time comes.

If you learn that you've been named as an executor after someone dies, you're under no legal obligation to accept the responsibility. If the estate's grantor has named an alternate who's willing to take on the job, you're off the hook. Even if there's no alternate, the probate court will appoint someone.

How do you sell a home you own with an ex who won't part with it?

When you and your former spouse divorced, you chose to keep a vacation house in the Blue Ridge Mountains that you rent out on Airbnb. Perhaps you have an investment property that the same tenants have rented for years. The mortgage is paid off, but you're both still on the title. Therefore, you both own it.

Now you've decided that you no longer want to deal with it. You would rather sell it and put the money toward other things. However, your ex doesn't want to sell.

The impact of the new tax law on alimony is nearing

It's coming up on a year since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law last December. There are provisions in the law that change how alimony is taxed. Those changes apply only to couples whose divorces are finalized after the last day of this year.

That may have seemed a long way off if you were considering the possibility of divorce last December. However, if your divorce won't be final until next year, it's essential to understand how the changes will impact you if you or your spouse is seeking alimony.

The ins and outs of implied consent

If you like watching police shows or courtroom dramas, you probably heard the term "implied consent" a time or two. How does it affect real-life interactions with law enforcement during a DUI stop?

Knowing your rights under Tennessee statutes when it comes to implied consent is imperative should you find yourself stopped by police.

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