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Maryville Tennessee Legal Blog

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.

Yes -- Tennessee constables can arrest you

Constables have been around since our country's Colonial days. They're still around in some states, including Tennessee. Although their primary responsibility in most counties is to serve civil warrants, Tennessee constables have the same authority under the Tennessee judicial system as other law enforcement officers, including the ability to make arrests.

One Carter County constable summed up the wide variety of responsibilities constables may be called on to carry out this way: "They serve papers, make arrests, work schools, whatever the job description for law enforcement calls for, they can do. They are not limited. They can do it all." A Sullivan County constable noted that they can also make traffic stops and investigate vehicle crashes and other crimes.

When is modification to a child custody agreement warranted?

When you and your co-parent drafted your child custody agreement with the help of your attorneys, you likely worked to make it as adaptable as possible to your children's changing needs as they got older. No one wants to go back to court and modify their agreement if they don't have to.

Further, judges generally won't approve changes to an agreement that is working. Modifications usually mean making changes to children's schedules, living arrangements and way of life. Judges usually won't do that for what they consider to be frivolous reasons.

How a revocable living trust can protect your privacy

One of the many advantages of working with an attorney to create a thorough estate plan is that you can take steps to keep it private. Many people don't realize that if they have only a will in place, that will must go through a probate court in order for the instructions in it to be carried out. That makes it a public court record.

Most people won't have TMZ or even local news outlets sifting through their probate file for juicy tidbits about their assets. However, family members whom you've chosen not to leave anything to, business associates and others can find out what's in your estate. Your heirs' and executor's names and addresses will also be part of the public record.

Navigating Halloween plans as divorced parents

When you and your spouse were working through your child custody/visitation agreement and parenting plan, you likely focused on big holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. However, before you get to those, there's Halloween.

If you have young kids for whom parental involvement in Halloween is still required, this can be a source of multiple conflicts -- particularly if this is your first year apart. So how do both parents find a way to share Halloween with their children?

Prevent these common problems when closing on a house

Buying a home is no easy task, so with the closing date usually comes a feeling of relief. You can finally call your new place home. If you sold the previous house you lived in, it also involved a closing date. This final part of the process affects you no matter if you are a buyer or a seller.

Before this moment draws nearer for you, it is wise to be aware of potential obstacles so you can take action in avoiding them. The following are just some of the common challenges people face when closing on a house.

How to help avoid getting caught up in a road rage incident

You're driving along, listening to your favorite podcast or music. Suddenly another driver cuts in front of you at an entrance or exit ramp, squeezes ahead of you in bumper-to-bumper traffic or makes a rude gesture at you when you've done nothing wrong.

When people are running late, are already frustrated and angry about something else or just feel they're the victim of someone else's rudeness, they may respond in kind. What may start as an exchange of angry words can quickly escalate to someone deliberately striking another person's car. Sometimes, people pull over, get out of their vehicle and physically fight. In some tragic cases, like one that occurred two years ago in Nashville, people have been fatally shot in "road rage" incidents.

Child support obligations after giving up parental rights

You fathered a child who has been raised by your former girlfriend (or maybe someone you barely knew). You've paid child support, as you were ordered by the court to do, but you've had no role in that child's life for any of a multitude of reasons. In another scenario, maybe you and your spouse divorced, and you haven't been involved in your child's upbringing except to provide financial support.

Now the child's mother is getting married (or remarried). Her new spouse wants to legally adopt the child. For the new spouse to do that, you need to agree to terminate your parental rights. This can be an emotionally difficult move to make -- even for people who have no relationship with their children. It's not a decision that should be made without careful consideration.

Estate planning tips to help avoid sibling disputes

If you're preparing to put your estate plan in place, you may be considering doing so without discussing it with your adult children. It's understandable that you want to avoid awkward conversations about how much each one is inheriting and who's getting which family heirlooms.

However, by discussing your estate plan -- at least the broad strokes of it -- now, you can save your children and other loved ones from angry, hurt feelings and possibly even legal battles after you're gone.

When you need legal help, we are here for you.

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