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Maryville Tennessee Legal Blog

Has your car accident caused brain damage?

Some car crash injuries are hard to miss. Others can take time to show up, but their potential impact on your life is not any less serious. Car accidents number among top causes of traumatic brain injury. Moderate TBI especially can cause deferred symptoms.

Moderate TBI typically begins with a brief loss of consciousness and mild memory impairment. In the shock and confusion of a car accident scene, these can be easy to overlook, so you may not even end up going to the emergency room.

What's required in a Tennessee parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a key component of any custody agreement. It provides a roadmap and reference to be used by couples as they co-parent their children after their marriage ends.

States have varying requirements regarding what needs to be included in a parenting plan. Experienced Tennessee family law attorneys can help ensure that you and your co-parent draft a plan that complies with our laws. Tennessee law requires a number of things to be included in a parenting plan.

Tennessee tightens restrictions on doctors who prescribe opioids

In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic, Tennessee is enacting two laws that restrict the prescription of these potent pain medications by doctors in the state and to establish harsh penalties for doctors who overprescribe them. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says he hopes the legislation will reduce the number of opioids in our state.

Effective July 1, Tennessee physicians will have less discretion than they currently have in writing prescriptions for more than a three-day opioid regimen. The following are among the new rules:

  • Non-opioid options must be prescribed first.
  • 10-day prescriptions are only allowed only for certain diagnoses.
  • Patients who've had surgery are limited to a 20-day prescription.
  • 30-day prescriptions are allowed only if there's a "medical necessity."

What child exchange details should a parenting plan address?

One issue that is important to address in a parenting plan is how the actual exchange of a child from one parent to another for visits and custody trade-offs is handled.

Parenting plans have various legal requirements based on state law. Here in Tennessee, for example, the law mandates a stipulation that parents can't drive with their children in the vehicle unless they have a valid driver's license.

Kids of divorce should feel 'at home' with both parents

Kids whose divorcing parents agree to a shared custody arrangement are fortunate because they get to spend time with both of them. However, that usually means moving back and forth between two homes. There are some things that both parents can do to help their kids feel comfortable in both homes -- even if they only spend occasional nights and alternating weekends in one of them.

First, let your child participate in decorating the new room (or both new rooms if you and your spouse are selling the family's house and each moving to new homes.) This can include choosing the color of the paint, picking out a bedspread and nightlight and buying some posters and stuffed animals. It's essential for kids to feel like they're at home and not just visiting when they're with the parent they see less.

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?

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

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