In the past several months I have had several phone calls and inquiries about what to do when your child turns 18. In most cases a child support obligation terminates when the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school. However, there are some exceptions to this, including but not limited to, the agreement of the mother and father, disability of the child, health concerns of the child, etc.
What happens when it is time to stop paying? If you are paying directly to the other spouse, you may simply be able to stop paying. However, if you are paying through the state child support office a Motion to Terminate Child Support is necessary. In either case, it is the best course of action to simply file a motion to terminate child support. This way, there will be no surprises later on down the road.
If you have questions regarding your child support obligations or need assistance in terminating your child support, contact an experienced Tennessee Child Support Attorney.
As you know, Middle Tennessee was recently hit by what can only be described as the flood of the century. While people in surrounding states may have dealt with this kind of flood in the recent past, this was something we simply were not prepared for. That being said, a big round of applause needs to go out to our local area governmental bodies for responding as they did. More applause needs to go out to the citizens of this great state for standing up and reaching out a helping hand to our neighbors.
Now, the water has all but dried up and we are recovering from the flood. However, a black cloud is appearing on the herizon; a new type of storm is brewing. That rumbling noise is not the sound of distant thunder, its the sound of a thousand motivated footsteps from the lawyers that are about to descend upon us. WHY? When there is a disaster, there is litigation. Some of the litigation will be based upon flood damage and whether or not homes were insured as well as many other issues. Businesses will likely see a rise in litigation in the coming months as many are not able to fill orders, complete projects or fullfill contractual obligations. Some of the things may be covered in your existing contracts. Others, like the flood itself, were not expected and therefore not adequetly prepared for.
What to do? Well, with everything, preperation is the best offense and defense. Following the flood, many people are reviewing their insurance policies just to make sure they are adequetly covered for future events. This is one of the good effects of an event like this. Businesses need to take a look over their existing contracts and make a plan for emergency preparedness in the future. If you dont have a good lawyer, find one and find one quick. Nothing ruins the flow of your business like a lawsuit. Even if you know good and well you can win, it takes time away from your business and costs money that you may not have at that moment. So, my words of advice to you are this: find a experienced lawyer you trust, develop a relationship and take care of what needs to be taken care of. Your business is your life and its important to have a plan.
If you have been or think that you are about to go down the road toward a lawsuit, be it against you or you against someone else, it pays to have someone help you navigate through the process. Contact a competent legal professional to assist you.
During the aftermath of the Nashville Flood, there are some things that you may forget to do that could have serious negative reprecusions on you later. So, the following is a non-exclusive list of a few things that you should do to make sure that you are protected.
If you recieve child support checks, social security checks or any other type of payment or government benefit on a regular basis and you have been displaced by the storm and/or the flood, you need to contact the agency and let them know where you have relocated, even if it is just a temporary move. Unfortunatly, these bad times breed some bad people and you do not want to lose your money to someone that just happens to find a mail box filled with mail becuase you are absent from your house.
Make sure you file an insurance claim even if you do not think that you are covered. Many federal programs require you to do this before you can qualify for aid.
Find your important legal documents. If they are lost or damaged beyond recovery, contact the appropriate businesses or agencies to get copies sent to you. While an important document is often defined by the person who has it, there are some documents that are essential for you to find or replace.
The title to your car
The Deed to your home
Your drivers license
Your Social Security Card
Your Birth Certificate
Shot and/or immunization records
Stock and Bond Certificates
Original Wills and/or powers of attorney or other legal documents (if these have been lost or destroyed they will need to be re-drafted and executed by a competent legal professional)
Military discharge records
Federal Employment Records
This is certainly not an all intensive list but is intended to be a starting point. If you need legal assistance through this trying time do not hesitate to call upon us at the Gordon Law Group. We are ready and able to assist you with getting past this disaster. While no one ever wants to go through a disaster like the one that took place in Nashville, take this time to make sure that all of your affiars are in order.
Today I was interviewed on several nashville radio stations, specifically, 92Q, 97.1 and 99.7 regarding numerous legal issues related to the Nashville Flood. I was impressed by the number of questions that I recieved both on air and by the hosts. Based upon this, I wanted to make a few resources available to people.
What should you do if your home or property was affected by the storm and/or flood?
1. First locate your insurance policy, if you cannot find it, call your insurance company and get a copy as quickly as possible.
2. File a claim even if you dont think it will be covered. Many of the federal grant and relief programs require that you file a claim with your insurance company.
Of course, if you have questions about the numerous forms and documents that need to be completed contact a trusted legal professional to help you through the process. To help find a legal professional to assist you with the process you can go to www.gordonlawgroup.com or to the Nashville Legal Line.
This post was recently added to the Gordon Law Group, PLC, Google Local Page.
|By V. Lamport
Prior to my case being turned over to John Clark, I was very dissatisfied with my attorney at Gordon Law Firm. I felt as if I were forgotten about after my initial payment for services was given. Afterwards, it was impossible to get a clear answer about any question I had regarding my case. I was even responsible for gathering information to prove I had a case. I did as the attorney requested even though the firm was to aquire a large amount of my settlement if I had a winning case. Approximately two years after my initial contact, I received word that I had been assigned a new attorney. Finally, I could actually feel relief just by the professionalism and the concern in the voice on the other end of the line. My immediate thought was, “Thank God, my prayer has been answered”! Since that day, I have been treated with the utmost respect from my attorney as well as his partners. My introduction with Attorney John Jay Clark, was to say the least, very pleasant.
|He apologized for the actions of the previous attorney and assured me that if I chose to allow him to handle my case he would do everything in his power to help me. I feel I am a good judge of character and I immediately felt that John Clark was the man for my case. Attorney John Clark has offered nothing but the greatest concern and help for not only one case, but several cases for me, with two being emergency situations. He is working to resolve a case for me now and has gone to great lengths to see that my best interest is satisfied. And thanks to Kelly, his very courteous and helpful receptionist, my messages and concerns are delivered accurately and I receive either a response from her or a call from my attorney in a timely fashion. I am confident that future legal matters I may have will be met as long as John Clark is serving others with his exceptional legal advice along with his partners. I highly recommend the staff at Gordon Law Group.
I hear the rumblings all the time “why do I need a lawyer” or “I could have done this on my own”. So, why do you need a lawyer to represent you in your Tennessee Divorce? The old saying is, he who represents himself has a fool for a client. Why? Well, the long and short of it is that you are too emotionally involved to be a good advocate for yourself. In many cases you feel as though you have been done wrong or that someone is trying to take advantage of you. When these emotions exist it is next to impossible to be able to approach the tasks involved in a Tennessee Divorce in a way that will be beneficial to you. Most lawyers that have gone through personal divorces will tell you that even they, even with their legal educations and experience, have sought out the counsel of another lawyer. They didnt do this in most cases becuase they though the other lawyer was smarter or more gifted in the courtroom than they were, but becuase the other lawyer was not emotionally invested in the intimate details of the case. So, take that old saying to heart! If you are planning on going through a divorce or you have been thrust into one against your will, seek out the guidance and counsel of an experienced Tennessee Divorce Lawyer.
How are Marital Debts Divided During a Tennessee Divorce – Nashville Tennessee Divorce Attorney John Jay Clark, Sr.
Most divorcing spouses set out who will pay what debts as part of their marital dissolution agreement, which is often referred to as an “MDA”. However, if the parties cannot agree upon a division of debt, the court will make an equitable division of the marital debt. there is a significant distinction between marital debt and separate debt. Likewise, the effect of a court division and/or an agreed division of debt can have serious and often uncontemplated effects upon your financial well being and/or your taxes. Therefore, it is important to seek out the advice and assistance of an experienced Tennessee Lawyer who is knowledgeable of Tennessee laws regarding the division of marital debt.
There is literally an entire set of guidelines that Tennessee Attorneys and Tennessee Courts follow in calculating child support. The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines are set out by the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
Basically, Tennessee follows an “income Shares” model. The income of both spouses and/or parents is combined and child support is calculated upon this figure. The parent and/or spouse that is required to pay child support is generally required to provide for the basic medical needs, including insurance for the minor children. However, the parties can and should enter into an agreed parenting plan that sets forth the basic responsibilities of the parties to the minor child and/or children. Again, it is a general rule that the parties pay the uncovered medical expenses on a pro rata basis. (Pro Rata basically means that you pay consistent with your income…i.e. one parent makes 60% of the total income and one makes 40%, this would mean that one parent pays 60% of the uncovered medical expenses and one pays 40% of those expenses) Medical insurance, out of pocket payments for regularly anticipated medical services and necessary child care, i.e. day care, is considered in the calculation of child support.
The calculation of child support can have a very significant impact upon your household income. It is important to seek out the assistance of a Tennessee Attorney that is experienced with Tennessee’s Child Support Guidelines.
Child Custody issues are difficult during a divorce. This issue above all involves emotions that simply do not fall into a category that can be easily handled. It is essential whenever an issue of child custody exists that you seek out the assistance of an attorney experienced with Tennessee Child Custody Laws.
Tennessee courts place one fact above and beyond all in child custody matters. The courts will ask the question and make a determination of; what is in the best interest of the child? The Court’s take into consideration the interests of children and the continuity of their care as the most significant factors in determining child custody issues. Parents have the right and should address their custody preferences in a “parenting plan.” Unless such a document is prepared and agreed upon by the parties, the court will step in and make the determination. I feel fairly confident in saying that most judges will probably tell you that it is more advisable to agree upon this than to leave it up to the judge.
There is often a misconception with my clients as to custody. I believe much of this is the product of old law and mass media. Many people want to have “sole custody” or “joint custody.” In Tennessee, those terms are not necessarily applicable anymore. Both parents have responsibility to the child. How much “parenting time” a parent spends with the minor child is another issue all together. Unless agreed upon by the parties in a Parenting Plan, Tennessee Courts look at the comparative fitness of each parent. Under a Tennessee parenting plan, parents are listed as either the “primary residential parent” (where the child resides the majority of the time) or “alternate residential parent”
Child Custody Determinations are not generally permanent and can change as the situations of the child or either parent changes. The determination of custodial issues can and is a very complex and emotional issue. As a result, it is essential that you seek out the assistance of a competent legal professional that is knowledgeable about Tennessee Child Custody laws.
Should I get an annulment instead of a divorce? This is a question that I have been asked a number of time. The general answer is simply…NO. Why is this? An annulment sounds so neat and tidy! Well, the fact is that getting an annulment is often more time consuming and difficult than simply getting a divorce. Most lawyers will tell you that Judges simply do not like annulments and there are often very complicated issues involved In most cases it is more advisable and in most every case, less expensive, to go through the divorce process than the annulment process. However, as with anything, there are exceptions to this rule. If you decide to seek a Tennessee Divorce or a Tennessee Annulment it is advisable to seek out the assistance of an experiences Tennessee Divorce Lawyer.
An Annulment is initiated to seek a judicial determination that a valid marriage never occurred between the parties. Tennessee Courts have to determine whether or not the marriage was void or voidable. What is the difference? Well, as with lots of legal speak, the words really matter. A voidable marriage is treated as valid and binding until it is declared null and void by the court. A voidable marriage can be made valid by the parties; a void marriage on the other hand cannot ever be made valid. Whether it’s void or voidable, a court must make the determination.
How can a marriage be void?
A marriage is void when:
(1) either party was already lawfully married
(2) the parties are within prohibited degrees of kinship (in other words, you are closely related to this person by blood)
(3) for any other reason, the marriage was prohibited by law, and its continuance is in violation of law
Okay; so what is a voidable marriage?
A marriage is voidable when:
(1) Either party was insane (A medical professional must make this call. It cannot simply be your opinion, regardless of how justified it may be)
(2) the complainant (the person seeking the annulment) was under duress at the time of marriage.
(3) a party was under the age of consent
(4) the consent was obtained by force, or fraud, and was given by mistake
(5) the defendant was impotent (at the time of marriage and the complaining party did not know of it)
(6) the woman was pregnant by another man without the knowledge of the complainant
(7) for any other reason, the marriage was not binding on the complainant
As clean cut as annulment sounds, it is a difficult and extremely time consuming process. If you are contemplating seeking an annulment you are strongly recommended to seek out the guidance and assistance of a competent legal professional who is familiar with Tennessee laws as to Annulment