Who Is Responsible for Child Support in Tennessee?

For those living in Tennessee, it can be confusing to understand the laws revolving around child support. Child support is the act of sending money to the primary care provider of a child who is biologically your own. Child support is crucial for the care and necessities that a child needs such as food, clothing, educational needs and more.

Understanding the child support laws in the state of Tennessee can help you better determine what is required of you, and how to challenge your child support ruling if you feel you are over or under paying a child support amount.

Paying Child Support

The person who has either fathered or mothered a child and does not have primary custody is the one responsible for paying child support. For example, if you have a child who lives full-time with their mother or father and you do not have any time with that child or very little time, the judge will deem you responsible for aiding in the care of the minor child through monetary means to support the finances of the primary parent.

Estimated Payments

Payments made to child support are estimated using a variety of tools. For one, your income and salary will be taken into account to see how much you are able to afford. The overall cost of the care of the child is also taken into account and mutually; this will estimate the amount of child support that needs to be paid each month.

Challenged Payments

In Tennessee, if you are required to pay child support, you can challenge the cost of what you pay, or challenge having to pay for child support altogether. If you doubt paternity, a basic medical test can be done to ensure that the child you are paying child support for is biologically your own.

If you struggle to afford the amount ordered, you can challenge the child support total you pay by providing accurate data and information on your own living costs. By showing proof of your finances, you may be able to lower the cost of child support if it is deemed you cannot afford the current amount. This is all done in a court of law in the state of Tennessee.

It is important to seek counsel when dealing with matters of child support. A lawyer will be able to help you outline a strategy for any challenges you need to make and educate you on the inner workings of child support cases in the state of Tennessee.

4 Reasons You Should Sign A Prenuptial Agreement

Marriage is a contract. It is a binding agreement between parties, with legally obligating terms. Whether we explicitly acknowledge that fact or not, the fact remains. A prenuptial agreement is the surest way to protect yourself and your family from unnecessary future hardship.

A prenuptial agreement is not a forecast for failure. Rather, in today’s world, it should be viewed as a part of the matrimony process – as necessary as the ceremony and with a potentially more lasting impact. Prenupts are important for all involved, providing protection and benefits in many different ways, especially for blended families.

Here are four reasons why you should consider a prenuptial agreement before saying “I do.”

Reduce Stress and Conflict

Divorce is one of the most stressful, emotional, and complicated time in anyone’s life. A prenuptial agreement can help reduce the burden and tension associated with divorce negotiations. It may not be able to cover every aspect of your divorce, but a well-documented prenuptial agreement will address major assets and act as a guide for a smooth transition.

Reduce Costs

A good prenuptial agreement lays everything out, so both parties have realistic expectations going in, and there are fewer surprises in a divorce trial. With less to argue about, there is no need to go into a long, drawn-out divorce case that lasts for months and costs you dearly in legal fees – not to mention time.

Protect the Future of Your Children

A prenuptial agreement will help ensure the money you are allocating for your children’s future – such as college funds – will go to your children and not your spouse, or your spouse’s future children. Many households today have children from current and previous marriages. You will want to protect your children’s future in these complicated cases. 

Keep Your Property from Being Court Distributed

If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, and there are properties and assets to divide (and disagreements over how the division should unfold), the court will become the decider in the divorce. When you have a prenuptial agreement, you don’t have to worry about who will get what, as you’ve already stipulated the terms.

There are many reasons couples consider prenuptial agreements before getting married. As Anne Russell discusses in her feature in the Nashville Business Journal, the most common reason for prenuptial agreements is to alleviate causes of family disputes, contentions about property, and especially allowances to the wife (or husband), should the marriage end.

It is important to remember that prenuptial agreements are not a prediction for failure, but a safety net to serve as a safe harbor in case of difficult times.

How to Protect Your Finances in a Later-In-Life Divorce

There is no such thing as a good time to get a divorce. Divorce by its very nature signifies the end of something that was intended to last a lifetime. Getting divorced when over the age of 50 and after many years of marriage can be extremely difficult. Coming up with a settlement agreement that will protect your financial future will require advanced thought and planning, but it can be accomplished.

Here are a few tips for how:

Keep a Level Head

It can be challenging to keep a levelheaded approach to divorce, especially if the married couple has been together for decades, raised a family together, and owned a home or business together. However, the chief executive of International Capital Management Group recommends that divorcing individuals view the divorce as if it were a business arrangement. If a couple is able to look at dividing assets in an objective way, and not in an emotional way, the faster it will be for them to finish the divorce and move on with their lives.

Bring in a Mediator

Some couples are able to mediate their divorce on their own. However, the vast majority of couples will need an impartial third party to help them. The benefits of using a financial adviser in this role is they can objectively review all assets, create an accurate value of the assets, and then take steps to divide the assets between both parties in an equitable way. 

Openly Speak About Debt

It can be a big surprise for divorcing couples to find out that one of the two individuals has secret debt. In states that have community property laws, a spouse is responsible for half of their spouse’s debt, even if that debt is not in their name. For this reason it is a good idea to get a credit report prior to filing for divorce. This removes any surprises that might occur during the negotiations.

Review Your Estate Planning

Current wills and estate plans will need to be revisited after divorce proceedings. Both individuals should take steps to minimize the financial impact the divorce will have on inheritance. Adult children who receive financial assistance from divorcing parents should have realistic expectations about what they will receive after the divorce. It is more expensive for two individuals to maintain separate lifestyles than it is for a married couple to do so.

Review Healthcare Insurance

Older adults often have health issues. The stress of divorce may exacerbate these issues. After the divorce, one or both spouses may find that they no longer qualify for the health insurance they had while married. Any settlement agreement should take into consideration ensuring adequate long-term health care.

Getting divorced later in life is a challenge. However, with appropriate planning and forethought, the difficulties of a later-in-life divorce can be minimized.