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Alcoa Tennessee Family Law Blog

Separation, annulment and divorce: How are they different?

After several years of marriage, you and your spouse are thinking about parting ways. When you are preparing to end a marriage, you will have several options to choose from. Three of the most common include separation, annulment and divorce.

You and your partner are probably researching these options and trying to decide which one is best for you. Every breakup is different, and couples should choose the option that best fits their unique circumstances. Separation, annulment and divorce may seem similar at first glance, but they have very important distinctions.

Update these 4 estate-planning documents after your divorce

Anyone who is going through a divorce knows that there are seemingly endless legal documents to revise. These can include the divorce agreement, the mortgage, insurance policies and many others. When you are updating your legal documents after a divorce, you would be wise to include your estate-planning documents.

Many people do not associate divorce with estate planning, but this is a huge mistake that could affect your estate in the long-run. You should be sure to update these four estate-planning documents after your divorce.

Why it is important to update your estate plan

When you made your will and your estate plan, you knew that they would be crucial documents to have in place for your family in the event that you pass away. Once you and your attorney had finalized the paperwork, you probably thought that you would never need to think of it again.

But this is a big mistake that could have significant ramifications for your family. Now that the Trump administration’s newly-passed tax law has gone into effect, millions of Americans’ estate plans are out of date. It may be a good idea to revisit your estate plans and update them accordingly.

Avoid these mistakes if you're divorcing over the age of 50

Divorcing after the age of 50 is a little different from divorcing at a younger age. Your children may be grown, for example, so child custody concerns will not be an issue. Meanwhile, you and your spouse could share a considerable amount of wealth in the form of retirement savings, 401(k)s, pension funds, real estate and more.

In order to successfully navigate your over-50 divorce, you'll want to avoid a few of these common mistakes.

What can my durable financial power of attorney do on my behalf?

The person you name in a durable financial power of attorney as your "attorney-in-fact" will have the power to make different financial decisions -- and carry out various financial tasks -- on your behalf. The attorney-in-fact, however, will only gain these powers in the event of your incapacitation -- i.e., when you become unable to carry out these tasks for yourself due to medical reasons.

When creating a power of attorney, you will bestow these powers upon the attorney-in fact via a document that you execute before appropriate witnesses.

A primer on grandparents’ visitation rights in Tennessee, part 2

It is an unfortunate reality that many grandparents are legally barred from visiting their grandchildren. To remedy this, some grandparents petition the court for visitation rights. In Tennessee, grandparents do have the right to see their grandchildren—in a few unique circumstances. We examined these circumstances in our first blog post about the state of grandparents’ rights in Tennessee.

Before allowing grandparents to have visitation rights, the court must also decide whether visitation would be in the best interests of the child. In this conclusion to our two-part series, let’s take a look at the standards that Tennessee uses to evaluate a child’s best interests.

A 'gray divorce' could be costly to your retirement plans

For Americans over the age of 50, divorce has become more and more prevalent. These middle age dissolutions of marriage-sometimes called "gray divorces"-have doubled since the 1990s, and they're often unique from their younger counterparts.

While the issue of contentious child custody is usually absent, the dividing of assets can be much more complicated in a gray divorce. A couple is who has been married for 20-plus years could have numerous significant accounts, including retirement funds, which are likely pivotal to their remaining years. Dividing retirement assets can not only be costly, but the aftermath can also mean a serious shift in your retirement plans.

A primer on grandparents’ visitation rights in Tennessee, part 1

The thought of being unable to visit their grandchildren is enough to break any grandparent’s heart. For many grandparents, though, being separated from their grandchildren is an everyday reality. Sometimes, this is because of scheduling issues or long-distance commutes. In other situations, a child custody arrangement prevents grandparents from visiting their grandchildren.

Some grandparents choose to challenge this by filing for visitation rights in court. The laws regarding grandparents’ visitation rights vary state by state. Tennessee does provide visitation rights for grandparents, but only under certain circumstances.

Understanding the types of child custody

Reaching a child custody agreement can be a confusing and difficult time for a parent. Everyone wants what is best for their child, but the process may be fraught with emotion. Factor in the complex nature of the court system and any parent may feel overwhelmed.

The custody process will seem much more manageable once you know the various types of child custody. It can also help you determine the custody arrangement that is best for your family. These are the four different types of child custody:

What is “Divorce Day,” and is it real?

The Christmas tree has been taken down, the New Year’s party hats are packed away and things are settling back into a normal routine. Does the post-holiday season tend to give you the blues? If yes, then you are not alone. In fact, the first weeks of January tend to make a lot of people feel down—but not necessarily for the same reasons.

The first Monday of January often sees a spike in the number of couples who head to their lawyer’s office for a divorce. In fact, this occurrence has become so prevalent that many people refer to it as “Divorce Day.” So, is Divorce Day really a thing, or just a popular myth?

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