Navigating a military divorce can be complex. This type of divorce can present unique challenges and legal complexities that differ from civilian divorce. This type of divorce is primarily complex due to the intersection of military service regulations and family law. Below, you will find some key considerations involved in military divorces.
My parents gave me money during my marriage; can I get that back in my divorce?
When going through a divorce, you will hear property described as “marital property” and “separate property.” When it comes to inheritance and divorce, it is certain you will have questions. Generally, marital property are assets that were acquired during the marriage. If the property is deemed marital property during a divorce, then it will be subject to division by the court. Separate property can include property you owned before the divorce or a gift/inheritance acquired during the marriage. If something is deemed your separate property, then it will not be subject to division by the divorce court.
What you should know about alimony taxation changes.
Signed into law on December 22, 2017, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” changes the existing tax code. One of the crucial implications for our clients is the changes to alimony taxation.
Under the previous law, alimony was deductible by the spouse paying alimony (the obligor). Alimony received was once considered taxable income on the spouse’s tax return receiving the spousal support (the oblige). Accordingly, alimony was taxed as the oblige spouse’s income.
Many clients who come to us for advice during a divorce are going through it for the first time and have many questions. Although the process can be complicated, knowing the basic information can help put a client at ease.
Divorce can be a difficult situation for every party involved. It is the legal undoing of two people’s assets, liabilities, and everything in between. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the inevitable changes are essential during a divorce.
Contested or Uncontested
The first decision to be made is whether the divorce will be contested or uncontested. If you can agree, the divorce is uncontested, and the process is more straightforward. If you cannot agree, the divorce is contested and requires negotiation, mediation, and, in some cases, a trial.
In an uncontested divorce, the parties or their attorneys complete the necessary paperwork and file it with the Court. If children are involved, parents must take a parenting class and file the certificate of completion with the Court.
In a contested divorce, one party will begin the process by filing a complaint. The other party will then file their answer to that complaint and, possibly, a counter-complaint. The parties or their attorneys will then enter the negotiation phase. If negotiation is unsuccessful, the parties must attend mediation with a third party. In most cases, an agreement can be reached in either of these two phases. In some cases, mediation is not successful and the parties must have a trial to allow a judge to decide the issues, which can be lengthy.
Waiting period in Tennessee
In Tennessee, the mandatory waiting period for a divorce from the time of filing is 60 days if the parties have no minor children and 90 days if the parties have minor children. This means the divorce cannot be finalized until the time period runs.
If you or someone you know is contemplating divorce or have been served with a complaint for divorce, contact us to get answers to your questions and let us assist you in making the best decisions. Call Kane and Crowell at (615) 784-4800 or request a consultation to discuss your specific case.
Everyone going through a divorce in Tennessee has to take a court-approved parenting class if you have minor children at the time of your divorce. According to www.tn.gov, this class provides parents with the essential information to handle interactions with their children and each other during and after the divorce process. These seminars aim to assist divorcing families in navigating the traumas of divorce without adding more stress.
I am often asked – can we save money if we go to a mediator? The answer, in Tennessee, is both no and yes. Please read Mediation: A Cautionary Tale, my yes and no answer, and to understand why I titled it this way.
Why? Aren’t Mediators there to help us resolve our differences? And to help us save money so that we don’t have to hire an attorney?
In a perfect world, that may be true. Mediators, however, cannot represent either of you or give any of you advice. They can’t tell you, as you are sitting across from your spouse – that the deal you are about to enter into is a big mistake and a Judge would never order you to pay him or her that much money.
Sure – it makes your and your spouse’s life simpler (at that moment). And it simplifies the mediator’s life – if you go ahead and sign the papers. And sure, it will save you tons of money (at the moment). However, after a few months of living under the terms of this agreement (that is completely unaffordable), you call the mediator to have the papers reworked. Then you find out the mediator cannot represent you in changing those papers.
Mediation: A Cautionary Tale, Explained
Now you have to hire an attorney, go back to Court, and fix the legal papers you entered into – and it’s never that easy to get out of these agreements! Most of the time, you can’t get out of them. My advice is to hire your own attorney at the very beginning. Know your rights before you sign anything!!! If you want an uncontested, affordable divorce – tell your attorney upfront.
Tell your attorney you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a divorce. You don’t want to go to court. And that you don’t want to fight and argue for one year. Explain your top three goals in getting this divorce. Ask your attorney to explain the law, what the Judge will do, and if your goals are possible. Tell your attorney to negotiate the divorce for you with your spouse.
Ultimately, you will spend as much money as you did on a mediator. But the difference is you will have an attorney representing you in the process, and you will have made a very informed decision about your divorce. Take steps to finalize your divorce without regrets.
When is mediation a good thing? When you are in the middle of a heated battle. Or, you both have attorneys charging you loads of money, and you are headed to Court to fight the battle of a lifetime. But before you go down this path, take three hours with your attorney present, his attorney present, and a mediator present to see if you can resolve the major issues causing this battle.
Ask your attorney to choose a mediator who knows the attorneys and your Judge’s temperament. One that your attorney knows does a good job. Don’t pick one that your attorney has never heard of or one that has never tried a case in front of your Judge. In my opinion, you are wasting your money if you do this. Then let the mediator be a second sounding board for you, your spouse, and your attorneys. In these instances, mediators do their best work.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us at https://www.kane0law.com/contact-us/