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Cleveland Legal Issues Blog

Do not move forward with a divorce without legal help

When a Tennessee couple gets married, the intention is that the marriage will stand the test of time and the couple will remain together. However, the reality is that many marriages simply do not work out as planned and the issues between the couple become so difficult that they decide they must get a divorce. Many might not realize the importance of having legal assistance, but this is a crucial factor toward ending a marriage.

When that final decision is made to divorce, there are myriad issues that must be considered. If there were children, child custody and support will be concerns. If the couple has property, it must all be divided. If there is one spouse who was the breadwinner and the other spouse a homemaker, spousal support could be requested. No matter what is being discussed as part of the case, a lawyer will understand and help with the negotiation and court case.

Personal bankruptcy a growing trend for older people

Tennessee residents who are having financial issues might want to think about the benefits of personal bankruptcy. While it can be an intimidating thought, circumstances are key. Those facing dwindling income, job loss, or are simply drowning in debt should think about whether bankruptcy is a wise option. This is especially true with older people.

A recent study says that older people in the U.S. are increasingly using bankruptcy as a way to get on stronger financial ground. The study from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project shows that the number of senior citizen bankruptcies have multiplied by five in the past several years. In Tennessee, the overall number of people who have filed has been reducing, but it should be remembered that the state has consistently been in the top five in bankruptcies. There are many explanations from CBP as to why the number of senior citizens filing for bankruptcy is on the rise. Medical expenses, losing a job, a reduction of income, and the reduction of government programs to protect them are all factors.

What are the benefits of Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy?

When a Tennessee resident is struggling financially, personal bankruptcy is a viable option to get on stronger financial ground. However, there is often confusion as to which type of bankruptcy is the wisest choice. For most consumers, the choice is between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Since Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, it is better for people who do not have significant property and assets that they want to retain. For people who own a home or have other assets they want to keep, Chapter 13 is likely better. Understanding the benefits of Chapter 13 is vital when deciding which option to use.

People filing for Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 have the ability to keep their home. Chapter 13 stops foreclosure and allows the filer to clear any delinquent payments on their mortgage as time passes. It is critical that the filer continue making the mortgage payments when they are due while the Chapter 13 plan is in place. With Chapter 13, the filer can also reschedule any secured debts separate from a mortgage for a primary residence. It can be extended for the duration of the Chapter 13 plan, which can reduce the payments.

Getting spiraling credit debt back under control

It can be hard to admit when your credit card debt is spiraling out of control. Maybe you lost a job and had to make up a few hundred dollars each month for rent, or you needed to put utility bills on credit because of cut hours at work. Whatever the reason is for the debt, you probably know when it's becoming too much to handle.

On top of placing those bills onto your card, you now have interest and potentially penalties if you can't make payments on time. This is a vicious cycle, and it can be hard to break free. Fortunately, you can get credit debt back under control.

After a divorce settlement, can my child support be modified?

Caring for children is one of the most important factors to consider when a Tennessee couple divorces. That care includes proper funding for their daily lives, medical coverage and more. When there is a divorce agreement and children are part of it, there will generally be an order of child support from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. As time passes, the support order might not be sufficient. This can be from the perspective of the supporting parent or the parent who is receiving support. Understanding when child support can be modified and how to go about making a change is an important part of the process.

To change an order, there must be what is known as a significant variance. When there has been a complete review within two years of the request, the party asking for the review must give information that shows a change or there cannot be a new review. There are many issues that will count as a change of circumstances. A change of circumstance could include: if either of the parents is legally responsible for another child; if either of the parties has a child who has been emancipated or is deceased; there has been a significant income change either positively or negatively; or there is a child who is being supported who has become disabled. Other issues can also warrant a modification.

We fight alongside Tennessee veterans

One of the ways that the United States is able to thank and repay service men and women for their military service is the benefits offered through United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The benefits that military personnel receive after their service is complete help to make up for the hardship and often-low pay that our nation's men and women experience when on active duty.

While the government's intent is laudable, it is not always easy for a veteran to navigate the often-complex bureaucracy of one of the federal government's largest agencies. This is largely due to budget shortfalls which keep the agency understaffed as more and more service personnel are discharged and seek to claim benefits. Frequent changes in agency policies and application procedures make it more difficult for veterans to obtain the medical and financial benefits that they need and deserve.

New developments on the VA benefits landscape

Veterans in Tennessee, as well as those from elsewhere in the U.S., can look forward to some welcome changes on the horizon. In recent weeks, Congress has made several strides toward improving the levels and extent of services at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is one of the federal government's largest agencies. Ultimately, if all comes to fruition, many more individuals will be eligible for certain veterans benefits, and the agency as a whole will finally see some stability in its leadership.

At the end of June, the House of Representatives passed, in a 382-0 vote, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Once passed by the Senate - which is expected to happen - and signed by the president, the law will expand the benefits available to 90,000 Navy veterans who were exposed to chemical exfoliants while serving in the coastal waters of Southeast Asian during the Vietnam War. Veterans who were on the ground during the war receive benefits to treat several maladies that have been linked to chemicals, such as Agent Orange. Navy vets, on the other hand, have been denied treatment for most such illnesses.

Choosing bankruptcy: What you should expect

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy has its detractors, the reality is that it's not all bad. In fact, there are many benefits to choosing Chapter 7 bankruptcy over other forms, like Chapters 13 or 11.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, helps you get out of debt by liquidating your assets. When you have nothing left to sell or give the courts, the remainder of your debts are forgiven. There are a few exceptions, but in general, any unsecured debts can be eliminated through this kind of bankruptcy.

Property division during divorce under Tennessee laws

When people decide to get married, divorce is usually the furthest thought from their mind. However, the reality is that nearly half of all marriages end due to dissolution of the marriage. It's fairly common, however, when divorce happens to you or a loved one, you likely will have many questions about the process. Questions related to property division are often high on the list of concerns.

During property division anything considered of value between a married couple, including financial accounts, assets, property or any other thing of value will be up for a split between the soon-to-be ex-spouses. Tennessee is an equitable property state, which means all marital property is split evenly. A judge may determine what is equitable, or fair, rather than splitting the property equally in two. This could mean an uneven distribution of assets, depending on specifics related to the couple in a divorce.

Crafting an strong estate plan

If you close your eyes and think about the things that are most important to you, what comes to mind? For many people, they would first say their loved ones, like spouses and children. Maybe your dog or other family pet jumps into your mind and perhaps your favorite vacation home or the car you drive. Well, no one lives forever, so it might be time to think about an estate plan to take care of those things you love after you pass on.

At Miller Law Firm, your priorities are our priorities. That's why we take special care in building an estate plan that addresses a person's top priorities and concerns. Every person is different and will require a specific plan that addresses their needs and the needs of their loved ones. It's nice to know that you would have the people and things you care about most in the world taken care of when you are no longer able to.

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Miller Law Firm

701 17th Street NW
Cleveland, TN 3731

Phone: 423-464-6852
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