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Cleveland Legal Issues Blog

How does a disability rating work?

Many veterans in Cleveland, Tennessee, and the greater Chattanooga area may realize that they are eligible to apply for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Like other types of benefits available to those suffering with a debilitating illness or injury, these veterans benefits can be a lifeline to those who once served our country in the military but who now are not able to support themselves financially because of their conditions.

5 hidden client risks that demand your immediate attention

How to steer your clients in the right direction

Estate planning provides your clients with a wealth of opportunities to strategically grow their net worth while also planning for their families' future comfort and security. Opportunity brings risk, but also the potential reward of deeper, longer-lasting client relationships.

When probate is unavoidable, we can help navigate it

Previous posts on this blog have talked some strategies for avoiding probate, which, to summarize, is a court-supervised process of dividing up a deceased person's estate either according to his or her will or the laws of Tennessee.

Indeed, trying to avoid probate is a laudable goal for many people in Cleveland, Tennessee and the broader Chattanooga area. However, there are times when probate cannot be avoided altogether. In many other cases, other considerations may even outweigh the desire to avoid probate, and so a person plans his or her estate knowing some probate is inevitable.

Why do people want to avoid probate?

People often spend a lot of time and energy attempting to plan their estate carefully. The end goal is both the ability to control how their assets get distributed after they die and minimizing the risk of probate court for their families. Any estate that does not have a plan or a last will will likely wind up in probate court. The same is true for any estate challenged or contested by a family member or potential heir.

Probate courts review the assets of the deceased and determine how best to divide those up under Tennessee law. Individuals who die without a last will get referred to as having died intestate. The law specifically provides for handling intestate estates, typically with the spouse and children of the deceased receiving the assets of the estate.

What is a special needs trust?

There are many people in Cleveland, Tennessee as well as other parts of the greater Chattanooga area that have loved ones with special needs.

Whether a physical or mental handicap, these people may not be able to care of themselves and, even if they are, may need government assistance in order to be able to make it on their own financially.

How is child support enforcement handled after a divorce?

When couples in Tennessee decide to divorce and there were children as part of the marriage, one of the major concerns is whether the supporting parent will make the necessary child support payments to the custodial parent on time and in full. When there is a failure to make the payments as they are ordered, the state will take certain steps to enforce the child support order. Understanding when this will take place and how it is done is a crucial aspect of a case.

When there is a child support order, there will be an enforcement action when the payments are not made. State law requires that the support will be ongoing until the time at which the child is emancipated. When a child is 18, but remains in high school, the supporting parent will remain obligated until the child has graduated or the class the child was in when turning 18 has graduated - whichever happens first. When the payments are not being made, the child support office will do whatever it can under the law to have enforcement proceedings and collect what is owed in the present and what is in arrears.

What is the law for a temporary parenting plan during divorce?

Tennessee residents who are getting a divorce and have children will want to do whatever they can to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Since divorce can negatively impact children of all ages, having visitation with the parents is critical. This can be done in several ways. A temporary parenting plan has certain requirements under the law. Parents should be aware of them whether they are formulating the plan themselves or the court is doing it for them.

A temporary parenting plan should comply with the legal requirements for a permanent parenting plan and the residential schedule for when the divorce case has been completed. When presented with a temporary parenting plan, the court will approve of it if the parties are able to agree to it without court intervention. If this is done, there will be no need for it to be in writing and entered into the record.

What are the costs for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy?

Part of the reticence that a Tennessean who is considering filing for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 might have is that they think it will be too costly. In addition to the fear of moving forward with a court process, this can stagnate a person who would otherwise benefit from everything Chapter 7 offers. Getting back on stronger financial ground is an alluring concept, but when there are certain considerations that are not fully understood, it can stop a debtor from taking that next step before even learning about it.

A law firm that is experienced in helping people with bankruptcy can explain the costs with a Chapter 7 filing and can mitigate those concerns. When filing the Chapter 7, there will be a filing fee of $245. There will also be a miscellaneous administrative fee of $75, and a surcharge for the trustee of $15. When the case is filed, these costs must be paid to the clerk of the court. However, it is not unusual for there to be an approval for the debtor to make these payments in installments. Since Chapter 7 is for people who are having financial trouble, even coming up with these relatively small amounts can be a problem. That is helped by the installment plan.

Late payments: Bankruptcy might be the best option

You are only in your 20s, but you know that you shouldn't be struggling financially as much as you are. You see your friends go out without worrying about cash flow, but yet you are left without that freedom.

The problem, in your case, isn't just high student loan payments. It's also that you have credit debt from borrowing to buy school books and pay for extras during college. Now, you're paying it all back, but with an entry-level job, it's taking time.

Difficult divorce leads man to step back from various positions

When a couple chooses to divorce in Tennessee, it can result in a negative impact on every aspect of their lives. This can go beyond financial issues, how property will be divided, children and more. For people who have prominent positions in the community, maintaining their work and extracurricular activities can be complicated by a public and contentious parting of the ways with a spouse. To avoid these problems from multiplying and infesting other areas of life, being organized is key. A law firm experienced in all types of divorce can help.

A man who is in the middle of divorcing his wife has been forced to step back from several positions due to the ongoing situation. The couple's case has been pending for a year-and-a-half. It is riddled with acrimony as his wife, 42, states that he treated her as a possession and made intimate comments about their life together. The man, 67, runs a car dealership and is prominent in local and national politics. He has denied the claims made by his wife. He is on the board of trustees of a local university, a private school, and a Republican think tank. He has stepped back from all as he deals with the divorce.

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Cleveland, TN 3731

Phone: 423-464-6852
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