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Chattanooga Criminal Defense and Family Law Blog

When may a temporary protective order be issued?

Tennessee courts are tasked with issuing protective orders when individuals petition for protection from others who they believe are threats to them. It is important that readers understand that the circumstances discussed in this blog are not the only ways that protective orders may be issued and that different factual scenarios can have different legal outcomes. However, temporary protective orders are generally issued when violence has been threatened or allegedly committed against a person by someone else.

Most protective orders in Tennessee are temporary; a protective order expires after a year and therefore is not permanent or long-term unless made so by a judge. While protective orders may be issued in domestic violence cases, they may also be applicable in situations of alleged stalking, abuse, and when alleged victims feel as though they are in danger.

Visitation options for parents who live far from their kids

There is no perfect substitute for real in-person time with one's child. From holding their hand while crossing the street to pushing them on swings when out at the park, a parent cherishes the opportunities that they have to be near their children. Unfortunately, some Tennessee parents have to move far from their kids in order to accommodate their jobs or new relationships.

If a parent is subject to a child custody and visitation order and must move away from where their child lives, they may have to modify their order. A modified custody and visitation order may help a parent protect their parental rights and establish new rules that allow them to continue their relationship with their children. If they cannot be with their kids each week, though, an alternate form of visitation may be necessary.

Tennessee divorce: How parents can help their children cope

While it's true that divorce is an adult issue, when parents decide to end their marriages, it greatly affects their children's lives. As you prepare for a new lifestyle, your children's best interests are undoubtedly one of your highest priorities. You and your spouse must resolve numerous issues, including where your kids will live and how you'll tell them that you are severing your marital ties.

When you file a divorce petition in a Tennessee court, it doesn't necessarily have to ruin your children's lives. By remaining proactive and attentive to their needs, you can reassure them of your love and let them know you and their other parent are there to support them as they come to terms with the situation. It's a good idea to begin building a strong support team early on so that you know where to seek assistance for your kids, if needed.

What is a search warrant?

Anyone who watches police dramas has witnessed a fictitious scene in which a police officer pounds on a person's door and demands access because they have a search warrant. According to these popular shows, a search warrant appears to be a magic key that grants law enforcement officials access to any location that they want to go. However, Tennessee residents should know that search warrants are judicially ordered devices that must meet and conform to certain legal standards.

Pursuant to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, individuals should remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons and property. A search warrant grants law enforcement officials the right to undertake such searches and seizures, if necessary, but are only granted when the law enforcement officials have probable cause to believe that evidence of illegality exists.

What you say on social media can affect your divorce

Millions of people across the country have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and a host of other social media websites. Through them they can connect with their friends and family members and even stay up to date on the events that are occurring in the lives of the people that they love. Often social media is where people post about the highlights of their lives; however, what a person says on their social medial account may have an impact on how certain legal processes unfold.

For example, during a divorce a person's social media account may be used as evidence. If a person claims that they cannot pay their ex spousal support because they have no money but are found to have posted about buying a lavish vehicle or home, that evidence may refute their in-court claims. Additionally, negative comments about a partner or relationship may be considered in court as demonstrating a party's hostility and inability to compromise.

Which relationships are covered by domestic violence laws?

Domestic violence involves accusations of threats and violence against individuals by people who are close to them. While definitions of domestic violence can look different from state to state, in Tennessee the relationships that may be involved in domestic violence claims can vary. This post will look at some of the affiliations that may fall under domestic violence claims but readers should discuss their rights and options with their defense attorneys when claims of domestic violence are made against them.

A person may make a claim of domestic violence against their spouse or against an ex-spouse. Their relationship does not have to be active or current for such a claim to be made. Similarly, a person may make a claim of domestic violence against a sexual partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend, regardless of whether that person lives in the same home as the alleged accuser.

Advocacy for the rights of grandparents in visitation cases

It is not uncommon to hear parents repeat the popular phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child". Often that village will include neighbors and friends, daycare providers and teachers, as well as a host of other people who all may support the development of a Tennessee child. However, when it comes to bringing up a child, it is often that child's family that takes on a pivotal role in their development.

While parents often provide the first line of support for their offspring, grandparents can and do also play important parts in their care and sustenance. Grandparents and their grandchildren can form special bonds when they are together and can enrich each other's lives as they grown and solidify their relationships. Grandparents often serve in more significant roles for their grandchildren, with some providing child care to them and even allowing those children to live with them when their parents cannot take care of them.

What is felony drunk driving?

There is no single charge of felony drunk driving in Tennessee, but rather a host of alleged conduct that may elevate a DUI charge to felony if it is proven at trial. This post will touch on some of the ways that a DUI charge may be converted into a felony DUI charge, but as with all legal matters, it is better that readers discuss their legal needs with their personal criminal defense or DUI defense attorneys.

Standard DUI charges may be enhanced by the presence of certain factors or alleged conditions. If a driver is alleged to have driven drunk and in the course of their actions hurt a child who was in their car, that charge may be elevated to a Class D felony. If the child is killed in the incident, the charge may be elevated to a Class B felony.

How serious are theft charges in Tennessee?

Facing any type of criminal charge is serious, including theft charges. It is easy to overlook the grave nature of this type of criminal allegation, perhaps because theft does not always seem like a major crime. However, if you are facing these charges, you would be wise to take your case seriously and start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible. 

Tennessee laws treat theft charges quite seriously. This type of crime involves more than just taking something that does not belong to you, and a conviction can lead to penalties that can affect you for years to come. There are a few different types of theft, and understanding more about the nature of the charges you are up against can help you develop a strong plan by which you can confront the prosecution's case.

What it means to have sole custody or joint custody of a child

One of the hardest aspects of ending a marriage is figuring out how two parents will share the custody and enjoyment of their kids. In Tennessee parents may be granted sole custody of their kids or joint custody, and these designations may apply to both the physical and legal custody of their kids. The following paragraphs will attempt to provide more clarity on these terms but readers should discuss their individual legal questions with their attorneys.

Sole custody occurs when one parent is granted the exclusive custodial power over a child. That parent may have sole physical custody, which means that the parent is the only one with whom the child will live. If a parent lacks physical custody of their child then they may be able to have visitation time with them. A parent may also have sole legal custody, which means that they are the only one who can make important decisions about the child's upbringing.

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