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Chattanooga Criminal Defense and Family Law Blog

Are there any alternatives to making monthly alimony payments?

One of the few matters that may exist after a couple has ended its marriage is the payment of alimony. If a Tennessee resident was ordered to pay their ex-spouse a monthly alimony sum, that payer may be accountable to their ex every month for the stipulated amount for many years. As most people want to move on after their divorces, this ongoing commitment can become burdensome and make it difficult for them to evolve.

However, there is an alternative to monthly alimony payments that may appeal to some people who are contemplating divorce. That alternative is the lump sum payment of alimony, and it involves the payer making one large payment of money from their assets to the recipient and then being released from future alimony responsibilities.

Drunk driving allegations are serious legal dilemmas

This Tennessee legal blog has offered several informative posts on ways that law enforcement officials may collect evidence of intoxication from individuals who they believe have driven while drunk. These collection tools can include breathalyzer and blood tests, field sobriety tests, and other assessments. If a person is stopped and arrested for drunk driving, they should know that law enforcement officers believe they are guilty and that they are in for a serious legal battle regarding their driving sobriety.

While prosecutors may use the evidence obtained by law enforcement officials to try to prove that drivers were drunk while driving, accused individuals should be aware that they can offer their own evidence of their innocence when it is their turn in court. Drivers can show that breathalyzer machines were uncalibrated or improperly administered, that field sobriety tests were conducted incorrectly, or that they suffer from medical conditions that rendered their performance on such assessments inaccurate.

What you do and say matters as your kids cope with divorce

Children have a way of looking at the world differently than adults. When it comes to divorce, the more you try to see things through your children's eyes, the better you'll be able to help them cope. The bottom line is that something that may seem insignificant to you as an adult may be very important to a child. For instance, let's say you have a family tradition of eating pizza on Saturdays at your favorite Tennessee pizza shop.

Upon learning that you're getting divorced, one of your children may be concerned as to whether that tradition will remain. In light of all the other issues you'll be dealing with, you may think something like pizza on Saturdays is of little to no importance, but your child may find it crucial to his or her emotional stability. Key factors in helping children adapt to post-divorce lifestyles are open communication and strong support networks. Your own actions can also help your kids adapt. 

Why is my prenuptial agreement being rendered invalid?

Before entering into a marriage, the partners to a Tennessee couple may decide to protect their financial futures by entering into a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement, sometimes referred to as a prenup, is a contract that two people make in anticipation of marriage that outlines their financial rights and responsibilities to each other during their marriage and how their assets and debts will be handled in the event of divorce. While most prenups survive scrutiny and serve their purposes for couples that divorce, others are considered invalid for a variety of reasons.

One reason that a prenup may be found invalid is if it fails to satisfy the procedural requirements for such a document. For example, if the parties fail to sign a prenuptial agreement or memorialize the terms of the agreement in writing, then the document may not be considered binding on them. Additionally, if the prenup lacks required information, such as one's assets or income, then it may be thrown out as invalid.

Drug diversion program can help avoid serious penalties

An arrest based on an alleged drug crime can derail a Tennessee resident's future. If the alleged criminal is young it may end their academic aspirations, terminate their career plans, and put an end to the hopes and dreams they have of living a happy life. This is all because a criminal conviction can stay on a person's record forever, thereby preventing that individual from achieving the life they want to live.

However, for some alleged drug crime offenders, certain programs may help them avoid the convictions and penalties that can curtail their futures. Often called drug diversion programs, these programs come into play after a person has been arrested for a drug crime but before a judgment is entered against them.

Can a parent abduct their own child?

When a Tennessee parent has their parental rights limited through a child custody order or agreement, certain actions that once may have been permissible for them to take with regard to their kids may run them afoul of the law. Parental kidnapping is a possible charge that a parent may face if they take their child when they are not scheduled to have custody of the youth and are in violation of an operating custodial plan.

For example, imagine a family wherein the mother and father share physical and legal custody of their minor child. Imagine that the mother has physical custody of the child Sunday through Wednesday, and that the father has physical custody of the child Thursday through Saturday. Consider further that while the father is supposed to return the child to the mother by a certain time on Sunday morning, he elects to take the child on a trip without consulting the mother. Instead of returning the child on Sunday as planned, they travel out of state and do not return to the jurisdiction until Wednesday, when the father would normally take custody of the child.

Defending yourself against false domestic violence accusations

Divorce can be a very messy, contentious process, especially if one of the parties involved is really "out to get" the other, meaning, he or she is determined to make things as difficult as possible in order to seek revenge for hurt feelings or injustices that occurred during marriage. If this description fits your current circumstances, you may need all the extra support you can get to seek a fair and agreeable settlement, and to protect your rights against deception or false accusation.

The latter is sadly a common occurrence, especially when an angry spouse issues false allegations of domestic violence against the other party involved in order to try to gain the upper hand in court. Even if you're able to avoid conviction, simply facing such accusations can greatly damage your personal and professional reputation in Tennessee and elsewhere. The good news is that there are ways to fight against false allegations.

DUI defense: ways to challenge breathalyzer test results

When a Tennessee resident is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving they may be asked to submit to various tests to assess whether they are intoxicated. This legal blog has previously discussed field sobriety tests and the problems that may accompany their execution, but this post will focus on one of the main ways that law enforcement officials gain blood alcohol concentration information on their drunk driving suspects: breathalyzer tests.

A breathalyzer is a device that analyzes the concentration of alcohol in a person's system based on the contents of their breath. An individual must blow into the device for it to take a reading, then the system provides a reading of the person's BAC. Breathalyzer evidence can be used against individuals when they are charged with various drunk driving crimes.

When may a grandparent seek visitation with their grandchild?

Practically all grandparents love their grandkids even before they have a chance to meet them. Even if they do not have strong relationships with their own children, Tennessee grandparents often go out of their way to make sure that their grandchildren know and understand just how much they love them. It is for this reason that some grandparents feel compelled to seek legal intervention when they are not able to be with their grandchildren as much as they would like. In Tennessee, grandparents may seek visitation with their grandkids only under certain conditions.

Grandparent visitation may be pursued if either a child's mother or father is dead and the parents of the deceased parent wish to secure time with their grandchild. The disappearance of a parent for at least six preceding months may allow also grandparents to pursue time with their grandchildren. The same holds true if the parents of the child are not married or have divorced: grandparent visitation may be possible under such circumstances.

Defenses to pending drug possession charges exist

Drug charges can be serious legal matters that can have long-term consequences for those individuals who must face them. Any readers who currently have pending drug charges against them are asked to seek help from legal professionals who can advise them of their rights and the unique aspects of their individual cases. This Tennessee legal blog provides no legal advice and is offered as information only.

However, several defenses do exist that can, when applicable, help individuals facing drug possession charges confront the allegations that their prosecutors have lodged against them. First, a drug possession defendant may claim that their Fourth Amendment rights were violated in the discovery of the drugs. If law enforcement officials fail to follow legal protocols in the search and seizure of drug evidence, then that evidence may later be thrown out of the defendant's trial.

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NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Samuel A Byrd