Factors Considered for Grandparent Visitation and Custody


via FindLaw

The laws surrounding grandparent's visitation rights is currently in a state of flux. A number of important courts decisions have come down over the past few years, but every state has different rules and laws. Courts grant visitation or custody to grandparents only when certain conditions provided in state statutes are met. Conditions for a grandparent to attain custody differ from those conditions required for visitation rights. A grandparent should be familiar with the conditions for either custody or visitation before determining whether to file a petition to request either from a court of law. 

Q & A: Adoption and Divorce


via Adoptive Families

Q. My husband and I are contemplating a divorce. Will our daughter's adoption status figure into the legal proceedings?

A. When an adoptive family encounters divorce and custody proceedings, the legal status of the child becomes relevant. Many states provide for the recognition of a foreign adoption, and, therefore, the child would be treated no differently than if he or she were your biological child. However, in some rare circumstances, the foreign adoption decree may list only one of the adoptive parents, a fact which can become important in a custody dispute. An issue may arise if your state of residence requires that you readopt your child in your state court and you have yet to complete that process.

Fortunately, current federal law provides, in most cases, that children adopted by United States citizens automatically become American citizens upon their entry into the U.S. However, it's never certain how a child's birth country might react to a post-placement report revealing that the adoptive parents have separated. In a private, domestic-agency adoption, physical custody of the child will rest with the adoptive parents after birth, however, legal custody will remain with the agency. The agency will retain legal custody of the child until the adoption is finalized by the adoptive parents, a process that can easily take several months. A public, domestic agency will also have legal custody of children in its care until finalization.

Q: Can you date while legally separated in TN?


Q: Can you date while legally separated in TN?

A: In Tennessee divorce law, having sex with someone who is not your spouse prior to divorce, but after separation, is still adultery.

Of course, dating does not necessarily lead to sexual relations, but it certainly can and often does. In Tennessee divorce law, having sex with someone who is not your spouse prior to divorce, but after separation, is still adultery. Of course, dating does not necessarily lead to sexual relations, but it certainly can and often does. And dating, even if sex is not a part of it, can still be considered marital misconduct even if it does not rise to the level of adultery per se.

Parental Alienation: What Is the Solution?

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The only effective means to combat and eliminate parental alienation is to address it by means of a multi-faceted approach that involves fundamental changes to the present system of divorce, and alienated parents and their allies would be well-advised to channel their energies in this direction.  This article is a call to action, involving four essential steps to address the problem of parental alienation. All other efforts will produce only superficial or short-term results.

Why Women Should Rethink Their Finances After Divorce

The best way to overcome any fear you might have about taking the reins on your financial life is to get educated. (Getty Images)

The best way to overcome any fear you might have about taking the reins on your financial life is to get educated. (Getty Images)

via @US News and World Report

Getting a divorce stands to be as budget-breaking as it is heart-wrenching, especially for women.

"The dynamic is changing a little as more women are staying in the workforce and continuing and accelerating their careers, but typically, divorce hits women harder than men," says Nicole Mayer, a certified divorce financial analyst and partner at financial planning firm RPG Life Transition Specialists in Riverwoods, Illinois.

Indeed, marriage tends to offer some financial advantage. Married women's median weekly earnings were about 20 percent higher than those of women of other marital statuses, including never-married, divorced, separated and widowed, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They even earn 9.6 percent more than unmarried men (but 23.4 percent less than married men).

After divorce, specifically, women's household income fell by 41 percent, on average, almost double the loss men experience, according to a 2012 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Read why is divorce so much more detrimental for women financially.

Thomas Named "Super Lawyer" for Fourth Consecutive Year

Attorney Justin K. Thomas has been named a Mid South “Rising Star” by the exclusive Thomson Reuters Super Lawyer rating service for the fourth consecutive year.

Thomas was selected to the Mid South “Rising Star” list via a patented selection process involving peer nominations, independent research, and peer evaluations.  The “Rising Star” designation is reserved for attorneys under 40 years old who exhibit excellence in practice.

“I am humbled and honored to again be included on this list,” said Thomas. “I’ve worked diligently to provide the best representation for my clients as they go through these family law issues. It’s a privilege to do what I do and an honor to be recognized for it.”

Thomas, founder of the Thomas Family Law Firm, PLC in Germantown, Tenn., focuses exclusively on family law issues in Tennessee and Mississippi. Thomas graduated from Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, University of Memphis, J.D., in 2005 and the University of Memphis, B.B.A (magna cum laude), in 2002. He was named a Top 40 Under 40 Family Lawyer in Tennessee by the American Society of Legal Advocates in 2014 and is both a published author and graduate of the prestigious ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute in Denver, Colorado. He is a member of the Memphis Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Thomas is known for providing clients with efficient, creative ways to resolve family law issues.

"Super Lawyers is proud to provide visibility to outstanding attorneys," said Julie Gleason, Director of Research, Super Lawyers. “The Rising Stars List takes that step to the next level by highlighting those attorneys who demonstrate a truly exceptional level of accomplishment."

Thomas Family Law Firm, PLC: Founded by Justin Thomas, the Thomas Family Law Firm, PLC focuses exclusively on family law in Tennessee and Mississippi and is known for providing clients with efficient, creative ways to resolve family law issues. For more information, call 901-537-0010 or visit www.thomasfamilylaw.net

Super Lawyers.jpg

Super LawyersSuper Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The mission of Super Lawyers is to bring visibility to those attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice. The Super Lawyers lists are published in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. The Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information, go to superlawyers.com.


How to discuss a prenuptial agreement

If you are approaching a marriage in Tennessee, you may find it difficult to think or talk about a prenuptial agreement. However, particularly if you have sizable assets, you should put safeguards in place to protect yourself financially in any case, including divorce. Here at Thomas Family Law Firm PLC, we can help you formulate and litigate a solid prenuptial agreement.

Business Insider points out that having a conversation about a prenuptial agreement may be awkward, but it does not have to jeopardize your relationship. It is important to emphasize to your partner that having this agreement in place does not mean you foresee your relationship ending in divorce. Rather, it is your attempt to be fiscally responsible. When you approach this topic, you should focus on sensitivity and honesty. Gauge your partner's reaction to the initial conversation. If you sense defensiveness or anger, you may need to postpone the discussion for another time. You should also be careful to frame your opinion in a gentle, understandable manner, rather than forcing the issue. Being too harsh or dogmatic may cause your partner to develop unnecessary doubts about your commitment to the relationship.

Remember that your discussion about a prenuptial should include the opportunity for both of you to voice your opinions. You should be transparent and honest about your reasons for wanting a prenup, but you should also allow your partner to share his or her concerns. Do not dominate the conversation. Ask questions in order to show that you are interested in your partner's thoughts, and seek clarification when necessary. Like any aspect of your relationship, approach a prenup discussion with an eye toward cooperation and mutual respect. More information about legal agreements before marriage is available on our webpage.