Jump to Navigation

Montgomery County Divorce Law Blog

It may be wiser to keep children out of child support disputes

It may come as a surprise to many Tennessee residents, but unpaid child support in 2011 stood at an astounding $14 billion nationwide according to the United States Census Bureau. Surprisingly, only 43 percent of the 6.3 million custodial parents in the country, who averaged $6,050 monthly, received child support that was due to them and their children. The majority of parents who did not receive child support were women and many of them were living in poverty.

Another interesting fact is that 26.1 percent of all custodial parents approached child support enforcement agencies in 2012 to seek assistance. This, however, is significantly lower than 1994 when 42.2 percent custodial parents sought assistance.

Responsible fatherhood grants can help Tennessee fathers

Many Tennessee residents may understand that according to the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, the federal government provides $150 million every year to various agencies to promote healthy marriages and fatherhood. Of the total amount, $75 million is dedicated to activities that promote fatherhood. The Responsible Fatherhood Programs are monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families' Office of Family Assistance.

Although such programs are in place in every state in the United States, many fathers in Tennessee still face various challenges when attempting to be there for their children. However, thanks to the Responsible Fatherhood Grant Programs, many fathers are now trying to find an avenue that could bridge the gap between them and their children. With the help of the various Responsible Fatherhood Programs, fathers now have the opportunity to ensure that an ongoing child custody dispute with an estranged wife does not violate the fathers' rights and makes it as easy on the children as possible.

Clerical error turns father into child support delinquent

In the United States, courts order a non-custodial parent to pay child support in order to ensure that a child's best interests are protected at all times. The money that a custodial parent receives in the form of child support is utilized to meet the child's financial requirements. Therefore, when child support payments are not received on time, many custodial parents and children face substantial financial difficulties. To avoid such issues, child support payments are deducted from a non-custodial parent's paycheck.

A recent incident that garnered immense national media attention was that of a non-custodial father. According to reports, the 43-year-old father allegedly failed to pay the full amount in child support for his 12-year-old son for several months.

Co-parenting can be beneficial for children of divorced parents

Many residents of Clarksville, Tennessee wouldn't be surprised to know that, according to recent reports, 40 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages in the country end in divorce. As a result, more than one million children witness their parents' divorce every year. The emotional distress that these children experience during and after a divorce can often be far greater than what their parents experience.

In order to keep the potentially detrimental impact of a divorce and the ensuing child custody battles from getting out of hand, courts in Tennessee believe in co-parenting, or shared parenting plans in an attempt to keep families together even after the parents are divorced. The primary objective of a shared parenting plan is to protect the best interests of the child, which can be affected by the lack of stability in their lives after a divorce.

Rockstar, ex-lover fail to reach agreement over child support

In Tennessee, the amount a custodial parent receives from a non-custodial parent is determined by the court and is based on the best interests of the child and life's circumstances, likely to be unique to that particular case. When these circumstances change significantly, there often comes the need to seek modifications in the child support to meet the child's increased day-to-day requirements.

Recently, a child support deal that has garnered a lot of media attention is the deal between Liam Gallagher, the former vocalist of the British rock-music band Oasis, and his now-estranged lover Liza Ghorbani, a freelance journalist. In the latest hearing that took place at the Manhattan Supreme Court in New York, Ghorbani refused to accept an undisclosed offer Gallagher made through his attorney.

Prenuptial agreements can ease property division after divorce

In terms of marital property, although Tennessee is an equitable division state, a common issue plaguing many separating couples in Tennessee is division of property at the time of divorce. While some couples are able to decide on property division without intervention from outsiders, a large number of separating couples disagree over property division and subsequently end up in court.

One way to resolve the issues between spouses is to have a prenuptial agreement prepared and signed before entering into the marriage. Many orthodox thinkers may consider a prenuptial agreement to be a display of distrust between spouses but, over time, this perception has dramatically changed. A prenuptial or premarital agreement, just like any other contract, must be written and signed by both spouses. It is not necessary to have witnesses notarize a premarital agreement, but notarizing eliminates the possibility of the agreement being cited as forged in the future.

Men seek laws that protect fathers' rights in family issues

Every year, the third Sunday of June, is celebrated as Father's Day through much of the world. Surely, many fathers in Tennessee spent a wonderful Sunday with their children enjoying that special feeling associated with parenthood. Sadly, however, a number of fathers in Clarksville, Tennessee and throughout the country were unable to spend the special day with their children because of a number of reasons, the most prominent among them divorce or separation from their child's mother.

While many family courts, in Tennessee and throughout the rest of the country, used to pass judgments pertaining to family laws in favor of the mother, the fathers' rights movement of recent years has changed the scenario to a great extent. As a result, courts are now more inclined to come to a judgment that is equally favorable to the father as well as the mother.

Foster parents from Tennessee seek legal custody of child

A number of parents in Tennessee have opened their doors, and their hearts, to children whose parents are unable to look after them, and as a result were placed in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. Such foster parents understand how a strong emotional bond is created when a child stays with their family for a number of years. They also understand how it feels if that child is taken away from the family and placed in someone else's custody.

One such instance, of which Clarksville residents may be aware, is that of a 9-year-old girl living with a foster family in Dickson County, Tennessee. In 2008, a court in the state terminated the parental rights of the child's biological father and permitted the foster parents to adopt her, thereby gaining child custody of the then 3-year-old girl. Interestingly, at the same time, the DCS was trying to place the girl with her relatives in Nebraska.

Unmarried fathers and their rights in Tennessee

Tennessee residents might notice that courts have generally favored mothers in family law matters. Now, however, the laws have evolved and an increasing number of contested family law issues are being settled in favor of the father. This is encouraging news for activists, who have been long-advocating for fathers' rights.

Sadly, there still exists a difference in the kind of treatment that fathers receive from the courts; and in many cases, it is based on the marital status of the father. According to some recent studies, unmarried fathers continue to face a number of difficulties in order to obtain a favorable decision from the courts in issues related to family law. For instance, in most states, a mother's husband automatically earns parental rights for a child born out of the wedlock but if the father is unmarried, he needs to take a number of additional steps to establish his paternity.

Relocation with children after divorce

According to family law in Tennessee, a divorced parent who wishes to relocate to another city, state or country along with his or her child must convince the court that there have been significant changes in life's circumstances, which, in turn, has prompted the decision to relocate. Based on an analysis of the parent's petition, the court may permit him or her to obtain a modification in their existing parenting plan. However, relocation is often a difficult experience for many children and it is a parent's responsibility to ensure that the transition is smooth for the child.

When a parent plans to relocate, the most important consideration is the best interests of the child. In cases where parents share equal custody of a child, it may not be immediately possible to move to another state. Therefore, it is crucial for a parent to mentally prepare the child before finalizing the decision to relocate. Relocation can be traumatic for a young child, as moving typically means leaving friends and with a familiar environment, and also the scaring prospect of meeting a new set of friends. If the children are mature enough, it is important for a parent to openly discuss the relocation to understand the child's viewpoints as well.

503 Madison Street
Clarksville, TN 37040
Map & Directions

Phone: 931-266-4689
Toll Free: 888-358-4290
Fax: 931 552-7188

Photo of Steven C. Girsky Steven C. Girsky


Having a steady hand to guide you through your legal concerns can make all the difference. Representing clients in the greater Clarksville and Hopkinsville area since 1991, attorney Steven C. Girsky is well-respected among members of the bench and bar. Licensed in both Kentucky and Tennessee, he receives referrals from former clients and lawyers...

Read More
  • BBB
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.