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Law Office of David L. Scott

What If My Ex Doesn't Comply With the Divorce Decree?

Just because a divorce settlement has been filed and you are striving to put it all behind you, it doesn’t always mean smooth sailing afterward. Whether you mutually agreed to the terms of the divorce or if they were court-imposed, there are times when one party may no longer want...


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Lifetime Order of Protection in Tennessee

Victims of domestic violence and certain felonies may obtain a Lifetime Order of Protection in Tennessee. The new law enacted as Tenn. Code Ann. §36-3-627 on July 1, 2021, allows certain felony victims meeting certain criteria to apply for a Lifetime Order of Protection. Victim Defined To apply for a...


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Expungement of Criminal Convictions in Tennessee 2021 Update

Tennessee allows criminal charges and convictions to be expunged from public records under certain conditions. A person may wish to expunge criminal charges and convictions to avoid having them appear on background checks or for other reasons. Certain eligibility requirements must be met by persons seeking expungement. There are also...


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Custody Disputes and Transgender Children

Custody disputes have increased over transgender children as transgender issues receive more attention. There have been cases across the United States where parents have waged custody battles over disagreements ranging from refusal to consent to cross-sex hormones to gender identity transition. Transgender Custody Battles Transgender custody battles between parents with...


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Tennessee Courts Reopening

Easing of Restrictions for In-Person Proceedings Tennessee Courts are developing plans for reopening after COVID restrictions limited in-person hearings. The 16th District covering Rutherford and Cannon Counties has issued a Standing Order providing guidance for reopening. The Standing Order should be reviewed for complete information regarding court proceedings. A list...


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Tennessee Child Support Guidelines Update 2020

The Child Support Guidelines have been updated for 2020. The Guidelines govern the calculation and modification of child support obligations. This first update in several years contains changes parents need to know when calculating child support. Determination of Income Child Support is based primarily upon the gross income of the...


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Standing Order for Parenting Time During Pandemic

Rutherford County, Tennessee and the 16th Judicial District have a Standing Order addressing Parenting Time during a Pandemic or Epidemic. The order resolves confusion over caring for children during extended school closures and “lockdown” or “shelter-in-place” orders. Residential Schedule During School Closure Parents are to follow their parenting schedule as...


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Tennessee Graded for Shared Parenting

Tennessee received a grade of “C” from the National Parents Organization in their 2019 Shared Parenting Report Card. The report grades states on their efforts to promoted shared parenting. Kentucky received the highest grade of “A” while Rhode Island and New York received an “F.” Shared Parenting Benefits The report...


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School Zone Selection In Tennessee Parenting Plans

Children have traditionally been required to attend school in the school zone wherein the Primary Residential Parent (PRP) resides. Designation of a Primary Residential Parent was required even in Parenting Plans where parents had equal time with the children. School districts did not have to honor language in a Parenting...


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Post-Adoption Contact in Tennessee

Contracts for post-adoption contact between relatives and adopted children will be permitted in Tennessee beginning July 1, 2019. Contracts for continued contact with an adopted child were void and unenforceable under prior law. Post-Adoption Contact Requirements Contracts for post-adoption contact must be in writing and signed by all parties to...


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Preparing for Family Mediation

Preparing for family mediation will maximize the benefits of this conflict resolution tool. Mediation is required in all contested family law cases in Tennessee. This includes divorce, paternity, custody, visitation, custody/visitation modification cases. What is Mediation? Mediation is a process through which an attempt is made to resolve or settle...


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Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

You have decided the marriage cannot continue and you need to tell your spouse you want a divorce. How you break this news to your spouse, and the steps you take both before and after, will depend upon several factors. The Uncontested Divorce An uncontested divorce in Tennessee requires spouses...


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Marriage, Divorce, and Artificial Intelligence

We live in an age of rapidly advancing technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Will robots someday marry humans and one another? If so, what affect will that have on the institution of marriage and divorce laws? The Future of Robots and Artificial Intelligence Originally reported in The Sun and republished...


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Chinese Man Marries Robot

Marriage in the U.S. has long been defined as a union between one man and one woman and now includes marriages between persons of the same sex. Could marriages between humans and robots be the next step? According to an article in the Guardian.com, a Chinese man has married his...


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Parental Relocation In Tennessee

Overview Parents who wish to relocate with their children more than fifty (50) miles from the other parent, or parents wishing to relocate outside the state, must comply with the requirements of the parental relocation statute found at Tenn. Code Ann. §36-6-108. There were several changes to the statute implemented...


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Tax Bill Changes Affecting Alimony

You may have seen changes in your take home pay caused by the Tax Cut and Reform Bill signed in 2017. However, you may not be aware of the affect the tax bill will have on divorces especially those with alimony provisions finalized after December 31, 2018. Prior Tax Treatment...


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Dividing Your Dream Home in a Divorce

You and your spouse purchased your dream home. You have spent years decorating and making improvements. Your children attend school nearby and have made friends in the neighborhood. You think everything is perfect until your suburban dream is shattered when you are served with a divorce action. Typically, parties will...


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Protecting Separate Property From Division in a Tennessee Divorce

Persons marrying later in life, or entering into second marriages, have often acquired separate property in the form of real estate, investments, and other assets prior to the marriage. Protecting separate property from division by a Tennessee divorce court requires proper identification and management of the separate property. Tennessee divorce...


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How the New Tax Law May Inflame Divorce Negotiations

Under the new tax law, divorcing couples may find a new road block in reaching an agreement on important issues Calculation of alimony has always been complicated. It also varies state to state. One of the constants in this otherwise confusing areas of the law has been that alimony is...


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Does the New Tax Law Affect Alimony?

The new tax law will bring substantial changes to how alimony deductions are treated The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has sent tax experts and those effected by changes in tax laws scrambling. A complete overhaul in tax law, TCJA has far reaching implications for people across the U.S....


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Can Teenagers Get Arrested for Sexting in Tennessee?

Let your teens know that sexting carries legal consequences With advances in technology and increased technology use, new legal issues have come to light. One such issue involves teens engaged in “sexting.” Sexting refers to transmitting nude or suggestive photos via text message. It has become increasingly commonplace as more...


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What Happens to Your Health Insurance After You Divorce?

Make sure you are always covered for health insurance, even after divorce. Health insurance provide critical benefits and gaps in coverage can have serious consequences. That said, health insurance coverage should always be addressed as early as possible in divorce proceedings. This will help ensure that you continue to have...


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January Earns the Title of “Divorce Month”

The starting of the new year can mean the ending of many marriages January means the start of a new year, the end of the holiday season, and has also come to mean the end of many marriages. Divorce lawyers across the country claim that business is always thriving in...


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Avoid Common Mistakes and Ease the Pain of Divorce

Divorce is difficult. Learn how to make it easier by avoiding these pitfalls Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is difficult. Emotions run high. There are major factors at play that will have lasting and deep repercussions for you, both personally and financially. Make sure to avoid the following...


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Spouses Use Technology to Spy on Partners

Spyware is being used more often by suspicious spouses investigating their partners Divorce attorneys are seeing a trend develop. With the increased use and abilities that come with advances in technology, attorneys are seeing an increase in the use of electronic spying by suspicious spouses, or even suspicious former spouses....


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How Does Domestic Violence Affect Custody Determinations in Tennessee?

Domestic violence can have serious traumatic effects and will be considered in child custody determinations Tennessee, like many other states, considers domestic violence as a relevant factor to child custody and visitation determinations. While incidences of domestic violence are weighed in child custody determinations, it is important to understand what...


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Blocking a Public Street is a Crime in Tennessee

A traffic safety bill makes blocking public highways and streets in an area restricting emergency vehicle access a misdemeanor In April of 2017, SB 0902 was signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. The law criminalizes obstructing streets and highways in a way that would restrict emergency vehicle access....


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Firearm Silencers Now Legal in Tennessee

The Tennessee Hearing Protection Act of 2017 lets people use silencers on guns A law passing the First of May 2017, taking effect July 1st , the Tennessee Hearing Protection Act of 2017 makes silencers officially legal in the state. Also referred to as “sound suppressors,” silencers are metal devices...


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What You Need to Know if Your Teenager Gets a DUI

An underage DUI can have lasting consequences for your teenager Tennessee law enforcement has little tolerance for underage drinking, let alone underage drinking and driving. If you are under the age of 21 and found to have a blood alcohol level of at least .02 percent while you are driving,...


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What Are the Ins-and-Outs of 50/50 Child Custody or Possession?

In Tennessee, it is possible for parents to equally split parenting time after divorce Recent studies have shown children greatly benefit from spending the maximum amount of time possible with both parents. This goes against the past belief that shuttling children between two parents might be detrimental and therefore, one...


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Can You Get A DUI from Using Cold Medicine?

Taking cold medicine might be legal, but operating a vehicle while using this medicine may land you in trouble Cold and flu season is upon us. Simple over the counter cold medicine can provide great relief to those in the throws of coughing, sneezing, and congestion. However, there are often...


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How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Tennessee?

Divorce timelines vary depending on individual circumstances The divorce process may seem to be unending, but, in the state of Tennessee, most divorces will be finalized within 2 to 6 months. That being said, some divorce proceedings can span years. It all really depends on the individual circumstances. Is the...


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Drug Overdose Deaths Increase in Tennessee

Recent figures released show drug-related deaths in the state continue to climb. The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) recently released data revealing that 1,631 Tennessee residents died from drug overdoses in 2016. This puts 2016 as having the highest number of fatal drug overdoses in the recorded history of the...


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How Do You Plan for a Divorce?

When careful planning is done, divorce can be made much easier. Divorce, no matter what the circumstances, will most likely be an emotional and stressful time for all parties involved. Additionally, things are decided in a divorce that will have a lasting impact on your personal and financial life. While...


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Challenges for Divorced Parents During the Holidays

The holidays can be especially stressful for divorced parents, both wanting time with the kids. For divorced parents, the holidays can have a whole other layer of stress. Who will have the kids for what days and times throughout the holiday season are big questions that need to be decided....


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Tennessee Among States with Highest Divorce Rates

The State of Tennessee continues to have one of the highest divorce rates in the country In 2016, Tennessee ranked sixth highest in divorce rate at 12.5% when compared to all other states in the U.S according to research conducted by the Center for Disease Control, National Survey of Family...


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Be Safe When Driving Next to Trucks

Driving next to a semi-truck can be one of the most dangerous places on the road With semi-trucks often weighing 20-30 times as much as a car, car drivers and passengers are extremely vulnerable in truck accidents. When a car is involved in an accident with a semi-truck, the results...


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What to Do Before Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

Protect yourself by getting things in order prior to talking about divorce with your partner In addition to being emotionally draining, divorce can put your assets and financial situation at risk. Make sure you are protecting yourself by taking care of certain things prior to telling your spouse that you...


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Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney

Make sure you have an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the complex legal path The facts, circumstances, and results from every accident are different. Because of this, no two personal injury cases are the same. The path to resolving a claim can be long and complicated. To help navigate...


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First Steps to Take After Being Arrested

Know how to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. No matter what the circumstances, being arrested is stressful, emotional, and brings every day life to a screeching halt. First, know that trying to avoid arrest by fleeing the scene will only make things worse. Do not make any attempt...


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Tax Considerations of Dividing Property in Divorce

The property division aspect of divorce is one of the most contentious with both parties diligently trying to protect their own financial interests. In many situations, the parties attempt to have a settlement in which they both walk away with an equal amount of the value of the marital estate....


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When is the Best Time to File for Divorce?

When a spouse makes the difficult decision to get a divorce, he or she may want to immediately move forward. On the other hand, some spouses may want to wait for a better time. While there may not be one particular best time to get a divorce, there are some...


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Divorce After 50

Divorcing later in life poses certain challenges that are unique to individuals in this demographic. After potentially spending decades together, couples may not know they are as individuals anymore rather than part of a couple. Divorce after 50 often has severe financial consequences. The older a person is when he...


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How Social Media Can Harm Your Case

Social media sites have become standard accessories to almost every person in modern society. Most people have an account either for personal or business relationships, posting anything from advertising banners to hiring ads, personal photos to milestones. In fact, social media has become such a pivotal aspect in our culture,...


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What Happens to Debt in Divorce?

Understanding the complexity of dividing debt in divorce During divorce, the couple must split up not only assets that they have acquired since being married but also debts that they have incurred. Like with many aspects of family law, the couple may reach an agreement regarding how they want to...


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What to Do If Your Child Is the Victim of Bullying

Dealing with the tragedy of childhood bullying The seriousness of childhood bullying cannot be ignored or minimized. This devastating experience has serious consequences that affect many individuals, including victims, witnesses and bullies. Every year, more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying. Bullying leads 160,000 teens to skip school...


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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Greater risks are on the road because of drowsy driving In a matter of seconds, lives can be forever altered. Victims of accidents involving drowsy driving know this all too well. While many studies have researched the effects of drunk driving and distracted driving, another serious danger is drowsy driving....


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What Happens to Pets When a Couple Divorces?

Know your rights and how to protect your pets if you and your partner split Tennessee has the eighth highest percentage of dog ownership in the U.S., with over 44% of households having at least one canine as a pet. This says nothing of the many other households that count...


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Murfreesboro Divorce Attorney

Answering your questions and addressing your concerns about divorce The dissolution of a marriage is never easy. No matter how long or short the relationship, the size of the family unit, or a lack thereof, breaking apart what was originally established under better terms is never easy. It can be...


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Murfreesboro Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity Unlike other states, fathers in Tennessee who are not married to the mother of their child at the time of birth do not have a presumption of parentage. Tennessee laws do not recognize either a legal or biological claim. Parental rights must be established in court. Without such...


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Tennessee Adoption Lawyer

Making a difference in the life of a child Every day, hundreds of needy and neglected children await the news they have long been dreaming of – they have been adopted by a loving family. It is, without question, one of the most noble and enriching decisions a potential parent...


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Paternity Fraud Rampant, With Justice Difficult To Find

It shouldn’t be this complicated. After all, biology is usually never wrong. The question of paternity, however, has become a legal quagmire filled with loopholes, gender bias, and perhaps the most disturbing element of all, incompetent representation, turning simple cases of parentage into examples of gross familial injustice. It is...


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What are the Grounds for Divorce in TN?

In Tennessee, you don’t have to have grounds to get a divorce. If you and your spouse have both decided that it’s just not working out anymore and you’d be better off living separate lives, you can both sign the divorce papers and be free of one another. If, however,...


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Parents Who Use Drugs and Their Parental Rights

Millions of parents in America use illegal drugs or abuse alcohol Illicit use or abuse of drugs ruins the lives of adults on a daily basis. Among adults aged 26 or older, 7.3 percent use illegal drugs and 5.6 percent smoke marijuana. Over 10 percent of Americans of parenting age...


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How Do I Enforce A Child Support Order in Tennessee?

Failure to pay or delinquent payment of child support obligations is a national epidemic The Social Security Act of 1935 requires states to have programs in place to provide child support. Tennessee has rigorous procedures to determine child support obligations, enforced by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. All too...


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