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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

April 2018 Archives

Military marriages on the decline

Marriage appears to be less popular among members of the military in Tennessee and across the country. A review of military statistics showed that in 2011, around 56.6 percent of all service members on active duty were married. However, in fiscal year 2017, only 51.7 percent of all troops were married. This trend reflects similar movement in civilian life; around 49 percent of all adults in the United States are married as of 2017.

The effect of divorce on child tax deductions

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes that raising children is expensive and extends valuable exemptions and tax credits to parents in Tennessee. When parents divorce or separate, they cannot share in the tax benefits of claiming a child as a dependent. Only one parent can claim the child as a dependent. The IRS will not recognize any agreements or court orders that attempt to spread the tax benefits between divorced parents.

Hip-hop celebrities' child custody battle turns new page

Many divorced parents in Tennessee struggle to deal with child custody issues. These problems can also be shared by celebrities, as in the case of hip-hop stars Nas and Kelis. The rapper and singer are divorced parents of an 8-year-old son, and their post-divorce relationship has included ongoing forays into court before reaching a custody agreement in March.

How abusive parents might still pursue child custody

Tennessee parents who are leaving an abusive marriage may face a custody challenge from the other parent. The American Psychological Association found that while most people assume that an abusive parent will be kept away from the children once the other parent leaves, this is often not the case. In fact, because family courts are focused on trying to keep children in contact with both parents, they may downplay reports of abuse. A study in 2012 by the American Judges Association found that in more than two-thirds of challenged cases, abusive spouses convinced a judge that the abused parent should not have sole custody or was unfit.

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