Thursday, April 14, 2016

Going through the big "D" and don't mean Dallas?

  Although this post has a light-hearted title, the subject can be very heavy. Divorce can be a difficult situation for every party involved. It is the legal undoing of two people's assets, liabilities, and everything in between that make up the fabric of their lives. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the inevitable changes are important when you are going through a divorce.

  The first decision to be made is whether the divorce will be contested or uncontested. If you can come to a full agreement, the divorce is uncontested and the process is more simple. If you cannot come to a full agreement, the divorce is contested and requires negotiation, mediation, and, in some cases, a trial.

  In an uncontested divorce, the parties complete the necessary paperwork and file with the Court. If children are involved, parents must take a parenting class and file the certificate of completion with the Court.

  In a contested divorce, one party will begin the process by filing a complaint for divorce. The other party will then file their answer to that complaint and, possibly, a counter-complaint. The parties or their attorneys will then enter the negotiation phase. If negotiation is unsuccessful, the parties must attend mediation with a third party. In most cases, an agreement is able to be reached in either of these two phases. In some cases, mediation is not successful and the parties must have a trial to allow a judge to decide the issues, which can be a lengthy process.

  In Tennessee, the mandatory waiting period for a divorce from the time of filing is 60 days if the parties have no minor children and 90 days if the parties have minor children. This means that the divorce cannot be finalized until the time period runs.

  If you or someone you know is contemplating divorce, contact us to get answers to your questions and let us assist you in making the best decisions. (615) 890-2399 www.bestmurfreesborolawyer.com

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lower Penalties for Drugs and Higher Penalties for DUI? "YES" says TN House.

  Last week, the Tennessee House of Representatives approved a bill which would provide lighter penalties for some repeat drug offenders but increase penalties for repeat DUIs. HB1478 (http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Amend/HA0891.pdf)was approved by the House last Thursday after being presented by Sumner County Republican William Lamberth, who is a former prosecutor. The goal is to prevent those with addictions from being saddled with a felony for repeat offenses of certain drug charges. This bill would give people charged with their 3rd drug offense or greater 11 months and 29 days in jail and keep a felony off of their criminal record.

  The bill would also increase the penalty for those charged with the 5th DUI or greater, ensuring they serve more jail time. The maximum penalty someone convicted of a 6th DUI could serve is 15 years in prison. It seems the goal of this bill is to allow some mercy to those who have drug addictions, while ensuring habitual DUI offenders stay off the roads.

  It is not clear exactly when the Senate will vote on this bill but it could be as early as this week. Needless to say, if this is passed it will seriously affect all habitual drug and DUI offenders. Call us today if you have questions about any charges you may have.
(615) 890-2399 www.bestmurfreesborolawyer.com