Sevierville Legal Blog

Employers slowly recognizing financial stress among workers

Employers in Tennessee want their workers focused on their duties, but stress caused by financial problems, like debt and medical bills, has emerged as a considerable source of distraction. When the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans surveyed companies, 70 percent of them cited financial issues as their employees' top source of stress.

A 2017 poll of 1,600 full-time workers at the accounting firm PwC revealed that over half of the staff harbored concerns about money. A human resources company that looked at the aggregated results of employee financial stress estimated that it reduced productivity and cost businesses nationwide about $250 billion annually.

Reasons for gray divorce in Tennessee

The rate of divorce for American over the age of 50 has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. There are a number of factors that have been contributing to the rising number of these so-called "gray divorces."

The most common issue to arise in a gray divorce is financial management. Finances can be a complicated issue if one spouse has difficulty with managing money. A divorce tends to be likely in situations when couples are overwhelmed by debt or are continuously fighting about money.

Medical expenses are linked to bankruptcy filings

Healthcare remains a hot topic of debate across the country, not just in terms of being a divisive political issue but in real terms affecting real people in Tennessee. Arguments on whether it is a right or not, whether it should be mandatory or optional, and who pays for it all pale in comparison to the fundamental question of what happens when an individual needs a medical procedure that he or she simply cannot afford. Sadly, many choose to do without, resulting in further deterioration to their well-being. Others opt to move forward with the necessary care but often experience a different form of negative consequence.

A recent medical study revealed a high correlation between the effect expenses caused by illness or injury had on a family and the likelihood of filing for bankruptcy. For the study period, the researchers found that well over half of the filed bankruptcies included medical expenses within the relevant debt. Over 40 percent reported illness-related income loss as a contributing factor, and many reported both.

A new study identifies the most common causes of divorce.

Tennessee couples may be interested in a recent survey that sheds light on why some marriages ultimately fail. While the U.S. divorce rate is falling, it remains high. In many cases, multiple factors contribute to the ultimate demise of a marriage

The study was conducted by a survey of participants in a relationship enhancement program. Researchers went back to the participants 14 years after the program took place and interviewed those who ultimately divorced.

How to interact with police if English is your second language

A traffic stop is not uncommon, but it can be a nerve-wracking, especially if English is not your native language. Depending on the reason you were pulled over, and how the interaction goes, an officer may ask you to do a variety of things in the name of compliance.

Below is a summary of questions police officers may ask, and tips on how to respond while still protecting yourself.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may prevent aggressive collections

Making the decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be difficult. Declaring bankruptcy impacts the filer's credit and can be hard on his or her self-image as well, but it's sometimes the best way to get unmanageable debt under control. For people who are struggling to pay down their debts in Tennessee, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can improve day-to-day quality of life as collection actions must stop once the petition is filed.

In regard to credit, a Chapter 7 filing may stay on the filer's credit report for as many as 10 years. However, the time to complete the bankruptcy is usually between three and six months. It might be possible for many filers to establish new lines of credit within one to three years following a Chapter 7, but these typically have relatively high interest rates. There are a number of lenders who specialize in lending to people who have filed for bankruptcy, but it's difficult to get a new mortgage loan following a bankruptcy.

What to know about custody rights

Ideally, divorced parents in Tennessee would be able to raise their children without the need for judicial intervention. However, this is not always the case. When parents are in the midst of a custody or visitation dispute, it is important to keep the child's best interest in mind. A kid should feel safe and loved by the adults who are tasked with guiding the young person to adulthood.

When parents fight with each other, they could risk losing out on a relationship with their children. Therefore, it may be best for adults to choose their battles and not fight over petty or trivial matters. If a parent is struggling to have their voice heard during informal talks, there is no reason why they shouldn't take a case to court. This can be an effective way to establish and preserve a healthy and long-lasting relationship with a child.

Preparing now for changes in the tax law

January 1, 2019 ushered in a change in alimony tax rules that affected many Tennessee residents. These old alimony tax rules had been in force for more than seven decades.

Prior to the start of 2019, the law stated that alimony payments could be deducted by the individual who paid them, and the individual who received them would be taxed. As of 2019, that changed. Individuals working in the financial field, as well as those working with divorce law, may experience an uptick in their work as individuals attempt to divorce and come up with an agreement prior to the end of the year.

Bankruptcy refilings have different waiting periods

One question in bankruptcy law is about filing for bankruptcy again. The federal Bankruptcy Code sets forth time period rules that apply to filers in Tennessee and across the country. When a person has previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, for example, and received a discharge, he or she must wait at least eight years from the date of the previous filing before beginning another Chapter 7.

The time periods petitioners are required to wait vary based on the types of bankruptcy they are moving from and to. A person who has had a Chapter 13 case discharged and closed can immediately file another Chapter 13. For people who have had a Chapter 7 bankruptcy successfully discharged and who are considering filing for Chapter 13, the waiting period is four years after the date the Chapter 7 was filed. This combination is sometimes referred to as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy.

Should you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

If you are struggling with the decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are not alone. Over 450,000 individuals filed for Chapter 7 last year, and they have all been where you are: overwhelmed by debt and not sure what to do next. Chapter 7 is the most popular type of consumer bankruptcy. Here are a few factors to help you decide if Chapter 7 is the right option for you:

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Sevierville, TN 37862

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