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Chattanooga Tennessee Legal Blog

Some traits that break up marriages

Many Tennessee couples know that certain behaviors contribute to marriages breaking up. These include sarcasm, criticism, stonewalling and contempt. Contempt has actually been identified as the main predictor of divorce. There are other silent relationship killers as well.

Conflict avoidance can kill a relationship because it does not allow a couple to address issues that arise on a regular basis. Since the problems are not addressed, the negativity and hurt are just allowed to fester. Not learning how to address conflict in a more open way can kill a relationship.

Safe integration of self-driving cars still far in the future

Tennessee residents may be happy or frustrated to know that self-driving cars have a while to go before they can be safely integrated. This is the conclusion of a report from the Rand Corporation. Researchers say that self-driving cars may need to be test driven for millions or billions of miles before they can prove themselves reliable in preventing crashes.

Waymo has put in approximately 10 million miles of test driving in the real world and 7 billion miles on virtual roads using simulation technology, yet Rand suggests that even this amount is insufficient. It may take decades or even centuries for companies to complete a sufficient amount of testing.

Walking through divorce process with reasonable expectations

Do you know what to expect from the divorce process? Many people who make the decision to end their marriages are not certain what will happen as they move forward. Divorce is financially and legally complex, and it can help tremendously to prepare yourself for what is ahead. 

When you know what will happen in your divorce, it will be less likely you will find yourself involved in costly and expensive litigation due to stressful disagreements and expectations. Preparation can take some of the stress out of the process. In turn, this can help you approach it with a reasonable perspective and a focus on a strong post-divorce future.

Assuming a mortgage in a divorce isn't always the best option

In most Tennessee divorces, a home is the largest single asset belonging to the couple. When assets need to be divided, splitting property can be problematic. Both parties may want to continue residing at the home or one partner might not wish to remain on the mortgage.

Most financial planners recommend remaining objective on the decision of whether to retain the house. A party needs to consider it both from an asset appreciation and a financing perspective before determining if the home is worth keeping. If not, a sale may be in order.

Daylight saving time leads to drowsiness, higher crash risk

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has some findings out about the link between daylight saving time and car crash risks. Most drivers in Tennessee know that experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep every day. If they miss one to two hours of rest within a 24-hour period, however, they will nearly double their risk for a crash once they get behind the wheel.

In fact, the level of impairment experienced by a driver who only slept five hours in the previous 24 hours is similar to that of a driver whose blood alcohol content is over the legal limit. Drinking caffeinated beverages and rolling down windows are only short-term tactics for staying awake.

Ways to determine if a spouse has hidden assets

Some Tennessee residents who are going through a divorce may suspect that their spouses are hiding income. One way to determine if this is true or not is to look over their federal income tax return. This document can contain a variety of clues as to a spouse's true financial picture. For instance, a person could discover if a husband or wife is paying more than necessary to the IRS.

This could be done with the intent of filing amended returns in the future in the hopes of getting a large refund after the divorce is finalized. Individuals may also try to put more money into a 401(k) or other plans in an effort to reduce their income in a given year. However, by looking at a Form 1040, it may be possible to determine how much a spouse actually made and what his or her true income is.

The basics of driver safety

Safety is something that not a few drivers in Tennessee make light of. Distraction is especially common. Drivers often, for example, call or text on their smartphones, or they engage in more basic activities that nonetheless take their attention from the road, including eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, using a navigator or talking with a passenger. Every day across the U.S., approximately 600,000 drivers use their phones at least once during their trip.

Drinking and driving is another form of negligence that drivers must avoid. If they go out to drink, they should have a designated driver. One should always watch out for friends, too, and prevent them from driving when intoxicated. Medications can impair driving as well, so drivers should be aware of their side effects.

Keeping your divorce as private as possible

Like many Tennessee residents, you likely do not want your personal or business-related information aired out for everyone to see. You may have sensitive information that needs protecting from prying eyes, and as a result, you have likely taken measures over the years to keep others out of your business when necessary. However, now that you are going through a divorce, it is possible for certain information to go on the public record.

Typically, the court allows for public scrutiny when it comes to divorce proceedings. Of course, you may not want all of your personal and business information on public record for just anyone to go through. Fortunately, you may have the chance to request that the court file certain divorce records under seal.

Planning a parenting schedule during divorce

Parents in Tennessee who are planning a parenting schedule should prioritize their children's needs in creating it. The schedule is supposed to support the child's relationship with both parents, and parents should resist the urge to feel that its design means they have won or lost.

Instead, parents should put themselves in their child's shoes and think about what the child will gain and lose in their new life after divorce. They should make sure to consider the logistics of transportation and child care. If the child can stay with the same babysitter or child care provider, this can provide a sense of stability. Children may have after-school activities that must be considered as well. If children are older, they might want to participate in a conversation about the schedule. Parents should also account for any special needs their child has.

AASM warns against drowsiness among ridesharing drivers

Many Tennessee motorists get drowsy from time to time. However, rideshare drivers are often sleep deprived on a regular basis. The low fare and salary incentives of the industry compel many operators to overwork themselves. This can wreak havoc on their circadian rhythm and endanger both themselves and others.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that there are 328,000 car crashes every year due to distracted driving. Of these, 109,000 involve injuries and 6,400 end in fatalities. Driving after an extended period of wakefulness is not the only factor; some suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and other conditions that lower alertness. Regrettably, ridesharing drivers are seldom screened for such conditions since most are independent contractors.

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