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Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

Child support guidance in Alabama

According to some estimates, nearly one out of every two marriages in Alabama and elsewhere end in divorce. Many couples who choose to divorce have children together. Most desire to keep the best interests and overall well-being of their kids at heart when attempting to negotiate issues regarding child support, visitation and other matters concerning the future raising and upbringing of their children.

After divorce, both parents bear responsibility to financially provide for their children. In the state of Alabama, there are statutory guidelines used to determine arrangements concerning child support payments. Certain key factors are taken into consideration by a court when making such decisions. The income of each parent, how many children are in need of support and how much time each parent spends caring for the children are all factors in determining child support.

Addressing issues of alimony in Alabama

Divorce is rarely, if ever, easy. Many times, Alabama couples face all sorts of complex issues requiring hours upon hours of mediation and negotiation in order to reach peaceable and amicable resolutions. A particularly challenging area of divorce involves the subject of alimony.

Alimony is a court-ordered payment issued to a former spouse after divorce. It is meant to assist that spouse as he or she attempts to adjust to a new standard of living after a marriage has been dissolved. In modern times, alimony is given to former spouses of either gender; historically-speaking, it was more common for courts to award these types of payments to women.

First Lady Bentley seeks alimony in divorce from Alabama governor

Sometimes, couples who are involved in high profile divorces cases, such as the recent one between Alabama governor Robert Bentley and his wife, ask the court to seal all records pertaining to the case. Under such circumstances, a judge will sometimes order that no one except the couple, their attorneys, paid experts and other legal employees pertinent to the case is able to access the court record. A sealed record can help a divorcing couple maintain a higher level of privacy in their case where personal issues regarding division of assets or alimony are concerned.

The Bentleys announced their decision to divorce after the governor's wife filed the claim in late Aug. 2015. She stated that her marriage had suffered an irretrievable breakdown after 50 years and that there was a complete incompatibility of temperament between herself and her husband. The governor released a public statement asking for privacy in light of the personal nature of the situation.

A late-in-life Alabama wedding might include prenuptial agreement

The age of life expectancy has increased over the years. One consequence of this seems to be that many people are marrying later in life. In fact, some Alabama couples might be in their Golden Years when they decide to marry. Whether to sign a prenuptial agreement is a concern of many.

It is misguided thinking to assume that prenuptial agreements are only for those who are financially rich and those who are young. For elderly adults who choose to marry, this type of contract might prove beneficial because of the complexities that might exist after a lifetime of building wealth, businesses, stock portfolios and other notable assets. In some cases, one or both potential spouses is a widower or widow, and his or her deceased spouse's trust funds might also affect future financial obligations or assets.

In Alabama and elsewhere, some grand-parents have child custody

It is obvious that grandparents tend to experience joy when they are able to spend time with the children of their own sons or daughters. In certain situations, however, child custody is given to grandparents in Alabama and elsewhere when parents have been deemed incapable of caring for their own children. Many of these cases involve parental substance abuse.

A recent radio program included the interview of a woman who, with her husband, had her daughter involuntarily committed for opiate addiction. The couple then took their two grandchildren into their custodial care. Reports indicate that this is becoming a common occurrence throughout the nation. One state mentioned provides a support group for grandparents facing similar circumstances.

Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert divorce: Prenup helped

Those in Alabama who find themselves in court as their marriages come to a legal end typically face issues regarding the division of their assets and properties. Some say that property division in divorce proceedings might be made easier if soon-to-be former spouses signed a prenuptial agreement before marriage. A recent case involving a celebrity couple has been noted in the media.

Country music icons Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are said to have shocked fans world-wide when they publicly announced their intentions to divorce after a 10 year marriage. Some who have reported the story claim that the couple's divorce settlements were finalized in a very expeditious manner because they had signed a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. Reports indicate that this has allowed them to proceed amicably and quickly reach peaceful agreements regarding the division of their assets.

Keeping divorce amicable in Alabama

If asked their reasons for ending their marriages, former spouses in Alabama and throughout the United States would most likely offer a variety of answers to that question. In some situations, there are issues that evoke negative feelings and emotions, lack of communication and discord. Recent suggestions were given to couples involved in divorce to help them learn how to negotiate toward a peaceful settlement. A  crucial point stated that a certain amount of cooperation is needed between the divorcing spouses if they are hoping for a positive outcome.

Some have said that a bad settlement is a more desirable situation than a good trial. It is also said that it is always better for everyone involved if a good settlement can be achieved. Legal assistance can prove beneficial for those who have questions or concerns regarding particular laws or issues with proposed arrangements or agreements, and asking an experienced attorney for representation in the process can provide answers to those questions and guidance along the way.

Finances, children and property are all potential divorce issues

It is common knowledge that many married couples choose, at some point, to dissolve their unions. In states across the nation, including Alabama, approximately 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Most couples involved in such circumstances tend to hope for a peaceful settlement and amicable parting of ways.

It is also common knowledge, however, that this is not always the case. Divorce is often wrought with stress, and complex issues can lead to very unpleasant situations. Suggestions were recently offered in an article to help couples avoid some of the negativity that can arise when dealing with issues of property division, child custody and other things, such as finances.

Alabama reader asks alimony question

In a recent advice column, a question was posed regarding certain issues that arise during divorce. The man asking the question had concerns about his impending divorce from his wife; namely, he wanted to know if alimony still existed in Alabama or elsewhere. Apparently, the man was divorcing after more than a decade of marriage and his soon-to-be former wife expressed her intent to request alimony payments from him.

The published response to the man's question informed him that alimony does, indeed, still exist. The man was also advised to hire a competent divorce lawyer. According to the information provided in the article, when a marriage has lasted beyond 10 years, issues such as retirement benefits sometimes become subject to asset distribution in divorce. Additionally, alimony is sometimes mandated by the court as a means of balancing the incomes of both spouses.

What Alabama couples should know about a prenuptial agreement

A recent article discussed issues concerning contracts drawn up between engaged couples as opposed to those entered into after a marriage takes place. Alabama couples might wonder if a prenuptial agreement is better or worse than a post-nuptial contract. The article offered information on both of these legally binding documents.

Some people say that the time before marriage should be spent talking about love, family and celebration rather than discussing a premarital contract between future spouses. Others believe that waiting until after the wedding to decide the legalities of property division, pre-marital assets and other pertinent items of interest can be a recipe for disaster should a divorce subsequently occur. The simple truth is that many marriages end in divorce. Those who advocate for prenuptial contracts say that having it all spelled out before the wedding helps to avoid complication and stress if the marriage does end in divorce.

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