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Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

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.

Do wealthy people face unique issues in a divorce?

A recent article suggested that not only do ultra-wealthy people have more money than the average person, they also face some unique issues pertaining to matters of family law. According to the report, a divorce can lead to the utter derailment of a wealthy couple's family legacy plan. Apparently, even when both spouses wish to hold the best interest of their whole family at heart, complications and battles sometimes arise during divorce proceedings. Alabama residents may wish to take note of the information provided in the article if they, or someone they know, is currently considering filing for divorce.

A panel comprised of professionals from various backgrounds and perspectives, including a psychologist and a family law specialist, recently agreed to be interviewed to discuss some of the issues that seem to be unique to super-wealthy spouses entering into divorce. One of the discussion participants said that it is crucial to set up a task force with a legal team at its center in order to lead wealthy couples through the process. She stated further that if the couple has children, a psychologist should be made a member of the task force as well.

Tax issues sometimes affect division of assets in divorce

Alabama residents who are in the process of ending a marital union will want to take note of a recent article that discusses the various issues that may arise pertaining to different types of taxes. As couples negotiate the division of property and assets during the divorce process, they may have need of formulating agreements when it comes to issues involving federal tax refunds or liabilities with regard to jointly owned assets during the marriage. According to the article, seeking professional financial advice is advisable for those who wish to keep things as uncomplicated and amicable as possible.

Various tax issues can surface during divorce proceedings. The article noted that family law courts do not typically render final orders with regard to things such as income tax because the IRS is typically not bound by state court rulings. Couples are advised to come to an agreement about whether to file jointly on their tax returns; they have that option if they were still married on the final date of the tax year. The article also advised spouses to take into consideration any existing prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements pertaining to earnings from property as these documents may bear significance on how property assets are separated and divided.

Former spouse appeals to court to modify child support

A recent court ruling outside the state of Alabama denied a man's request to lower his child support obligation, as well as mandated that he pay his former wife's attorney fees. According to reports, it is not the first time the defendant has requested that the court modify child support in his case. He has set forth an appeal in the recent court decisions.

An appellate panel has concluded that a court order, mandating the former husband to pay $1,500 in legal fees -- for the woman to whom he was previously married -- and denying his request to lower child support payments, has been erroneously issued. According to reports, the court denied the man's formal requests due to the fact that they were repetitive. The court further stated that it had already denied similar requests from the defendant in the recent past.

Attorney files contempt charge in Dunkel divorce case

Alabama readers may be aware of the divorce proceedings involving David Dunkel, the CEO of Kforce. After the divorce judgment was entered in another state, Dunkel's  former wife filed a contempt of court motion against him, alleging that he intentionally defied court orders relating to the case. Reportedly, the issue involves a court-mandated transfer of stock holdings concerning Kforce, a company with an estimated worth of $1.2 billion. The transfers would make her one of the top shareholders in the company, though both parties have apparently raised issues in the aftermath of the divorce rulings that will be addressed in an upcoming hearing.

Apparently, the former husband transferred $8.2 million in stock to his former wife following a recent court order. She claims, however, that some $7 million worth of stock is still due her, prompting the contempt of court motion for willfully violating the court's mandate. It is also claimed that the former wife is still owed more than $1 million in cash, apart from the stock holdings.

Alabama legislation leads to new divorce strategies

In a recent article, a financial adviser agreed with one of his clients who said that the best way to accrue savings for retirement is to remain married to one spouse and stay in one house. Regardless, statistics prove that some marriages end in divorce. Most couples who divorce have a desire to do so amicably, hopefully reaching a peaceable compromise when it comes to issues such as division of property or child custody and visitation. Recent Alabama legislation led to a new type of collaborative agreement aimed at reducing courtroom disputes and increasing peaceful resolutions to issues faced during proceedings.

The Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) was passed in Alabama in Jan. 2014. Several prioritized components are included in the process, meant to help couples as they negotiate issues that are often emotionally charged or complicated. Part of the agreement contracted by participating couples and their legal representatives is that the negotiation process involved in the alternative collaborative strategy must lead to an uncontested divorce in order for the parties to maintain their contracted relationship and proceed to courtroom sessions.

Top tax tips for divorcing couples during tax season

Tax season is here. Do you know the top tax tips for divorcing couples? You may not be thinking about taxes if you are getting divorced, which can lead to potential problems in the future if you do not file your taxes correctly.

Your tax filing can have a significant impact on your finances. It is important to be aware of the tax implications during your divorce so you know what factors to consider before filing your tax return. 

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