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Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

A different approach to child custody scheduling

Virtually all Alabama parents, whether divorced or not, are familiar with the basic outline of how divorced parents share custody of their kids. The child or children usually move between the homes of both parents, spending most of their time with one parent while the other receives liberal visitation time on weekends and school holidays. While this child custody arrangement is the most common, it is not the only way that parents can divide their parenting time and responsibilities.

A new trend among divorced parents is known as "birdnesting." This approach flips the traditional model outlined above on its head: the child stays put in one home and the parents rotate in and out of that household. This arrangement allows the child to have all of the stability and security of living within one home (similar to how things were when the family was intact.)

Maintaining good credit during and after an Alabama divorce

One of the most distressing aspects of any divorce is the manner in which the change in family status might affect one's credit standing. Alabama residents need good credit scores to buy homes, purchase vehicles and even to establish utility accounts in their own names. Without the proper degrees of attention and effort, divorce can cause a drop in one's credit score.

One of the most important things for any divorcing spouse to consider is the degree to which he or she is financially entangled with his or her soon-to-be-ex. Many couples share credit cards, bank accounts and loans. Under those circumstances, the financial habits of one spouse can have a significant impact on the credit score of the other. It should also be said that everyone reacts differently to the end of a marriage, and a spouse who has always been careful with money could lash out at his or her partner by making a series of poor credit decisions during the divorce.

How a mortgage is affected by a couple's divorce

One of the primary concerns of any Alabama couple going through divorce is how to divide marital wealth in a manner that is fair and balanced. Often, the family home represents a significant investment during the marriage, and spouses may be at odds over how to handle the disposition of this valuable asset during divorce. Unless both spouses agree to sell the home and divide the proceeds, the mortgage on the home will pose a challenge for both parties.

If one spouse wants to keep the home and the other is willing to walk away, then the retaining spouse will have to come up with some other item(s) of value to make up for the equity that the departing spouse will lose. Even when that hurdle can be crossed, the fact remains that both spouses will still be listed on the mortgage until such time as the loan can be refinanced by in the sole name of the retaining spouse. This can leave the spouse who departs from the home with no ownership interest in the property, but still on the hook from the perspective of the lender if payments are missed.

Child custody case will focus on in vitro fertilization

Many Alabama couples turn to fertility procedures to increase their chances of adding to their families. In vitro fertilization is a popular option, as it allows an embryo to be created in a lab and then implanted into a woman's womb. There are a variety of possible links that a woman can have to the child she carries, from surrogacy (in which the woman has no biological link to the child) to full parenthood (the mother supplied the egg and the sperm was provided by the intended father). One recent child custody case centers on the issue of parental rights and in vitro fertilization.

The case features a former same-sex couple and their two children. The women were not married, as their state of residence did not recognize same-sex marriage during the time they lived together as a family. When they were ready to have children, they used one woman's egg and donor sperm to conceive their daughter. Later, they had a son by means of a donated egg and a sperm donor. Both children were carried by the woman who provided the egg for the first pregnancy.

An unconventional approach to child support problems

Parents in Alabama who are no longer involved in a romantic relationship often struggle over the care and custody of shared children. Child support is one of the most contentious topics that parents can face, and there are frustrations on both sides of the issue. Instead of allowing the matter to turn into a series of increasingly negative interactions, parents may want to try taking a different approach.

When two people have a child together and later separate, it can be easy to focus solely on the negative interactions that have taken place. Each set of circumstances is different, but feelings of betrayal, anger, jealousy, abandonment or disappointment can come into play and can cloud the co-parenting relationship. Both parents have an obligation to address these emotions, work to put those feelings behind them and move forward in partnership as parents.

Child support app aims to decrease tension between parents

When an Alabama family goes through a divorce, the end result is often a custody arrangement where one parent has primary physical custody of shared children, while the other receives liberal visitation time. The non-custodial parent is usually tasked with making child support payments to help provide the financial means of caring for the child. Often, each parent is expected to contribute to additional costs that fall outside of the monthly child support payments. This can lead to a high degree of contention between the parties, which can sometimes result in a return to court.

One company has created a phone app to help families deal with child support struggles. The app is called SupportPay, and it provides divorced parents with a platform by which to share information about child support matters. Parents can use the app to upload invoices and receipts, send messages and track payments.

Financial discussions could result in a prenuptial agreement

Marriage is the act of combining two lives into one, and there are many considerations that must be made to ensure that a match will be rewarding and fulfilling for both parties. Aside from physical attraction and romantic love, there are a number of practical matters that will define the days and years that make up an Alabama marriage. Financial concerns are one of the most important topics that should be discussed prior to marriage, and those discussions often reveal the need to draft a prenuptial agreement.

When discussing money matters, it is imperative for both parties to fully disclose the amount of debt that they will bring into the marriage. Paying down debt will have a considerable impact on the couple's ability to purchase a home or start a family. In addition, the source of that debt will give some insight into the spending habits of each party. Debt that is obtained by way of student loans is far different than excessive credit card debt.

Severing financial ties during an Alabama divorce

Divorce can be full of uncertainties, and all Alabama spouses must realize that there is no way to predict how a person will react to the end of his or her marriage. Some spouses will accept the change and work toward reaching a mutually beneficial divorce settlement, while others will make every conceivable effort to delay, derail or complicate the divorce from start to finish. Because it is impossible to know what to expect, all spouses may benefit by preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best.

A big part of that preparation lies in creating financial distance between spouses. This is best accomplished either before the divorce is initiated or soon after. By creating a degree of separation, spouses are able to lessen the risk that one party will act out by making significant financial changes that impact the overall level of marital wealth.

Determining whether a prenuptial agreement is the best choice

In Alabama and throughout the nation, many thousands of dating couples will decide to head to the altar in the coming year. Many will wish to clarify certain issues before they get married in an effort to avoid potential discord later down the line. In recent times, more and more couples view the execution of a prenuptial agreement as a common sense option for protecting their interests.

It used to be that most people associated prenuptial contracts were the wealthiest or most famous in society. However, a lot of divorce attorneys have noticed an increase in couples who sign prenups before the big day. Basically, these written contracts identify the rights and obligations of each future spouse, as well as clarifies separate assets that may include a premarital income or possible future inheritance.

Woman being sued for words on memo line of spousal support check

Divorce is never easy and, as some Alabama residents would likely attest, can sometimes be downright nasty. Various issues between former spouses can evoke strong emotions, and those who are dissatisfied with spousal support arrangements or other court orders may express their anger in ways that cause further discord. In a recent incident in another state, a man has filed a lawsuit against his former wife, claiming that she has been harassing him by writing insulting messages on the support checks she has been ordered to pay him each week.

The man who has filed the claim says that he has suffered recent heart attacks because of the emotional stress his former wife causes him by writing derogatory words on the memo lines of her spousal support checks. He alleges that the words are meant to insult him. The checks, which are reportedly mailed to the home of the man's mother each week, allegedly contain words such as "loser" and "bum" on the memo lines.

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