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Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

Long term effects of child custody in Alabama

Divorce can have a major impact on a family. These situations can often prove to be more difficult on a child than it is for the parents. A child custody battle can be very strenuous on any children involved. Many Alabama couples find it beneficial to seek professional advice when facing a similar situation to ensure there are no negative long-term effects on their children.

Change can be difficult for anyone. In the case of divorce, it can drastically alter a person's life. For any adults involved, the process can be stressful, but may ultimately lead to a better situation. For children however, this type of change can be much more difficult. There are several factors to consider that can help to ease the situation and ensure the child's needs are attended.

Being prepared for divorce in Alabama

The decision to dissolve a marriage can be complicated. Division of property and assets can prove difficult, and have a major impact on a person's financial future. For couples in Alabama, understanding the process and everything involved can be beneficial when making the important decisions that divorce proceedings typically require.

Many couples experience difficult times in their marriage. Financial situations can be a heavy burden on a relationship, and can often lead to arguments. Holidays in particular can prove to be taxing when it comes to financial struggles. Research shows that divorce rates typically spike up to as much as 30 percent following a holiday season.

Serving divorce or child custody papers through Facebook

In certain cases, moving through the end of a marriage is a challenging process. This does not always relate to emotional matters; there are a number of practical considerations that can also pose difficulties. One of those is adhering to the rules of legal service set out in the state of Alabama. For spouses who are uncertain of their partner's address, it can be difficult or impossible to serve divorce or child custody paperwork.

In other states, some spouses have sought to solve this issue by serving papers through Facebook. That approach offers no guarantee, however, as courts are not always willing to allow service through social media. One woman recently encountered a roadblock after she tried to serve her husband with divorce papers through his Facebook account. The judge in the case refused to allow such service, stating that matters of property division and child custody are far too serious to risk one party being unaware of the proceeding.

How the family pediatrician can assist during child custody

For many Alabama families, taking care of the needs of their children is a top priority during divorce. Many parents are surprised that their children have trouble opening up about their thoughts or feelings related to divorce and child custody matters. This can be frustrating to parents who sincerely want to assist their children during this challenging time. Such families should consider enlisting the services of their pediatrician to open the lines of communication.

Kids will often open up to a trusted adult who has a degree of separation from the issue of concern. When a child has developed a positive relationship with his or her pediatrician over the years, the child is often comfortable talking about divorce with the doctor. That process begins by contacting the pediatrician's office and sharing the fact that the family is going through divorce. During that phone call, an appointment can be made for an annual physical exam with additional time allotted for discussion about the divorce.

Working with a real estate agent during a divorce

For many Alabama couples, the end of a marriage means that their family home will need to be sold. Selling a home allows both parties to share in the accumulated equity, which can help both spouses achieve financial stability after a divorce. Even so, placing one's home on the market can be an incredibly emotional time. Fortunately, working with a real estate professional can make the process far easier to manage.

One of the best ways to leverage the expertise of a real estate agent is to sit down and determine the best timing for selling a home. Real estate markets fluctuate depending on the time of year and overall market conditions. In many cases, placing the home on the market during the peak selling period can lead to a better outcome. It is important that both spouses are willing to work together to maximize their eventual profit from the sale of their home.

Former prostitute wins child custody case

Each and every year, thousands of Alabama parents face challenges to their child custody rights. Some cases are more complicated than others, although no parent enjoys having his or her rights questioned in a court of law. For one woman in a southern state, a recent win has restored her child custody rights after a court took issue with her former employment as a prostitute.

The mother and father were in a relationship and had two children together prior to breaking up in 2010. They shared physical custody of the children, although the mother retained primary custody. However, when the father found out that his former partner was working at an established brothel in a state where prostitution is legal, he went to court seeking primary custody.

Recent statistics on retirement and divorce

For many Alabama spouses, one of the most pressing concerns about ending their marriages involves how their decisions will impact retirement plans. This is an understandable concern, as statistics show that divorce can have a number of consequences for an individual's ability to retire as planned. Understanding how the financial aspects of a divorce may play out in the years to come can help spouses make wise financial decisions during and after divorce.

Research suggests that the divorce rate among young Americans has declined. However, when it comes to people over the age of 50, divorce rates are double what they were in 1990. Overall, it is estimated that around half of all marriages will end in divorce. When an individual is at or nearing retirement age, the financial repercussions of a divorce can be far more difficult to overcome than when someone is in their 20s or 30s.

Beware of moving assets during or just prior to divorce

For many Alabama spouses, the timeframe leading up to a divorce is one filled with planning. Taking a proactive approach to structuring one's post-divorce life can make a world of difference in the months and years to follow and is a great idea. When making preparations, however, it is important to avoid taking any financial action that could be interpreted as depleting marital wealth.

This can be more complicated than it seems. Many actions that are perfectly reasonable can be construed as an intentional act, if and when one's spouse decides to paint things in those strokes. For example, a wife who spends her yearly bonus to furnish the apartment that she is moving into at the beginning of the divorce process likely does so in the belief that it was her earned bonus and not money that came from the family's savings account or other assets. However, the court is not likely to view things in the same light. Up until the time of separation, most income and assets are viewed as marital wealth and cannot be used for the purposes of one individual.

A prenuptial agreement is not the only means of protection

Virtually every Alabama resident is aware of the power of a prenup in protecting against financial loss. For those who have not tied the knot but are simply living together, it is easy to assume that a similar level of protection is not available. In reality, however, cohabitation agreements can provide many of the same protections that a prenuptial agreement offers, especially in regard to purchasing a home.

When an unmarried couple buys a house, they are not protected under the set of laws that govern divorce and property division. That means that if they end their romantic relationship and cannot come to terms on how to divide the value of the home, serious legal trouble can result. If one party can make a stronger claim on the home than the other, it is possible that an unfair division of equity can result.

Same-sex couples still face child custody obstacles

Many Alabama readers are aware of the recent legal changes that have paved the way for same-sex couples to marry. Even though the United States Supreme Court has addressed the matter and concluded that same-sex couples are entitled to marry, nontraditional families still face significant legal challenges. In regard to child custody cases, spouses who live in certain states can face an uphill battle when it comes to gaining rights to their children.

An example is found in a southern family that consisted of two women and two children. When the couple made the decision to expand their family, it was decided that one of the women would adopt a child on her own. This was prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, which left the couple with few options. Years later, the couple decided that the same woman would conceive and carry a child through in vitro fertilization.

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