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Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

Important items of consideration regarding alimony in Alabama

Some statistics suggest that half of all marriages in Alabama and across the United States eventually result in divorce. Alimony is an important divorce issue. Whether one receives payments or is ordered to make payments to a former spouse, it is advisable that all involved should gain an understanding of governing laws and guidelines.

Some believe it unfair to place undue financial obligation on a person no longer connected to a former spouse. Others maintain that certain circumstances entitle a former spouse to receive financial support in order to sustain him or herself after divorce. Either way, several factors are typically considered by the court when determining issues of alimony, otherwise known as spousal support.

Should Alabama spouses be concerned about alimony?

Couples in Alabama planning to divorce will want to take note of state laws before attempting to resolve various family law issues. When negotiating a settlement, many are often concerned about the possibility of future alimony payments.  An experienced attorney can help clients understand their rights during a divorce and explain how alimony, also known as spousal support, might be applied in their particular situation.

Divorce is often complicated. Every family's situation is different, and negotiations regarding standard of living, future upbringing and care of children and property division are usually more productive when each party seeks guidance from an experienced attorney. Unique situations sometimes have bearing on a court's decision, such as when one spouse has placed his or her career or educational pursuits on hold, or has made a significant contribution to the other spouse's educational or career advancement.

Property division among issues Alabama women may face in divorce

Alabama women who choose to end their marriages are most likely concerned with their future financial security and other important issues. Divorce can be complicated and stressful, and it is good for women to know that there is professional help available when they are planning to navigate the legal system. Assets that include cash, property and other items of ownership are taken into consideration when a settlement is being negotiated. Women will want to be aware that some assets are more difficult to divide than others.

Disagreement sometimes arises between divorcing spouses where issues involving bank accounts, automobiles, real estate or other owned property are concerned. When items being considered for division are tangible and self-evident, the process is typically based on assessed values and is rather simple. Other assets, however, might not be so easily divided.

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.

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