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Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

Alabama divorcees should be mindful of potential alimony

When married persons decide to go their separate ways, the courts often strive to assist them in creating a more equally-yoked economic status beyond the marriage. Alimony is a court-ordered provision given to support a spouse after divorce. Alabama couples might take note of recent changes that are brewing in another state. States across the nation could potentially embrace such changes, which would be significant in the future lives of both former spouses.

Alimony is not intended to be punitive; rather, it is meant to support a lesser-earning spouse when a marriage ends in civil court. A group in one southern state has called for reform with regard to permanent alimony. Supporters of the legislation say that a person should not be legally obligated to financially support a former spouse for the rest of his or her life. According to the group, those paying alimony would be better served by having a time cap, whereby payments would end rather than continue until death or remarriage. 

Language is important when it comes to a prenuptial agreement

Prior to marriage, many couples decide to enter into a contract which commonly determines property divisions and spousal support in the event of a future divorce. Alabama couples might be interested in a recent decision made by a court in another state. The ruling stated that one couple's prenuptial agreement, executed abroad in 1997, is not valid because one of the spouses could not read the language in which the contract was written.  At the time the agreement was executed, the bride-to-be relied upon a verbal translation offered by her fiance.

The man in question is apparently worth tens of millions of dollars. The woman is said to have trusted the translation he gave of the prenuptial agreement. He represented that it would simply bar her from being able to lay claim to his parent's riches if she divorced him. In 2012, when the woman started proceedings for divorce, she says she was shocked to learn that the agreement barred her from making any claim regarding any of her husband's substantial assets.

Senator says dividing child custody more evenly is good for kids

Most couples who enter into marriage do so hoping that their marriages will last for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, some studies indicate that approximately half of all married couples in the nation eventually file for divorce. Many of these couples have children. Recently, a senator outside the state of Alabama drafted a bill which would require that child custody be divided more evenly between divorcing spouses.

The senator stated that she believes that it is crucial for children to have frequent interaction with both parents after divorce. She claims that kids receive a multitude of benefits from spending time with both parents, as mothers and fathers have different qualities to offer their children. Her newly introduced bill would ensure that children's time with their non-custodial parents is not less than 35 percent unless extenuating circumstances would deem less visitation appropriate.

Paternal grandparents get child custody, mother of twins charged

Postpartum depression is a serious condition that is said to affect many women after giving birth to a child. In a recent case outside Alabama, the mother of twins entered a guilty plea of two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and is now facing jail time. She claims that her acts were brought on by her depressed mental state. Child custody was given to the boys' paternal grandparents, and according to the district attorney, they are now doing fine.

The 26-year-old mother, allegedly suffering from postpartum depression, is accused of leaving her 5-month-old sons in their child carriers for extended periods of time. It has been reported that the woman never bathed her babies. In her statement to the court, she said that the reason for this is that she feared that bathing the babies would cause them to drown. Both infants are said to have suffered from rashes that were infected, as well as insect bites on their bodies.

Prenuptial agreement can alleviate Baby Boomer stress

In the state of Alabama, and all across the nation, the youngest of the Baby Boomers are slated to turn 50 this year. According to a recent poll, 40 percent of 2014's newlyweds have also been involved in previous marriages. A prenuptial agreement is often used in these circumstances in order to prevent future discord and squabbles.

A recent report gave advice to those born between 1946 and 1964. Due to the fact that the human life expectancy has risen, the report suggested that those approaching retirement should begin early to prepare for the long-term reality of their Golden Years. Financial suggestions of saving more and spending less were included in the report.

Prenuptial agreement can be beneficial for Alabama couple

Prior to saying "I do," many modern couples are now signing prenuptial agreements. This is because couples are now realizing that a prenuptial agreement can help them avoid confrontation in the future. For Alabama couples who are heading toward the altar, a prenuptial agreement deserves serious consideration.

Prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for many different reasons. One of those reasons is an inheritance. Having a prenuptial agreement in place is often reassuring to generous family members, such as grandparents, who may be concerned about the prospect of their assets being handed to an in-law in the event of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement can help avoid court battles over pets

Prenups are becoming more common for newly engaged couples that wish to safeguard the assets they are bringing into the marriage and to provide for the division of marital assets if the couple ends up getting a divorce. A prenuptial agreement could potentially eliminate the need for Alabama couples to spend a significant amount of time and money in the courts if their marriage ends. Many people are also beginning to use prenups to deal with one other item that the law considers property -- the family pet.

People can spend thousands of dollars attempting to gain "custody" of the family pet, which can be problematic due to the fact that only Alabama's property division laws apply in the courtroom. Who receives the family pet in a divorce is not argued or decided in the same manner as child custody issues. Who is the most fit to take care of the pet or whom the pet likes better are not concerns to the court -- regardless of the fact that many people consider their pets to be part of the family.

Benefits of shared child custody for Alabama parents

Many divorcing spouses have obstacles to overcome, particularly when children are involved. Each Alabama parent has the opportunity to gain child custody. While many parents fight for full custody, it has become apparent that shared custody may be in the best interest of the children.

When a couple decides to divorce, they may agree that the best thing for their children is co-parenting with shared custody. However, there may be those who feel that joint custody never works out and that it's best to file for full custody. On the contrary, as long as there has been no abuse or violence, the best situation for the children may be to have equal time with both of their parents through shared parenting. This is similar to joint custody, but there are differences.

There are ways to make divorce less costly

Divorce can be an emotional roller coaster for some. Not only can divorce be emotional, but it may also be expensive for some Alabama spouses. However, there are ways to make divorce less costly.

One way to make divorce less costly is for spouses to rearrange their budgets since they are now in a one-income household. This consists of being honest with themselves on what they can afford on a monthly basis. Before fighting over assets, spouses may want to ask themselves if they are still able to make payments on certain items on one income alone. Another way for divorce to be less costly is to develop a new retirement plan, since assets are usually divided.

Alabama parents can land in jail for back child support payments

Child support discussions usually come up when a marriage or relationship ends and children are involved. Courts usually order child support to be paid to the parent who has full custody of the child. Unfortunately, there are times when the parents who are responsible for paying child support end up in a financial spot, resulting in delinquency of child support payments. However, Alabama parents who intentionally fail to meet their obligations could be charged for non-payment of child support. 

A 41-year-old father found himself in a bind when he was unable to pay child support. In September of last year, the man entered a plea of guilty for failure to pay over $87,000 in back child support payments. He was sentenced to probation and, under the agreement, he was required to obtain employment and pay the money back.

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