Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

Alimony payments may be considered tax deductible

Although many people might not know exactly what to expect when deciding to file for divorce, it will certainly provide lifestyle adjustments. Of course, couples can work together to ease that transition for themselves and any children involved in the split. Some people may consider requesting alimony payments as part of a financial settlement. Spousal support in this form isn’t a mandatory aspect of divorce, but it can help ease some financial difficulties created by divorce. For example, one spouse may have a much higher income than the other. During marriage, both individuals become accustomed to the lifestyle associated with sharing income, so alimony payments can help balance out changes caused by living with a single income. Of course, before drawing any conclusions about a divorce settlement, it can be helpful to be aware of the ramifications for specific decisions. When couples reach an alimony agreement, for example, they may … Continue reading Alimony payments may be considered tax deductible

Unraveling the tax consequences of asset division

On a basic level, the goal of property division is to allow couples to split up the assets and property they acquired during the course of their marriage in order to provide a financial footing for post-divorce life. Of course, every couple enters divorce with a unique financial situation, but Alabama family law provides guidelines for how the assets included in divorce should be divided. Like most states, Alabama’s property division laws follow the principle of equitable division. Rather than a basic 50/50 division of marital assets, they are to be divided in a way that is fairest for both spouses. Even though equitable division seems like a way for both spouses to exit divorce with relative financial security, it should be noted that there may be tax consequences for handing over certain assets. In addition to a completed divorce settlement, a freshly divorced person could be handed a tax … Continue reading Unraveling the tax consequences of asset division

Father could lose parental rights over McDonald’s disagreement

Every parent has had a disagreement with his or her children. Kids might not understand exactly when their parents are trying to teach a lesson or reinforce healthy habits. According to one man, he has tried to do right by his son, but he could lose his rights to child custody and visitation. In New York, a mother and father are currently struggling with the custody and visitation agreement reached during their divorce. The current dispute started when the father was planning spending time with his son by going out for dinner. His 4-year-old son suggested eating at McDonald’s. However, the man felt his son was consuming too much unhealthy food, so he said they could go anywhere other than the fast-food restaurant or have no dinner at all. The child refused to eat, so his father brought him back to his mom’s house. Shortly after this event occurred, the … Continue reading Father could lose parental rights over McDonald’s disagreement

Attitudes toward prenuptial agreements might be changing

Many couples enter marriage knowing that signing a prenuptial agreement is an option to help protect their assets, but others might be apprehensive to sign one or even consider the possibility of doing so. In some cases, there is an impression that signing a prenuptial agreement is counterintuitive to the idea of getting married or is something only for wealthy individuals. A recent poll suggests that these perceptions might be changing. Recently, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers released a survey of family law attorneys regarding trends in the frequency of requests for prenuptial agreements. Of those who responded, 63 percent of attorneys say they’ve seen an uptick in the number of prenuptial agreements made between soon-to-be wed couples during the last three years. Not only that, but slightly less than half of respondents said they’ve noticed that more women are making the requests. This trend might suggest that more … Continue reading Attitudes toward prenuptial agreements might be changing

Is it time for alimony reform in Alabama?

For quite some time, alimony has been included in divorce settlement as a means to help balance some financial inequities in the wake of divorce. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the one who has the higher income may be required to make monthly payments indefinitely. Some have pointed out that the way alimony is currently structured in most states is based on family dynamics that are no longer the norm. This is why people throughout the country have pushed for family law reforms, which often includes putting an end to lifetime alimony as a standard practice. As this conversation continues, many may be wondering whether or not changes should come to Alabama state law. As of March 2012, Massachusetts’ alimony laws changed, reflecting a number of reforms. Although the law has been in effect for less than two years, proponents of change say that this particular … Continue reading Is it time for alimony reform in Alabama?

Alabama’s top court overturns decades-old family law precedent

Parents who are thinking about college tuition know that it’s a major financial burden, and it’s only expected to become more significant as time passes. The idea of providing children with financial support for tuition may seem even more uncertain when parents are filing for divorce. Alabama parents who are considering a request for educational support during divorce may be interested in a recent court decision that could alter their plans. Turning over a precedent set in 1989, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that family law judges cannot order parents to make educational support payments for children over the age of 19. Unlike most states, the age of majority is 19 in Alabama. Customarily, child support payments made to the custodial parents would end when children reach this age. However, under the old legal precedent, judges had the authority to order parents to contribute to college tuition for as long … Continue reading Alabama’s top court overturns decades-old family law precedent

Charlie Sheen resolves complex child support dispute — for now

Celebrities have the kind of public exposure many Birmingham residents can’t relate to. Yet stars experience family-related issues that are familiar to private citizens. Charlie Sheen’s ongoing dispute with his ex-wife is one example that provides insight into common family law issues. According to reports, Sheen recently lowered his child support obligation to his ex-wife. Under the old court-ordered child support arrangement, the actor paid $55,000 per month to his former spouse. Now, those monthly payments have been reduced by more than half. This agreement was reached out of court. Sheen has been attempting to reduce his child support obligations because his children don’t live with his ex-wife. In fact, the kids are currently living with his other ex-wife, Denise Richards, with whom he has an amicable relationship. Family law observers noted that Sheen could have gone to court to have his payments eliminated, but chose to mediate a deal … Continue reading Charlie Sheen resolves complex child support dispute — for now

What considerations are made in military divorces?

Any number of reasons can influence a person’s decision to file for divorce. Whatever the reason, spouses can reach a point when they both realize that splitting up is in their best interests. One group that has been particularly affected by divorce over the last decade or so is military families. According to a study recently released in “Journal of Population Economics,” couples impacted by military deployment are more likely to get divorce. In fact, the chances for divorce increase with each additional month of active duty. One of the contributors to the study pointed out that divorce among military families has been especially prevalent over the last decade. Those who enlisted in the military prior to action in Middle East may not have expected the frequency and length of deployments, which can contribute to the decision to divorce. Although military couples take same basic legal steps to complete a … Continue reading What considerations are made in military divorces?

Divorced parents should make preparations for the new school year

When two people decide to get divorced, they may not be the only ones affected by the decision. Beyond the two spouses, any children they have will be impacted by divorce as well. Certainly, divorce require families to make adjustments, but there are ways to make the transition smoother for everyone involved. Many divorced parents share child custody, and as summer is coming to a close and the school year is approaching, arrangements may need to be made to help the kids be successful. On a very basic level, parents should try to work with each other to create a school-year parenting plan that reflects the child’s best interests. One of the first things parents might want to arrange is how their kids will make it to school and other activities every day. If parents share physical custody, then it will be important to coordinate who will ensure the children … Continue reading Divorced parents should make preparations for the new school year