Birmingham Divorce Law Blog

Alabama courts won’t uphold some prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements, also called prenups, used to be common only among the very rich and famous. As society has changed and divorce rates have climbed, however, more people than ever before consider these documents an important protection prior to marriage. If you’re considering divorce and you executed a prenup before your wedding, you may wonder what impact it will have on your divorce. Whether you want it upheld or hope that the courts will throw it out, educating yourself about Alabama’s approach to prenuptial agreements could help you predict the likely actions by the courts in your case. The courts will consider claims of duress or inadequate counsel Generally speaking, both parties who sign a prenuptial agreement should have the document carefully reviewed by their respective attorneys. If one spouse signed without independent legal advice, that could be sufficient grounds for the courts to dismiss the prenup. After all, the … Continue reading Alabama courts won’t uphold some prenuptial agreements

High asset divorces may involve one spouse hiding assets

Divorce can bring out the worst in some people. Many seem to act in a manner that is quite different from who they are most of the time. When emotions run high, poor behavior can be a consequence. Even if you’re trying your best to stay calm and rational, your spouse could succumb to the temptation to act out during your divorce. When that happens, you could have to deal with a host of problems. One common way people try to punish their spouses for wanting a divorce is to attempt to skew the asset division process. It doesn’t take much time or energy to create a secret account or to hide a few items of substantial value. If you have any reason to suspect that your ex wants to adversely impact the asset division process in your divorce, you need to take steps to protect yourself. Alabama courts do … Continue reading High asset divorces may involve one spouse hiding assets

Do I need a separate bedroom for all of my kids?

When the Birmingham family courts rule on child custody matters, they take many factors into consideration when determining where the children will live. One potential factor that could influence the court’s decision is the parent’s living accommodations. There is no single standard for acceptable living conditions. It’s dependent on many things, including the parents’ and children’s unique circumstances. But the courts can also consider local and state norms. It’s also a fairly subjective decision, as the judge’s own personal opinions and biases can creep in. However, the overriding concern will be what is best for the children. Economic factors typically secondary to family ties Few courts can justify keeping an otherwise loving and attentive parent from exercising his or her custodial or visitation rights simply due to the parent’s lower socioeconomic circumstances. If the parent lives in a three-room shotgun shack, that’s a reality that must be dealt with accordingly. … Continue reading Do I need a separate bedroom for all of my kids?

Divorcing near retirement may mean needing to change your plans

Divorce has become more common and more socially accepted in our country. More people than ever choose to end their marriage via divorce and doing so incurs significantly less social stigma than it once did. People who may have, at one time, stayed together for the children or the convenience of an existing marriage may now consider splitting up. This means that more people at or near retirement age divorce than in the past. Now, a gray divorce may have many impacts on retirement account and assets. These impacts could leave you scrambling to adjust your expectations and make up the lost savings. Understanding the potential financial impact of a gray divorce can help you better plan for your fresh start and future. Your assets are likely subject to division in a divorce Alabama seeks a property division outcome that is equitable and fair to both parties. Generally, that means … Continue reading Divorcing near retirement may mean needing to change your plans

Child support modification: These tips will help

Are you expected to pay child support each month? Have you come to find that you’re unable to comfortably make payments as the result of a major change in your life’s circumstances? In the meantime, you need to do whatever it takes to make your payments in full. If this isn’t possible, send as much money as you can manage until you are able to get back onto your financial feet again. But you should be aware that you might have an option available to lower your monthly child support obligations. There is no guarantee that the court will approve a child support modification, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking action. If this is something you need to improve your financial situation, here are some steps to take: Act quickly to avoid arrearages from accruing. If you think you need a child support modification you shouldn’t wait a single … Continue reading Child support modification: These tips will help

Children of divorcing parents have rights, too

Adults going through divorce are often preoccupied with their own agendas and rights. When you have children, you must think beyond yourself and prioritize your children. They have rights that you need to remember and respect when you are going through a divorce. There are many things that you have to consider when kids are put in this position. They didn’t ask for the divorce, but they have to deal with the impacts. Here are some of the rights you need to respect while you are divorcing: Right to see extended family members Just because you are divorcing doesn’t mean that your children should be forbidden from seeing extended family members. Cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members are still important for children so find ways to allow them to keep these relationships strong. You should also encourage the relationship between your child and your ex. A child custody … Continue reading Children of divorcing parents have rights, too

What happens with retirement accounts or pensions in a divorce?

Other than your marital home, your retirement account or pension is probably the biggest single asset you’ve accrued over the course of your working life and your marriage. You’ve probably spent years investing and saving for your potential retirement. When you divorce, it’s only normal to want to know what you’ll have to work with to rebuild. Unless you have a valid prenuptial agreement, chances are good that the courts will decide how to handle the division of your assets. Since every couple has unique assets and circumstances, every divorce has a unique outcome. However, understanding the laws about equitable distribution in Alabama can help you understand what will probably happen with your retirement account or pension. The courts won’t care whose name is on the account One common misconception among people approaching divorce is that retirement accounts held in one spouse’s name are separate property. Some retirement funds could … Continue reading What happens with retirement accounts or pensions in a divorce?

Handling emotions: Dealing with a contentious divorce

No one wants to think about divorcing when they get married, but the reality is that many marriages will end in divorce. Time sometimes changes people, and that can mean that you end up facing a frustrating, contentious divorce. It’s always in a couple’s better interests to be civil to one another during a divorce. Not being civil can cause a divorce to drag on for months or years longer than necessary. Being unwilling to negotiate is another factor that slows down property division and can strain your relationship with your children or others in your family. How can you deal with your emotions during a contentious divorce? The first thing to do is to recognize that there are some people who will always try to create drama or problems in a relationship. The important thing is to make sure you rise above that. Be the better person and be … Continue reading Handling emotions: Dealing with a contentious divorce

How do Alabama courts handle your retirement accounts?

Other than custody and visitation regarding children from your marriage, the division of your assets is usually the most contentious aspect of a divorce. If you and your spouse have a standing prenuptial agreement, it helps to ensure that you know what to expect. Similarly, if you agree to terms for asset division before filing, it could simplify the process. In most other cases, the courts will need to intervene and make decisions about how to allocate both assets and debts. Many people facing divorce worry about their marital home. The next biggest asset many couples develop during marriage is usually a retirement or investment account. Understanding how Alabama courts handle asset division and how they view your retirement account will help you understand the most likely outcome for your retirement funds. Alabama focuses on equitable distribution in divorce The law in Alabama instructs family court judges to consider a … Continue reading How do Alabama courts handle your retirement accounts?

Blended families have it harder

We’ve all heard the statistic that says 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Additionally, a person who is divorced once is more likely to divorce in their second marriage. However, numbers only tell part of the story. A subsequent effect of divorce is the creation of blended families as parents with children from previous marriages build a household together. The dynamics of a blended family are different from a traditional nuclear family because more than one set of parents and children must now be considered in arrangements. The decisions of biological parents and the influence of stepparents can create tensions between households, and the potential for conflict is not going away soon. According to the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of Americans have a step-relative in their immediate family, and the potential for problems arises because stepparents don’t proactively attempt to resolve issues between households, leading to a higher … Continue reading Blended families have it harder