Birmingham Family Law Blog

Don't do this during a child custody case

You find yourself in a child custody case during your divorce, and you don't want to make a mistake. After all, nothing means more to you than getting to spend time with your children. That is your ultimate goal. While everyone seems to have plenty of advice about what you should do while you're in the midst of a custody battle, you also need to know what not to do.

To get you started, let's look at some things to avoid in a child custody case. Do not:

  • Show up late when it's your turn to pick up the kids or drop them off with your ex.
  • Show up late for any of your court dates.
  • Say anything negative to your children about your spouse, no matter how you feel.
  • Constantly reschedule when you're going to see the kids or fail to show up entirely.
  • Refuse to follow the orders handed down by the court, whether you think they are fair or not.
  • Use alcohol to excess or illegal drugs.
  • Create a dangerous living situation for the kids.
  • Try to manipulate the children so they will say what you want in court.
  • Lie about what your ex has done or make up stories that you think paint you in a better light.
  • Make the kids feel the pressure and stress that go along with your divorce.

A prenup signed under duress is invalid

To sign a prenup, you need to do so under your own free will. If you do not, the prenup is not valid and should not stand in court, even though you did put your signature on it.

Duress can mean a lot of different things, but it essentially means that some outside pressure forced you to sign. Perhaps your soon-to-be-spouse threatened you with physical abuse if you refused to sign. Maybe your spouse waited until the day before the wedding and then threatened to leave you at the altar if you did not sign. Either way, you felt like you had to sign what is basically a legal contract even though you did not want to do so.

5 tips for successful shared child custody

Divorce is always a tricky matter, especially when children are involved. In Alabama, family courts tend to grant shared, or joint, custody to parents, provided both you and your ex-spouse can fulfill parental duties.

Initially, you may wonder how shared custody will work with an ex-spouse. However, there are many advantages to shared custody. For example, children can form and maintain quality relationships with both parents, and your child may have increased stability in their life.

Common reasons for divorce in Alabama

Are you wondering if your spouse is thinking about filing for divorce? It's often in your best interests to prepare in advance, so it definitely helps if you see it coming and it does not take you by surprise. You can start looking into your legal options and figuring out how to set yourself up for the future.

To see those red flags, though, you need to know why people get divorced in the first place. Here are a few common reasons:

  • Getting married due to outside pressure. For instance, maybe one person's family really expected them to get married and they felt like they had no choice, even though they didn't want to.
  • Having trouble with money. When a couple can't make ends meet, it puts a lot of stress on both of them. This especially leads to divorce if only one person is the reason for the financial issues.
  • Not working toward the same goals. Maybe one person wants to spend all of their money and live an exciting life, for instance, while the other wants to save money and prepare for the future.
  • Feeling like the relationship lack intimacy. Sometimes, couples that got along very well when they were dating just feel like it all changes after they officially tie the knot.
  • Finding it impossible to work through arguments. Couples don't always agree, but the ones who stay married are the ones who learn how to get through the disagreements.

Child support considerations in an Alabama divorce

It’s not centrally about you. Nor does the bottom line revolve around what most avails your impending-ex in divorce.

Rather, when it comes to child support in Alabama, it is a family court’s determination concerning what best promotes the interests of affected children in divorce that outranks all other factors in importance.

Creating the ideal parenting plan: 5 tips for the newly separated

Parents who are going through a divorce know that they have to create a parenting plan that considers their children's needs as well as their own responsibilities. It can be hard to come up with a plan, though, especially if you and your estranged spouse don't get along.

Since you're newly separated, this is the time when you have to set up a custody plan for your kids. Not doing so soon will mean a significant disruption in their routine, which is harmful to kids in a lot of ways. There are a few things you can do to set up a solid parenting plan.

Types of marital assets that you may not have considered

Going through a divorce is always a logistical undertaking as well as an emotional one. It is not easy to manage both journeys at the same time, but by being organized and planning ahead, you can make the process easier.

The division of assets in a divorce case has the potential to significantly affect your life for years to come, and this is why it is important to take it seriously. Alabama state law does not recognize community property asset division, meaning that your marital assets will not be automatically split equally between the two of you. This means that there is everything to play for in the asset division process and that you need to fight to prove what you deserve.

Mediation can be the key to a more affordable divorce

Divorce proceedings have a reputation for being expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining. However, divorce is not an inherently difficult process. Instead, it is the emotional attachments of the people involved that can lead to contentious and painful divorces.

While it can be quite difficult to set aside your very normal emotions during a divorce, you can still make efforts to deprioritize them during the divorce process. Instead, you want to focus on keeping your divorce as simple, affordable and painless as possible for everyone involved.

Why the victim mentality is horrible for your divorce

Victims blame other people for their life circumstances. Blame takes the attention of the other person and assigns all evildoing to the person getting the finger pointed at them. The truth is, both people agreed to marry each other. It was not a forced marriage, and if red flags were not seen before hand, one must analyze why they weren’t noticed and what red flags were they putting out that contributed to a failed marriage.

Avoiding any real responsibility for the crumbling of a marriage is only going to short-circuit the healing process and raise the odds of another failed marriage or relationship thereafter. Victims not only blame, but they have a sense of entitlement for their distress. They feel entitled to the sympathy of others and the attention for their wounds that were all caused by the other person. Enablers like friends and family who only take their side will impede the victim’s personal growth and healing.

How the newer divorce laws impact retirement proceedings

Retirement funds are a sensitive topic when it comes to divorce proceedings. While areas such as child custody and standard asset divisions impact both your immediate and far future, retirement primarily focuses on the later parts of your life and can be difficult to envision. For many divorcees, those chances of retiring sooner and peacefully can feel like they have taken a turn for the worse.

However, the court knows how difficult the process can be and tries to help both parties get what they need utilizing different methods and state laws. In 2017, the state updated some major bills on handling retirement benefits in divorce. It is important to be aware of these different changes before you go into the courtroom so you can have an easier time planning your future.

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