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Birmingham Law Blog

What can we learn from celebrity divorces?

It is not uncommon for divorces to end up messy. This may be especially true of celebrity breakups, which often involve high assets and complex property division, as well as a spotlight by paparazzi and media, often exacerbated by gossip and over-the-top headlines. Fortunately, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have taken the high road with regards to their divorce.

Cannot afford child support payments? Here is what to do

Divorce has a lasting emotional and financial impact. If you are struggling to make child support payments, you might fear garnishment or other penalties. While you want the best for your child and your ex-wife, sometimes life changes unexpectedly and you just cannot meet the requirements.

Thankfully, there is a process for modifying your child support order. Here is a guide to revising your child support payments.

The right approach to family law issues can make a difference

There are often many issues and that need to be resolved during the course of a divorce that can cause stress and cause someone to think irrationally. After all, if a marriage was going well, you wouldn't be in the process of a divorce. While some of the ill feelings can pass, sometimes divorcing couples may make decisions to spite the other person, despite the fact that the decisions themselves are not ideal for anyone involved.

During these troubling times, it is often wise to try to step back and access the situation. You may obtain advice from family and friends who have experienced divorce themselves, but remember that their situation is not the same as yours, and what may have been good for one person is not necessarily good for someone else.

Mel B and Stephen Belafonte going through custody battle

The divorce process is already difficult on its own, but divorcing with children can really complicate the matter. Parents in Alabama and elsewhere find it challenging to see eye-to-eye when their parenting time is up to the chopping block. While co-parenting is often ideal, divorcing parents can go back and forth and what they believe is best for the child and what arrangement meets the best interests of the child.

According to recent reports, former Spice Girl Mel B and her estranged husband Stephen Belafonte are going through a custody dispute. Belafonte filed a response to Mel B's divorce petition. In that response, he addressed his needs regarding child custody, which is joint custody of the couple's one child.

Parenting time: quantity versus quality

When parents file for divorce, they are faced with many divorce issues; however, nothing is more pressing than the child custody agreement they will reach. It is often difficult for a parent to transition from spending all of their time with a child to spending 50 percent or less of the time with them. Because it is an often difficult and emotional divorce issue, it is important that parents understand their situation and how they can best navigate it.

Parenting time is often viewed as the amount of time that a parent spends with a child. But, in today's society, it should have an alternative view. It is more about the quality of time versus the quantity of time. Parents should be less focused on the time they are losing with their child and more focused on the time they will spend with them and how this time will impact the child's well being and development.

Helping you request spousal support in a divorce

Divorce can be a very complex life event. Even when Alabama couples would rather avoid such a messy process, it is sometimes clear that it is better for the spouses if they were no longer together. After a divorcing couple accepts the fact that they are parting ways, it is essential to consider what is important to them and what they see themselves walking away from the marriage with. While property division is a hotly debated topic during dissolution, when a spouse requests spousal support, this could also lead to a difficult and lengthy battle.

At Gregory C Starkey & Associates, our experienced attorneys understand how important spousal support can be for the spouse requesting it. While some are under the impression that a spouse is being greedy, trying to get as much as they can during a divorce, alimony can turn out to be a very important and vital source of income for a spouse returning to the working world.

My ex wants to move my kids to another state

Your ex-partner wants to move your kids out of Alabama to another state. Out-of-state relocations can alter the terms of your custody and parenting time agreement, making it harder for you to see and maintain a relationship with your kids. Parental relocation rules are often confusing for many parents. Here is some information that can help you to protect your parental rights.

Bill would bring major changes to child custody law

A bill currently pending in the Alabama Legislature would significantly change the way family court judges determine child custody issues. Many Alabama judges who responded to a recent survey indicated that equal custody is not commonly ordered. Senate Bill 186, introduced by Senator Larry Stutts of Tuscumbia, seeks to change this byencouraging equal physical custody in more cases.

Currently, Alabama law does not require equal physical custody in cases where joint custody is ordered. Senator Stutts' bill would create a rebuttable presumption that each parent is equally capable of spending time with the child and making important decisions about the child's upbringing.The bill would also establish uniform guidelines to be applied by the courts in custody cases.

Do women have more rights than men in custody disputes?

Although there is a common perception both in Alabama and throughout the rest of the country that mother have an upper hand in a child custody dispute over the fathers of the children, the law of Alabama largely Birmingham fathers and mothers on equal footing when it comes to child custody. In other, men's and father's rights are just as important to a court as are the rights of the mother.

A couple of specific observations are in order to illustrate this point. First, Alabama courts have certain defined factors they consider when making a custody decision. While these factors do take account of a child's gender and the relationship the child has with each parent, they do not give any preference to the child's mother. In other words, a father, assuming paternity is properly establishes, legally has just as much of a right to argue his case for custody.

Most divorce cases settle before trial

Most people going through a divorce in Alabama do not look forward to going to court. The thought of having to testify at a trial about the failure of one's marriage can be very stressful. In addition, the outcome of a trial is often unpredictable. For these reasons, most divorce cases are settled by agreement of the parties before a trial is necessary.

Settlement can be accomplished through alternative dispute resolution procedures, such as mediation. In many cases, however, the parties negotiate a settlement informally through their lawyers. If the parties are able to agree on the major issues, such as property division, spousal support, child custody and child support, the lawyers then prepare a settlement agreement and submit it to a judge for approval.