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Montgomery Family Law Blog

Property division may spark conflict during divorce

The process of getting divorced can be tricky because both spouses may have different ideas about how their assets should be split. In Alabama, the divorce courts follow the concept of equitable distribution. Based on this concept, marital property is split in an equitable -- or fair -- manner, whereas separate property is not subject to equitable division.

During a marriage, some assets may be partly separate, whereas others may be partly marital. For example, if the couple uses one spouse's separate property to purchase marital assets, the appreciation of this property in the course of the marriage may be a marital asset. Thus, the court might need to compute the quantity of the property's current value that is based on the couple's initial investment as well as how much is the result of appreciation. Keeping records of how much property was worth when it was acquired, along with the marriage date, is thus important.

Document gathering essential early on in divorce proceeding

The process of getting divorced in Alabama is complicated emotionally, legally and financially. Splitting property that has been accumulated during divorce is often a particularly contentious aspect of the dissolution of a marriage. However, it is possible for a couple going through divorce to pursue the division of property on their terms rather than on a judge's terms.

When working with an attorney, gathering essential financial and legal documents prior to meeting with the attorney can be immensely helpful. This will help to provide a detailed overview of all the assets and property that will most likely be sources of conflict during the divorce proceeding. The documents that need to be gathered fall under several categories.

Money in personal account may belong to spouse after divorce

Even when a couple strives to save their marriage, sometimes their efforts are simply not enough. In these situations, divorce is necessary. One of the biggest myths surrounding the dissolution of a marriage in Alabama and elsewhere is that the money in a spouse's own bank account will remain his or hers following the divorce.

Before getting divorced, some spouses decide to stash money in bank accounts bearing their names only. The goal of doing this is to avoid losing this money during the divorce. However, in reality, their future exes may be entitled to a portion of the funds in their accounts.

Divorce does not have to be a destroyer of finances

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has data showing that the rate of marital split-ups has been moving downward. However, just a look around one's social circle may reveal a very different story: Split-ups are still common. A couple of tips can help with protecting one's finances following divorce in Alabama.

First, taking stock of all expenses is critical. Understanding how much money must be spent every month to sustain a particular lifestyle is necessary to determine whether a financial shortfall can be expected following a marital split-up. In many cases, a gap is unavoidable, so taking steps to fill this gap is paramount.

Child custody can be a sore point during divorce

Just as parents in Alabama experience a wide range of emotions when dissolving a marriage, children can also have various reactions. This is especially true when child custody is one of the parents' biggest areas of contention. For example, some children might be angry, whereas others might feel more sadness. A few tips may help parents in Alabama to help their children as the parents navigate through divorce proceedings.

First, before announcing the divorce to the children, practicing what to say may be helpful for both parents. In fact, having both parents present during the announcement is best. An important point to make during this discussion is that the children are not to blame in their parents' divorce.

Divorce involving child custody may stress out children

Deciding to get a divorce in Alabama is usually a difficult decision no matter how long a couple has been married. It is also typically challenging for parents who have to address matters related to child custody as part of their divorce proceeding. However, in addition to impacting the parents, the divorce process can have a particularly massive impact on the children.

Over the past several years, researchers have tried to gain a better understanding of how a marital split-up affects children. According to a new study, the actual divorce process actually does not harm children's health. Rather, it is how parents handle their divorce that affects the children's well-being.

Paying share payments may help to protect business from divorce

A businessperson's worst fear when going through a marital split-up in Alabama is losing his or her ability to continue making money through the business in the future. After pouring their hearts and souls into their companies, businesspeople naturally want to do everything they physically can to safeguard their entities from divorce. However, giving up a portion of the business to a soon-to-be ex may be necessary if he or she took part in the company operations or gave up a career to stay home with the children.

One possible way to protect a business from divorce is to pay a future ex's share of this company over time. The ex must agree for this to happen. For instance, it may be determined that a business is valued at $5 million according to a current fair valuation of it. In addition, perhaps it is determined that the future ex-spouse is eligible to receive 20% of the business, equivalent to a million dollars of the value of the business.

Divorce can be impacted by dating website profile

Using dating websites and social media is an ideal way to make connections with other people, particularly following the dissolution of a marriage. However, these tools can also do damage during a divorce proceeding in Alabama. Therefore, exercising caution when using these tools, or staying off of them altogether, is critical.

What goes online during a divorce may end up being used as evidence against those who post them, even after the finalizing of a divorce. For instance, dating site evidence could be used to substantiate one spouse's suspicions of the other spouse's hiding assets, thus forcing an audit. In addition, the other spouse may challenge an existing alimony or child support amount if the spouse doing the online posting claims to earn more than he or she initially told the court.

Affleck and Garner getting a divorce

The celebrity couple of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner will soon officially be no more. The two have been separated for two years now but recently filed for divorce. The divorce process in Alabama and elsewhere can understandably be stressful emotionally and financially, but amicably working toward a settlement in the best way possible may help to make it easier to navigate.

In Garner's and Affleck's situation, the two filed their divorce documents together and are reportedly operating in a very amicable manner. Both parties are pursuing joint physical custody and legal custody. They have three children together.

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