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Montgomery Family Law Blog

Why signing a prenup may be a good idea

Hearing your partner talk about a prenup may be unsettling. It is natural for you to conjure up feelings of mistrust. Does my partner really love me? Does my partner think I am only after their money? Is this my partner's way of saying our marriage is not going to last? It is important to know there are benefits in having a prenuptial agreement. 

Breaking a divorce to family, friends

Announcing the break up of a marriage doesn't hold the same stigma today as it did decades ago. Still, there may be some angst associated with telling family and friends of an impending divorce. Although marriages in Alabama are between two people, they're also very much a part of social circles, so the break up may affect those parts of a couple's personal life.

One of the things that may be upsetting to those in a couple's social circle is the possibility of having to take one or the other person's side. But if a couple makes it clear to everyone that doesn't have to be the case, the divorce may be easier for some to process and to accept. This may be especially true of soon-to-be former in-laws who may have good relationships with their son- or daughter-in-law. That doesn't have to change if the couple is taking a mature stance on their separation.

The tips to having an amicable divorce in Alabama

Breaking up is often synonymous with anger, hurt feelings, pain and a lot of resentment. But divorce needn't always carry with it the worst of the worst emotions. More couples in Alabama are actually having amicable splits. Those who have done so have set the ground rules from the get-go. Perhaps getting help as each person transitions into single life may help.

Realizing that divorce is a legal process may make the couple view it more logically, rather than emotionally. A mediator may be able to help in helping with decisions that are best left out of the courts. Mediation has more successful outcomes than not when approached correctly and with someone who is qualified to act as a mediator, perhaps a family law lawyer.

Divorce creates a new gift-giving experience in Alabama

Parents who are separated or divorced may find giving gifts a bit challenging. Divorce is a hard cookie and it's sometimes difficult to know what to do and when with kids. Things change after divorce and once-married Alabama residents who are now living single lives again may need some pointers on how not to let gift-giving turn into a forum on how former spouses can outdo each other. That is not in the best interests of their children.

It can be especially difficult for children whose parents are barely talking to each other at all. That can cause undue stress in children, especially when they are asked by each parent what they would like for their birthdays or for Christmas or other special occasions. Often some of these gifts come with string attached that can make children feel incredibly guilty. For instance, one parent might buy the child a toy, but insists it can't be brought to the other parent's place.  

Child custody: A parenting plan that works for everyone

Often, the children are the most important part of a marital picture. When Alabama parents decide to divorce and child custody is discussed, a parenting plan can help parents continue to provide the best care possible for their kids. A good, well-thought-out plan will help children move forward in what will likely be two separate households.

The best way for two divorced parents to work together to fashion a parenting plan is to think about how things must feel for their kids -- living in two homes with two parents who may be at odds with each other, trying to please each without alienating the other. Trying to keep as much of their routine as possible may be important since many children don't take well to change. If the children are old enough, perhaps they might be given a say in some of the plan's dynamics since children like to be heard.

Is virtual visitation a good fit for your parenting needs?

In the modern world, we have many more means of communication than previous generations, and it is changing the way that we live every aspect of our lives, from the jobs that we work, to the ways we have fun, and even to the ways that we spend time together. Spending time with someone through a device is now a very real part of how we plan our lives, especially when it comes to sharing parenting responsibilities and privileges.

Many courts now recognize these technological advances and use them as part of building a comprehensive parenting plan and custody arrangement. In these circumstances, courts may refer to spending time with a child through a device like a tablet or computer as virtual visitation.

Real estate terms: A deposit versus a downpayment

There are so many terms bantered about in the Alabama real estate industry that it's often difficult to know what's what. Two terms that often are used interchangeably, but mean different things, are earnest money deposit and downpayment. An earnest money deposit -- sometimes known as an escrow deposit -- is the sum the purchaser includes with a real estate offer as a sign of good faith that he or she is genuinely interested in the property and serious about buying it.

A downpayment, on the other hand, is the percentage of personal funds a purchaser will put down on a property, with the rest is usually being financed. Deposits are usually between about 1 and 2 percent of the purchase price, though a purchaser could choose to have a bigger deposit. If the funds are cashed, they are deposited into an escrow account and will be put toward the purchase price of the home or can be used toward closing costs.

Real estate: Investor buys Alabama nursing facilities

A Canadian investor recently purchased five nursing facilities in Alabama. The businessman bought facilities in Montgomery as well as others in Alabama -- in Butler, Selma, Montrose Bay and Birmingham as well as another out of state. The real estate investor has paired up with an out-of-state health care operator to manage and oversee the skilled facilities.

This was the first Alabama seniors' housing transaction for the real estate advisory company that represented the vendors in the deal. It brings the company's total sales in Alabama to more than $7 million in less than a year. The deal closed in March.

Estate planning in Alabama: Dying without a plan

Planning in life is often essential. But planning for death is equally as important, especially when it comes to family members and loved ones. Dying in Alabama without definitive estate planning can make family members' grief even more stressful when they learn they've been left with the burden of having a loved one's estate go through intestate succession.

The purpose of such succession is to ascertain how the deceased likely would have written his or her estate plan and will. But, it is basically a guess and the deceased person may have chosen otherwise. When a person dies intestate, or without having a will, there is no way to know for certain what his or her final wishes would have been. Intestate doesn't take into consideration family members' needs or circumstances.

Divorce goes much smoother when feelings kept out of the process

Keeping heightened feelings out of the equation during a separation may be a difficult process, but often an necessary one for keeping the peace. Alabama couples going through divorce have a better chance of agreeing on issues when each party tries to keep a level head even if that seems impossible. Ending a marriage is not an easy task, even if the couple agrees it is the best decision for the entire family.

Each person should have his or her own attorney when it comes to ironing out a divorce settlement. Lawyers may be able to help their clients keep level heads during any negotiation meetings. Lawyers will offer advice and guidance, but the former couple will come to a consensus on issues themselves, or have to address their differences in court.

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