Jones, Hawkins, & Associates, LLC
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Montgomery Family Law Blog

Collecting child support payments in Alabama after relocation

Life changes, and those changes can include moving out of state or even out of the country. When it comes to collecting child support payments after one parent relocates to another state, there are issues that come into play. For Alabama parents who find themselves in this situation, interstate child support comes into play, and a child support order may need to be modified. 

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is in place to help with problems that may arise from these types of situations. The act, which is enforced in all 50 states, takes into consideration things like the originating state from which the child support order came and the current residency of the parent who is paying the support. But UIFSA grants the originating state the authority to send a withholding notice to the new state of the payer of child support. In other words, that parent will still be beholden to pay support and any arrears that might have accumulated. 

Parental alienation may change some Alabama child custody cases

Divorce is hard enough on children without their parents throwing accusations at each other. When it comes to child custody issues in Alabama, the issue of parental alienation is rearing its ugly head. When one parent accuses the other of turning a child against him or her through manipulation, parental alienation may or may not be at play. Experts say there are times, however, when the theory of parental alienation is used as an excuse by abusive former partners and parents to gain control and/or custody of their kids.

When there is a claim of parental alienation, the court system is often involved since most of these cases end up in litigation. A study looked at thousands of cases of abuse, parental alienation accusations and custody, and it found that fathers who were accused of abuse by mothers who themselves were accused of alienation won 72 percent of their cases. It is clear that courts have been moving away from maternal bias.

Divorce in Alabama: More baby boomers ending their marriages

It seems the days when most marriages last until death doeth part are over. The word divorce doesn't make most Alabama residents bat an eyelash today, and even baby boomers are realizing that when it's over, it's over.  In fact, it seems that more older married couples are deciding that they would rather go into the future as singles rather than as part of a couple.

The term gray divorce is being used to describe the divorce of those who are 50 years of age or older. One out of every four divorces in the United States fits this bill. The population is aging, it's true, but the question that remains is why are so many older married couples throwing in the towel on what may be marriages that have lasted for decades? 

Estate planning for Alabama residents who are not U.S. citizens

Anyone of legal age can plan an estate. Even those living in Alabama, but who are not U.S. citizens, can make  estate planning decisions, although they may come up against some challenges. The United States treats residents who aren't citizens similarly to citizens. However, nonresident aliens will see a difference when it comes to the tax treatment of their estates. 

It is different when a person is not a citizen, yet has a domicile in the U.S. The powers that be look at a number of things when considering if a noncitizen actually has a domicile. Those include how much actual time is spent in the states, the values of any residences or businesses and their locations, community ties, where family members are located and the status of visas.

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.

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