Jones, Hawkins, & Associates, LLC
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Call For A Consultation: 334-625-1754

Montgomery Family Law Blog

Strong co-parenting can help children adjust to a divorce

When Alabama parents end their marriage, their children may wonder whether they can still go on loving both of them or whether they did something to cause the divorce. Each parent should make an effort to encourage the child's relationship with the other parent and should reassure their children that the situation is not their fault.

Children may also feel as though they have to choose between their parents. If parents can spend holidays together, this can help children adjust. Even if this is not possible, parents should get used to being at some events at the same time since occasions such as their child's wedding and graduation will only be held once. Children should also feel like they can talk to one parent about frustrations with the other parent. Parents should treat this as they would a conflict the child is having with any other family member or friend instead of letting their own emotions affect their reactions.

Tips to help co-parents raise children after a divorce

Staying unified after a divorce is just one of the challenges that co-parents in Alabama face after going through a divorce and trying to raise children. However, when parents are able to remain consistent as far as daily schedules, discipline methods and family rules are concerned, this will help the children to feel secure.

Another strategy that successful co-parents have used is to share important moments in the lives of the children with each other. When a co-parent can take a snapshot of the child's latest work of art or their report card and send it to the other parent, this can help them cope with the sadness that comes along with realizing that they will not spend as much time with their children after a divorce.

Spousal support does not have to threaten your financial security

When it comes to money, no one wants to come out on the other side of divorce in a worse position than they were before. Financial security influences almost every aspect of your life, from where you live to what groceries you can afford. Knowing this, you understandably want to do your very best to preserve your current financial position. However, you still need to factor spousal support into your future plans.

If your spouse stayed home during your marriage, or if you earned more, then you should expect to pay spousal support. Spousal support -- also called alimony -- is not a single, flat rate for everyone in the state of Alabama. Asking friends or loved ones about what their monthly support payments look like will not give you an accurate picture. Instead, a number of personal factors will help determine your monthly support payments.

How food stamps affect child support

Many single parents in Alabama apply for government assistance in the form of food stamps. When a mother fills out a food stamp application, she can choose to include her child as a recipient. If she does, the state will automatically open up a child support case if the mother is not already receiving child support payments.

Government agencies can only request child support payments from the absent parent if the identity of that parent is known. Typically, the identity of the absent parent is found by looking at the child's birth certificate. There will be an opportunity for a presumed father to contest paternity before a child support order is issued.

Divorce more common after winter holidays

Alabama divorce lawyers and other experts say that the turn of the year is an increasingly popular time to seek a divorce. There are a number of factors that contribute to this surge in divorce filings, but many of them are related to the surrounding holiday season. Lawyers and even Google searches bear out the claim that divorce is more common in January. In fact, even as overall divorce rates drop, an annual spike in January continues to point to the month's reputation as "Divorce Month."

For many parents, the winter holidays can be an important season. They may want their kids to enjoy one last holiday season without associating it with their parents' separation. They know that in the future their children will need to go back and forth on holidays from one home to another and want to give them one more holiday together, especially if they are concerned about how the decision will affect their children emotionally. Other people may be affected by a negative holiday season. They may find that the constant interactions with family and busy schedules that are part of the winter season lead to escalated disputes or serious conflicts, highlighting their reasons to end their marriage.

Why prenuptial agreements are worth discussing

While weddings are largely seen as romantic events, it is also important to understand the financial side of marriage. Ideally, those getting married in Alabama or any other state will discuss financial and other important matters before the wedding takes place. With a prenuptial agreement, a married couple gains more control over how their assets and liabilities are divided in the event that the marriage doesn't work out. Absent a prenuptial agreement, a judge could decide how assets and liabilities are divided.

Couples are encouraged to draw up the prenuptial agreement as far in advance as possible. In some cases, it may be a good idea to discuss the framework for such an arrangement before getting engaged. At a minimum, discussing the possibility of such an agreement allows each person to discuss how they will approach financial issues while married.

Unique problems women face during divorce

Men and women in Alabama face challenges when going through a divorce. However, the challenges that women face during the divorce process can be different than those faced by men. This may be due in part to differences in the median income level between women and men. Women in the United States make, on average, 81% of what men make. However, in a divorce, women are awarded custody nearly 90% of the time in the United States.

Understandably, money is the primary concern that women have during a divorce. It is even more worrying to them than issues involving their children. Post-divorce declining income can be difficult for women. Research shows that for many women who work prior to, during and even after divorce, their income can decline by 20%. Conversely, this same study showed that men experience a 30% increase in income after divorce.

Should electronic tablets be part of your custody agreeement?

Parenting is no easy task, to be sure. While your family journey may include joyful times and lots of cherished memories, it can also be challenging to raise children in a modern world. Add divorce to the equation, and you might really have your work cut out to protect your kids' best interests and provide for their needs.

If you're a non-custodial parent, you might worry that the bond you share with your children might not be as strong as it once was when you all lived under the same roof. The good news is that many Alabama parents have found creative ways to keep in close contact with their children after divorce. Such ideas might be helpful in your own situation as well.

Making co-parenting work with a difficult former spouse

Co-parenting arrangements have become increasingly popular in Alabama and around the country in recent years because research shows that children are less likely to be traumatized by divorce when both of their parents spend time with them. Children feel safer and more secure when their parents communicate well and work together, but making co-parenting work can be extremely challenging when one of the parents is narcissistic, selfish or still bitter about what transpired during a divorce.

Dealing with a toxic former spouse is rarely easy, but it is necessary when the welfare of children is at stake. Lingering issues often come to a boil during custody exchanges, but discipline, a little planning and remaining focused on what is important is usually enough to avoid conflict. Parents should go into custody exchanges prepared for provocation as allowing themselves to be drawn into an argument sets a poor example for their children.

Tips for effectively caring for an infant

Regardless of how old a child is, both parents generally get to play a role in his or her life. However, when the child is still an infant, there can be a variety of actors that come into play as it relates to creating a visitation schedule. For example, if a mother is still breastfeeding, it may not be possible for a father to have regular overnight visitation. Of course, the parents could agree to use formula in lieu of a mother's milk.

People could also determine that an overnight visitation with the noncustodial parents is ideal for enabling custodial parents to catch up on their sleep. The other parent benefits because it provides more time to bond with his or her child. It is worth noting that courts may not allow or require overnight visits until a son or daughter gets past the infant stage.

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