I pride myself in giving personal attention to my clients. Our firm represents individuals in the middle of a divorce or other family law crisis. In most cases, our clients will be faced with difficult issues that have a very real personal impact beyond the simple legal analysis. Most will be facing such issues and the law for the first time in their lives. Fear, confusion and uncertainly are rampant. We try to provide a safe haven and a place for sound advice handed out with patience, personal attention and compassion. If we can help you through the many issues involved in a divorce or family crisis, please do not hessitate to call on us. The first consultation is always free and you will speak with an actuall attorney for that consultaion and not merely a member of our staff.
- Family Law
- Domestic Violence
- Free Consultation
including free consultations by phone
- Credit Cards Accepted
Visa and Mastercard
- English: Spoken, Written
- The Oncale Firm
- Alabama State Bar
- Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
- Alabama State Bar
- Shane M. Oncale's Website Profile
- The Oncale Firm Website
- Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog
- What makes an Alabama divorce uncontested?
10 November 2015
- Affleck and Garner and prenuptial agreements
8 July 2015
- How debt in a divorce is split
6 July 2015
- Increase in shared parenting could be good for children
24 June 2015
- $4.5 billion divorce settlement reduced
17 June 2015
- How people are using smartphones to do divorce detective work
9 June 2015
- Can I get spousal support from my soon-to-be ex?
3 June 2015
- What steps are involved in adopting a child?
27 May 2015
- Study: Divorce may lead to psychosomatic symptoms in teens
19 May 2015
- Q. If I agreed to assume all transportation costs for visitation, can I amend this to have my ex share costs with me?
- A: You can go back to court and seek an amendment of the current order anytime there is a material change in circumstances. The problem you are going to have is proving that something material has occurred that no longer makes it feasible for you to pay transportation costs. Short of a job loss or an extreme change in either her income or yours you are going to have a real hard time meeting this burden. If there are a number of things you want to change that are supported by a material change you may wish to hire an attorney and file a petition with a list of everything you would like changed and perhaps a deal can be worked out. I would consult an Alabama attorney with the more specific facts related to your case to get a better reasoned opinion rather than a generality.
- Q. My ex-husband has not paid child support in five months it is only court ordered not through DHR
- A: If he is ordered by a court to pay child support and is not doing so then you can take him back to court seeking that he be forced to show cause why he has not been paying and held in contempt accordingly. I assume from what you are saying he also has court ordered visitation. If so, it does not sound like that is going well either. Your option again is to take him back to court to adjust visitation so as to protect your children. There are some very good judges in St. Clair County. You need to get an attorney on board to help you navigate the system.
- Q. If my wife is seeking divorce and she opened up a bank account to withhold all her paychecks and is still using my money
- A: If divorce has not been filed and/or no order has been entered there is no prohibition as to what either of you do with your money. Obviously if she is no longer depositing money into the joint account you should likewise cease to deposit money and instead seek some sort of resolution on how marital bills will be paid. If divorce has been filed, particularly in Madison County, there is a standing Order that goes into effect and you should immediately seek representation. If you intend to continue to live together without any contribution toward expenses you may need to file yourself to remedy the situation.
- Q. I am a mother of a 9 yr old little girl. Her father divorced me 3 years ago. I keep being g told my case will be resched
- A: In order to provide you any advice I would have to know more about what is actually going on, the jurisdiction and some other factors. While delays are certainly the norm if the extent, nature and reason for the delays is something that concern you I suggest you sit down and talk to your attorney about it. If your questions and concerns go unanswered or if you are otherwise unsatisfied with the services being provided I would suggest you seek out other counsel. However, don't assume things or jump to conclusions,. Ask, inquire, discuss. Communication is s 2 way street.
- Q. dad died. Had will with children equal beneficiaries. Recently married. No mention her in will. How is property divided?
- A: This question is more proper under the heading "Estate" or "Wills and Estates" than it is under Family Law but regardless the answer to your question is not as simple as you make it out to be. You will have to sit down with an attorney to make several determinations. Under Alabama law a spouse who is left out of a will may still claim the homestead exemption, exempt property and family allowance. In addition a spouse in such a situation has 6 months from the death or 6 months from the probating of the will to seek an elective share with is where the 1/3 figure you mentioned comes into play. If the amounts involved are at all significant you and your siblings should seek legal advice although as stated above the ball lies in her court to file for the elective share and if the will has been submitted to probate the clock is running. If she files for the elective share the court will set a hearing to determine the amount to which she is entitled.
- Q. I am confused on my updated custody modification paper work
- A: Many courts have standard provisions they put in all Orders. The Exhibit A is an example of that sort of document. The court retains jurisdiction over your case for 30 days allowing you to file a motion to alter amend or vacate the order. Since the provision in question contradicts the actual Order you would probably be best served. by filing a motion to alter or amend the Order to strike or clarify that portion of the Order.
- Q. what happens in AL when the judge orders full custody. Do I get my child right away?
- A: It is very uncommon for a judge to make a custody ruling directly from the bench following a trial and it is in fact not a good idea to do so. When something as important as the custody of a child is at stake emotions are very high and there have been numerous occasions when violence and even murder has followed an adverse ruling from the bench. For that reason most judges will delay entering a ruling even if they know when they leave the bench what the ruling will be. I would not count on walking out of the courtroom with your child unless the child was already in your custody.
- Q. What happens if my ex boyfriend lies in court so he can take child away from me?
- A: Unfortunately many people come to court and lie. Fortunately, there are numerous features in the system that help to both expose a liar and to limit those things they can lie about. The most important feature is cross examination. If you are going into a contested proceeding you need a lawyer. It is that simple. A skilled lawyer will know how to question a liar and expose him and his story for what they are. Furthermore, there are the Alabama Rules of Evidence, particularly regarding hearsay. While household or street corner arguments may be resolved by "well, X told me X" that is not the way it works in court. Your "ex" as you say will not be allowed to testify as to what the child or anyone else for that matter told him unless he can fashion the statement until an exception to the hearsay rule. Again, you need a skilled lawyer to object and expose the statement for what it is, inadmissible hearsay. Your best bet, if you cannot afford a lawyer, is to remain calm and do not let the idea of what your "ex" may be running his mouth get you worked up. A lot of people who run their mouth on the sidewalk outside the courthouse quickly lose their voice when in the courtroom or are promptly silenced.
- Q. Is my husband responsible for his ex-wife's lawyer fees if they go to court?
- A: Any award of attorney fees is discretionary with the court. Unfortunately I have found this to be true even when the Agreement executed by the parties and converted to an Order by the judge has a fee provision that should not be discretionary. It creates an issue for appeal but few have the money to file an appeal. I would say that if the reason for returning to court is because your husband has violated the agreement in some way there is a chance that he could be taxed with costs including attorney fees. If he has not violated the agreement and it is just time for a change then it is unlikely that costs or attorneys fees will be taxed and he is just as likely able to ask for and obtain an award with such fees.