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.
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- 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. Can I get cs lowered if I have two other kids? Will they use my wife income towards cs for a child that’s not hers?
- A: Confusion seems to be endless on the issue of child support. Child support is based on the gross income of the mother and father. It doe not include the income of other parties such as the wife or husband, parents, brother, sister, live in boyfriend or girlfriend. Likewise, other parties cannot be held liable for your child support. Pursuant to Rule 32 guidelines your income can be reduced when calculating child support for additional children. Note it is the first child to get child support that gets the benefit or the off set and not necessarily the first born. This offset apples only if there is a court order of support and not for support you simply allege to pay or can even prove you pay without an order. Thee is no offset for prior children due to additional children you have after the fact. Your first obligation is to the children you had first that are already on child support.
- Q. What are my options? HELP
- A: It sounds like it is time to go back to court. The Order you are operating under was entered at a specific time when the circumstances of both the parties and the child were tremendously different. You can go back to court to modify child support, custody and visitation any time there is a substantial change in circumstances. The child's routine, what the child is used to, is of great importance. Suddenly ripping him from regular contact with you and switching to a more "standard" noncustodial visitation pattern is not in his best interest. You should file seeking to modify the GA Order.
- Q. What is your honest opinion on my Child Custody Case?!
- A: You have hired an attorney which means that attorney works for you. Why did you hire him if you do not trust the advice he has given you or the way he has provided that advice? No one is going to give you certainties or percentages that is not how this works. There are so many factors that go into a child custody determination and so much depends on the beliefs and trends with a particular judge as to what they view as important. Your attorney should be able to discuss the good and bad points of your case and the history of the judge in question. He should be able to lay out a strategy for how he intends to present evidence and argue on your behalf. He works for you and you can demand this kind of discussion. If your attorney is unwilling to have this discussion and treats you like a child rather than someone for whom he works and is accountable you probably have hired the wrong attorney. Demand a refund of your retainer and look elsewhere. No one should go into court with an attorney they do not trust is ready and able to advocate on their behalf or who is willing to have honest conversations with them.
- Q. If you have several kids by different mothers, does the amount of child support decrease for the most recent child?
- A: As with most questions the answer is not that simple. Child support in Alabama is based on the gross income of both parents, the cost of healthcare insurance and the cost of daycare subject to a cap based on where the child lives. If a parent is paying COURT ORDERED child support for another child then the amount of that child support is deducted from that parents gross income for the determination of the support obligation for future child support determinations. It is not based on age but upon who has the first court order. It only applies to court ordered child support and not arrearages. There is no reduction for the payment of arrearage on an existing order. It is more complex than it seems and DHR is not just going to give it to you so I would suggest you seek legal counsel before being assessed child support.
- Q. 4wk old's father lives w/parents & sis who threatened mother on social med. Does child have to visit father at home
- A: If there is no Order in place giving the father visitation rights then he has no such rights and you need not let him visit with the child at his place of residence or otherwise. You can set the terms and locations of any visitation. I assume that your are not married to the father. Either of you can file a petition with the court to establish paternity (no signing paper work at the hospital and listing someone as the father on the birth certificate does not establish paternity if just creates a presumption), child custody, child support and visitation. The standard schedule for children under 12 years of age followed by most Judges in Jefferson County would allow only for a small window of visitation with a child that young in your home and would not provide for visitation by the father outside of the home let alone in someplace where family members have been hostile or threatening to the mother. Depending on the threat made by the family members you may also wish to seek a Protection from Abuse Order with the court to keep them away from you and your child.
- Q. My deceased son's wife wants to give joint custody of my grandson to my daughter. What form is needed to do this?
- A: If the child lives in California all issues concerning custody of the child will have to be handled in California. You should seek legal advice in California. Custody of a child is serious business. It is not like the sale of a car. There is no "form" that can be filed to transfer custody of a child. The court must address the issue, usually with an attorney appointed to represent the best interests of the child, and often with a home investigation of the person who ultimately seeks custody. You are looking at a court proceeding and not merely the filing of a form.
- Q. After sharing my girls week to week can I still get primary joint and him receive every other weekend? They are under 2.
- A: These types of cases can be very difficult. Is there currently a custody and visitation order in place that gives him week on week off visitation? Was that an agreement or was it ordered by the court? How long have you been doing week on week off visitation? How do you exchange the children and when given the fact there is a significant distance between you? You take them to work with you...how are they cared for and by whom when he works? How long are long hours for his work and who is their caregiver during those hours? How much quality time does he spend with them during his time? The questions almost outweigh the answer. Some of the difficulties may come, unfortunately, from you trying to do the right thing not necessarily for the children but for the father and as they often say no good deed goes unpunished. It sounds like it is good and "fair" to him to have week on week off visitation but it might not be what it best for the children. Parents and even judges struggle with this concept. What is "fair" to the parents is not always in the best interests of the children. Also there is the notion that once a pattern is established it is emotionally harmful on the children for the pattern to change so by establishing this pattern...depending on how long it has been going on...you might have created a hole for yourself. I suggest you reach out with the full facts to speak to an attorney to represent you...Preferably one who is aware of and familiar with the judges in your jurisdiction. It is important that you do so soon because given the fact pattern as I read it your husband could file a case in Cullman County before you could get one filed in DeKalb County and you could find yourself trying to defend a case there.
- Q. Can my childs mother bring up something that happened 3 years ago before we were both granted joint custody of son?
- A: The short answer is no. Each time you go to court seeking a modification of an order you must prove a material change in circumstances. That material change has to have occurred since the last time you were in court. You can't just hold something in your pocket wait a couple of months and then go back to court again. Any evidence that dates back before the last time there was an Order entered in your case should be excluded.
- 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.