Common Concerns of Our Athens Clients in Family Law Proceedings
Every family law case comes with unique circumstances and concerns. We understand this and want to take steps to hear your questions and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
Our clients commonly worry about:
Unfair Property Distribution
Alabama provides for equitable distribution during a divorce. Per Alabama Code § 30-2-51 and § 30-2-52, the judge must distribute the marital assets fairly between you and your spouse. While this does not mean you will split everything 50/50, you should not receive all the debt while your spouse walks away with all the assets.
In some cases, clients have special requests related to property distribution. For example, wanting to keep the children in the family home often drives the desire to receive that asset. Family heirlooms or high-value collections are often on this list, as well. You could retain prized marital assets and maintain rights to your personal property with help from our team.
Spousal support, otherwise known as alimony, is often a highly-contested topic in Athens divorce cases. At Charlotte Christian Law, we know alimony can help one spouse get back on their feet following a separation and divorce. We request alimony when needed for our clients or can argue against it if no good reason exists to support this type of award.
Concerns About How Alabama Awards Child Custody and Visitation in Divorce
Charlotte Christian Law knows the factors Alabama family law judges use to determine custody, visitation, and child support. We know how this process works, the evidence considered, and other factors that could affect the outcome. In general, under Alabama Code § 30-3-150, Alabama law favors parenting plans that involve both parents, including joint decision-making, shared custody, and the presence of both parents in a child’s life.
As long as both parents demonstrate an ability to act in their children’s best interests and manage the responsibilities related to caring for their child, Alabama requires judges to consider allowing frequent and ongoing contact with both parties. If you have concerns about the other parent’s ability to provide a safe and loving environment for your children, one of our attorneys can explain your options.
When a parent puts the children in danger, the court could limit their visitation, require supervised visits, or award sole custody and no visitation. The judge will not do this without strong evidence to show the parent endangers the child’s emotional or physical health. Our attorneys know what this evidence looks like, where to find it, and other steps to evaluate the other party’s fitness to care for your children.
Getting a Necessary Divorce Modification in Athens and Limestone County
Alabama family law judges know that circumstances change, especially as time passes and children grow up. The law allows for divorce and child custody modifications for this reason. While many families never need to alter their original agreement or court order, others require several changes throughout the years. Nothing is wrong with either situation.
To change a previous agreement or court order, the court in Limestone County will require you to show:
– A significant change in the circumstances since the current order
– The effects that change has on the ability to follow the current order
– How another plan will better suit the best interests of those involved
The judge will likely approve your request without changes if you and your former spouse agree on the order. Our attorneys handle these petitions regularly and know what the courts look for to approve them. If you do not agree, we provide supporting evidence for the positive nature of the change and its necessity at this time, advocating on your behalf.
Alabama Family Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below, you will find some of the most commonly asked questions our family law attorneys serving Athens receive from clients and potential clients. This list is not comprehensive. Our team provides private, no-obligation consultations if you have additional questions or need answers based on your unique situation.
Does Alabama Make Me Use an Attorney for a Divorce?
You need a lawyer to file divorce complaints and modifications simply because the process and requirements are so complex that most people make terrible mistakes when they try to do it themselves. We recommend meeting with our team to learn more about the process. Your divorce may require solving far more complex legal issues than you realize.
Most people hire a lawyer when facing a contested divorce. We also recommend it when the couple has children or significant assets. A family law attorney from our team knows how this process works, the evidence necessary to support your argument, and the judge’s considerations when reviewing the case.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Alabama?
Under Ala. Code § 30-2-8.1, Alabama requires a 30-day cooling off or waiting period. This begins the date you file a divorce complaint and summons. This is a very short time, and spouses may not reach agreements on all the necessary factors.
The more contested aspects of the divorce, the longer agreements could take. Even when the partners agree on most factors, the process takes time. Obtaining all the necessary documents, such as bank statements, home appraisals, and debt balances often takes longer than you might have anticipated.
If the case needs to go to trial because the two parties cannot agree, it could take a year or longer to receive a final judgment and decree. The judge will likely enter temporary orders for custody and support.
How Can I Get Alimony?
Alabama awards spousal support in divorce cases under Alabama Code § 30-2-56 and § 30-2-57. These statutes outline the circumstances that make alimony possible. In general, most spouses who receive alimony get these payments only for a relatively short time. The courts award alimony to allow them to find a job, finish school, begin a new career, establish a new home, or take other similar actions related to the divorce.
How Does Alabama Determine Child Support?
Alabama uses strict calculations for tabulating child support payments. The court considers several factors, including:
– Each parent’s income
– The number of children
– The cost of childcare, insurance, and medical care costs
Other factors can also affect child support payments.
You may have unique concerns about child support or questions about modifying your current child support order. We can address these questions during your no-obligation case evaluation with our team.
Does Alabama Favor the Mother or Father in Custody Cases?
Alabama law does not consider the gender of the parents when determining custody, visitation, or other factors related to child-rearing. Instead, there is a list of factors the judge must weigh to determine the child’s best interests. This includes many factors related to the child’s previous activities, success in school, and the parents’ abilities to provide the necessary care.
Never assume that a mother or father will or will not get custody, decision-making, or visitation rights in an Athens custody case based on gender alone. Alabama law prefers joint decision-making and continued quality time with both parents.