If you are searching for informative and helpful information regarding divorce and family law issues in Alabama, you've come to the right place. Mobile and Baldwin County attorney Jim Jeffries provides monthly posting and updates, including informative articles and helpful reviews on current divorce-related news events. Our firm has more than two decades experience in our practice areas and is dedicated to providing excellent service and skilled representation for each of our clients. We also seek to further the education of each of our clients regarding divorce matters, so check back regularly for more information on Alabama Family Law!
A court order barring a woman from contacting another woman by “electronic or any other means” prohibited the subject from tagging the protected woman in a Facebook post, a New York judge has ruled.
Denying a motion to dismiss a criminal contempt case against Maria Gonzalez, acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci said the conduct, if proven, would violate the protective order, the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) reports.
A lawyer for Gonzalez argued that the court order didn’t specifically ban making contact via Facebook.
ASSOCIATE DEAN NOAH FUNDERBURG has been named chair of a Standing Family Law Legislative Committee. The committee is comprised of judges, lawyers, and legislators from Alabama, along with staff from the Alabama Law Institute, and will draft and recommend legislation affecting families to the Alabama Legislature. Legislative areas covered will include adoption, juvenile law, paternity, divorce, child custody, child support and related issues, and may include probate court matters such as guardianships and conservatorships.
The parties may in certain limited circumstances wish to live separate and apart but not want an absolute divorce. This may be desirable for example, if health insurance must be continued and would be unavailable otherwise or perhaps due to religious or other personal considerations. A legal separation is an available remedy in these cases. It requires the same procedure, will cost about the same as an absolute divorce, and results in a decree signed by the Judge. Before deciding on the use of this remedy, you will need to thoroughly discuss all its aspects with a Family Law Attorney.
In certain specified situations grandparents have the right to establish court ordered visitation with their grandchildren subject to the best interest considerations of the children and applicable presumptions. Circumstances may also dictate that grandparents sometimes seek actual custody of their grandchildren. We are happy to consult with you on these matters; and if appropriate, guide you through the process of negotiations or trial as may be necessary.
If either you or your spouse may be thinking about a divorce, the first thing you should do is consult with an attorney who handles divorce matters in your area. Too often I meet with people who have talked to friends or family and been given totally wrong information about one or more issues they will face in the event of a divorce. These sources are great to get advice from in many instances but a possible divorce is not one of them. Friends and family are very important for both emotional and possibly financial support but don’t rely on them for divorce advice.
One of the things I enjoy most about my practice is meeting new people and finding out about how I can help them deal with their particular circumstances. Every person’s situation is unique. A divorce lawyer can advise you regarding your specific circumstances and tell you what you should be doing as well as things you should not be doing to put yourself in the best possible position to either get the best settlement or prepare yourself for a potential trial. This is even more important for people who may not be familiar with the particular facts surrounding their finances or how much income they have. There might be things like specific expenses for children or other reasons to cause you to want to go ahead and file, wait to file or not file at all. If you think you might have to deal with a divorce, go see a lawyer and find out what issues are going to be important in your situation as soon as you can. Without a doubt dealing with a potential divorce is stressful enough. Don’t compound your anxiety by not getting real answers to your questions from a lawyer who knows how to answer them.
Compulsive shopping is a serious affliction that has an effect upon thousands and can lead to serious problems including divorce. Someone recently brought an article to my attention on this subject that can be found at a NBC affiliates’ website. The article states the following interesting facts:
“According to a study in 2006, approximately six percent of the population of the U.S. can be classified as “compulsive” shoppers.
According to research, compulsive shoppers average around $9,000 worth of credit card debt.
According to psychologist Dr. April Benson, who specializes in treatment of compulsive shoppers, many people who spend a great deal of time shopping and making compulsive purchases typically feel “really hollow inside.”
Benson says that compulsive buyers will generally attempt to fill the “hollowness” with material things, which can result in severe consequences.
According to studies, women are not the only ones who can become impulsive shoppers, men are just as likely to succumb to uncontrolled spending.”
I recently helped a client in a divorce in Mobile, Alabama where the husband has incurred an incredible about of debt going gambling at the casino boats. That situation is very similar to what they are describing in this article – compulsive, addictive behavior that escalates over time to the point that it interferes with one’s relationship with their spouse and eventually ends in divorce. In either case, it is a sad conclusion for a behavior that may have started out innocently enough.
I recently came across an article in the internet by Samantha Change, the Executive Editor of theimproper.com. The article discussed the financial hardship that women in particular have as a result of divorce. One of the things that Samantha emphasizes is the importance of women being involved with and informed about the financial affairs of the family. In representing women in Mobile and Baldwin County Alabama where I practice, I too have noticed that often the wives do not know a lot about the financial situation of the family. This is not always the case. But, I do see it quite a bit in my divorce practice.
The main thrust of Samantha’s article is for women to be involved and educated about the money and financial issues in the marriage. Some of the other points she makes are summarized below. Here is a link to the entire article.
According to recent statistics, U.S. divorce rates have decreased in recent years after a peak in the 1970s, but still remain fairly high. In addition to being an emotional breakup, divorce can bring about serious financial issues that can have long-term consequences on the economic stability of a woman.
According to recent studies, a woman’s standard of living decreases at least 30 percent after divorce, which means getting a grip on finances both during and after divorce is crucial for surviving intact.
Don’t Bury Your Head in the Sand
All women-especially divorcées-need to overcome their aversion to money issues, educate themselves and set financial goals. Part of the reason why divorce hits women so hard financially is due to most of them being reliant on their husbands to take care of household financials while married and then becoming shell-shocked having to manage their own situation on their own.
Self-sufficiency is crucial, and these tips can help.
Study Your Finances
According to investment advisor Lisa Fox, women often have no idea what they have financially. She says that during an after a divorce, they should be aware of all investments and read each financial statement, investigating anything they are unsure of. Fox also suggests keeping track of finances by copying all important documents.
Knowing what you have puts you in a better position for negotiation during divorce.
Create a Budget
Draw up a post-divorce budget while in negotiations in order to provide yourself with a snapshot of the type of settlement you’ll need, keeping in mind that downsizing may be required for your lifestyle after divorce.
Money: Not Just a Man’s Issue
Because women tend to live longer, earn less money during their lifetimes, and not be prone to investing, they have different financial needs than men. This makes getting a handle on financial issues is important, and should be done so sooner than later.
Divorce is never easy, but through common sense and financial responsibility, making the transition can be made easier.
According to a report from the Pentagon, the rate of divorce among members of the armed forces held steady in 2007, at 3.3 percent. Considering that marriages can be under considerable stress due to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this can be somewhat surprising.
Some veterans have questioned if the figures are accurate, but defense officials have cited recent efforts to support couples enduring long separations and hardships due to the wars.
According to the Associated Press, the divorce rate represents over 25,000 failed marriages among approximately 755,000 active duty troops throughout all branches of the military who are married from a period between October 1, 2006 and October 1, 2007.
According to the Defense Department’s data, the Army, which is the branch with the largest number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, had a 3.2 percent rate of divorce, which is unchanged from the previous year. That percentage represents 8,748 divorcees among approximately 275,000 married troops.
Army couples had to deal with extended separations due to tours of duty lasting 15 months instead of 12 months. Longer deployments and multiple tours have taken the blame for stresses on military couples.
The biggest exception to the data is the divorce rate among female troops. Over the past several years, women in the military have had twice as many marriages fail as men. The data did not provide firm numbers, but it appears that in 2007, eight percent of women in the service have divorced and 2.6 percent of men have divorced.
There is no system that can compare this rate to the rate among civilians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the general population’s divorce rate was 3.6 per 1,000 people in 2005, which was the most recent statistics available and the lowest rate since 1970.
According to Todd Bowers of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, there is a crushing effect on military marriages from the war, producing a rising number of breakups. However, he says, these are not being tracked because they are among people who are no longer in the service.
If you are facing divorce this, you need to take care to protect your credit.
Most people don’t know that court decrees assigning payment responsibilities for joint loans are not honored by lenders. This incorrect assumption of being off the hook for financial obligations can result in payments being missed and your credit score being tarnished for years. However, you can limit your exposure to this type of risk this if your credit is safeguarded before filing for divorce.
If you and your spouse have joint accounts, you should do your best to change them to individual accounts so that splitting up your financial responsibilities will be easier. This may or may not require your spouse’s cooperation. It will depend on how the debt is titled and on the requirements of the creditor. However, these steps can save years of credit woes in the future.
You should begin this process with your credit card accounts. Payments on credit card debt are the most often missed, as opposed to home and vehicle loans. Those loans are the second thing you should work on.
However, refinancing your mortgage and car loans will be more difficult, as banks or mortgage companies will likely require additional transaction costs to refinance the loan. Selling the car or house and splitting the money could be an easier method, which would guarantee a vengeful ex-spouse wouldn’t damage your credit.
Opting out of receiving pre-screened offers for credit or insurance is also advisable, as a former spouse could be tempted to apply for a loan in your name in order to ruin your credit.
Of course, this information is not specific legal advice for your own situation. Rather, it is general information. Before taking any action, you should discuss these issues with your lawyer.