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!
Having your divorce settle prior to trial can be a great thing. Settlements are possible at any point while a case is pending but sometimes one or both parties have an idea about what they think they are entitled to and refuse to budge. Getting a divorce ready to go to trial can be expensive. Attorneys generally try to find options to settle a case as it proceeds toward the trial date. However, when that doesn’t work a good alternative to going to trial can be mediation.
Mediation can be conducted by court order or by agreement of the parties. It is nonbinding (at least until a settlement is reached) and takes place outside of the courthouse, generally at the mediator’s office. A mediator is simply a lawyer skilled in handling divorce cases who attempts to help parties figure out a suitable way to settle their divorce. The process of conducting a mediation is non-confrontational and takes place in the relatively casual atmosphere of an office rather than a courtroom. The parties are usually in separate rooms during the entire process. If you are not able to settle your case everything that you have said to the mediator is confidential unless you specifically authorize the mediator to tell the other side.
Jim practices at Jeffries Family Law concentrating on divorce, post-divorce and Juvenile matters. He handles cases primarily in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Jim is also the publisher of the Alabama Family Law Blog, providing insight, commentary and updates to Alabama Family Law issues.
Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Alabama in 1988 and his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1993. He began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Mobile County District Attorney's office. Jim then practiced with Lyons, Pipes & Cook, where he was a member of the firm, until 2003. In 2003 he began practicing with Sherman & Jeffries, LLC, concentrating on family law and criminal defense matters, prior to opening his current firm in January of 2008.
Jim served as the President of the Family Law Section of the Alabama State Bar Association in 2008-2009 after serving on its Executive Committee for several years. He is also a charter member of the Family Law Association of Alabama (FAMLAA). Jim has been active in the Mobile Bar Association, serving previously as its Secretary as well as serving as the Chair of the Family Law Committee of the Mobile Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyer Program.
Jim currently is a member of the Alabama Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Child Support Guidelines and Enforcement as well as a statewide committee that has been tasked with reviewing and making recommendations for possible revisions to Alabama's version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). Jim was also recently appointed by the President of the Alabama State Bar Association to a serve on a committee whose purpose is to review and comment on Alabama legislation regarding joint custody for a proposal to the Alabama Legislature for possible changes in this legislation.
He continues to lecture to attorneys across the state regarding family law issues.
Adoption is the process of reassigning parental rights from the natural parents to another individual or couple
An Adoption is the statutory process of reassigning parental rights from the natural parents and assigning those rights to another individual or couple. A couple may decide to adopt an unrelated child; an individual may decide to adopt the child of his or her spouse; grandparents or other relatives may seek adoption – all of these situations provide more stability and greater legal responsibilities than guardianship does.
Adoption gives legal advantage, such as rights of inheritance, but it also gives greater emotional stability to the newly-created family unit.
Child support is based on the policy that both parents are individually obligated to financially support their children.
Child support is based on the policy that both parents are obliged to financially support their children, even when the children are not living with both parents. Child support refers to the financial support of children and not other forms of support, such as emotional support, physical care, or spiritual support.
When children live with both parents, courts rarely, if ever direct the parents how to provide financial support for their children. However, when the parents are not together, courts often order one parent to pay the other an amount set as financial support of the child. In such situations, one parent (the "obligee") receives child support, and the other parent (the "obligor") is ordered to pay child support. The amount of child support may be set on a case-by-case basis or by a formula estimating the amount thought that parents should pay to financially support their children.
The State of Alabama recognizes three forms of child custody: temporary custody, physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody involves the day-to-day care of a child and establishes where a child will live. A parent with physical custody has the right to have his/her child live with him/her.
If a child lives with both parents, each parent shares "joint physical custody" and each parent is said to be a "custodial parent". Thus, in joint physical custody, neither parent is said to be a "non-custodial parent." In joint physical custody, actual lodging and care of the child is shared according to a court-ordered custody schedule (also known as a "parenting plan" or "parenting schedule"). In many cases, the term "visitation" is no longer used in this context, but rather is reserved to sole custody orders. Terms of art such as "primary custodial parent" and "primary residence" have no legal meaning other than for determining tax status, and both parents are still said to be "custodial parents".
When a marriage ends, grounds for divorce must be proven in a court of law or agreed upon in a divorce settlement.
The Alabama Marriage Protection Act defines marriage in Alabama as "a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman, which, when the legal capacity and consent of both parties is present, establishes the relationship as husband and wife." Marriage in Alabama forms a contract where the parties have certain rights such as fellowship, companionship, cooperation and comfort.
When a marriage ends, grounds for divorce must be proven in a court of law or agreed upon in a divorce settlement agreement. In Alabama, grounds for divorce are set forth in the laws of the State. There are two "no-fault" grounds for divorce, "incompatibility of temperament" and "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage". The common fault based grounds are physical and incurable incapacitation, adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, crimes against nature, habitual drunkenness or addiction, insanity, pregnancy at the time of marriage without the husband's knowledge, violence and reasonable fear of violence, and separation without support.
Our Blog covers family law issues including alimony, child custody, divorce, domestic violence, grandparent visitation, and related legislation.
Author: Jim Jeffries managing partner at Jeffries Family Law in Mobile, Ala.
Jeffries Family Law provides Family Law legal representation, including Divorce Law, Adoption Law, Child Support and Child Custody Law and provides cousnsel pertaining to Prenuptial Agreements. The Family Law Center routinely works with clients in Mobile County Alabama and Baldwin County Alabama, including Mobile, Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope, Loxley, Robertsdale, Foley, Summerdale and Silverhill Alabama. Through Mr. Jeffreis network of Alabama, Mobile and Baldwin County Bar Association collegues he is able to provide his clients direct referrals for Alabama Criminal Law, Alabama Personal Injury and Alabama Business Law matters.
"No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers."