Experienced and Compassionate Dothan Divorce Attorneys
The decision to get a divorce is never an easy one. When the reality sinks in that your marriage is coming to an end, there is great anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Several questions may be going around in your mind, such as where you are going to live, what is going to happen to your kids, and how will you survive. With so many changes happening and so many issues that need to be resolved, you need a seasoned Alabama divorce lawyer in your corner who can advocate for your interests and help guide you through this difficult time.
Why choose Adam Jones for your divorce?
At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we understand that divorce is a traumatic experience, and we are here to provide the skilled and personalized representation you need to get you through this process and help you move forward with your life. Our attorneys have extensive experience with all types of divorce and family law matters, and we have in-depth knowledge of the important issues that need to be addressed. We know that there is no “one-size fits all” solution for all divorcing spouses. We take the time to listen carefully and understand your unique needs and concerns so that we can develop an individualized solution that fully addresses your needs and protects your interests.
We help clients with all issues related to divorce. This includes but is not limited to:
- Alimony/Spousal Maintenance
- Child Support
- Child Custody
- Visitation and Parenting Time
- Division of Property
- Payment for Medical Expenses
- College Expenses
- Post-Decree Modifications
- Post-Decree Enforcement
- Parent and Child Relocation
- Complex Divorces with High Net Worth Couples
There are numerous factors that the court must take into consideration when determining if spousal support is appropriate. Unlike child support, there is no set formula or calculation that the court uses to decide whether or not to award alimony. Essentially, it comes down to striking the right balance between the receiving spouse’s needs and the payor spouse’s ability to make payments.
Some of the factors the court considers when deciding on spousal maintenance awards include:
- The difference in income between the two spouses;
- The length of time the spouses were married;
- The established standard of living while the couple was married;
- The age and health of each spouse;
- Career sacrifices made by one spouse (e.g., staying home to raise the kids);
- The future earning potential of each spouse;
- The time needed for the receiving spouse to be retrained to enter the workforce;
- Any enforceable pre-and-post nuptial agreements between the spouses.
Alimony may be awarded in the form of a lump sum or periodic payments made over a specified length of time. Some payments may be temporary until the end of the divorce proceedings or until the receiving spouse has acquired the education and skills to go back to work. In other cases, payments may be awarded until the death, remarriage, or cohabitation of the receiving spouse. This is most common in marriages that lasted for a long time.
Child Custody and Support
Divorces involving children tend to be considerably more complicated. Deciding who gets custody of the children is often one of the most emotionally charged issues in any divorce proceeding. In the past, custody was most often awarded to the mother by default. These days, that is not necessarily the case. Co-parenting plans are becoming more common, and many times, couples need to develop more creative arrangements to accommodate their busy schedules.
When it comes to child support, both parents are expected to contribute financially to the upbringing of the child based on the “income shares” model. Factors the court considers in calculating child support include:
- The gross income of both parents;
- The needs of the child;
- Any extraordinary medical expenses the child has (this often comes into play with special needs children);
- Child care expenses;
- Shared physical custody arrangements;
- Excessive transportation expenses for visitation incurred by the payor spouse;
- College expenses; and
- Other factors the court deems relevant.
Post-Decree Modifications and Enforcement
After a divorce is finalized, circumstances sometimes arise that require a modification of the original decree. For example, if the payor spouse experiences a job loss or develops a severe health condition, this may significantly reduce his/her earning capacity. In such cases, the court may approve a reduction in child support and/or spousal maintenance payments. Other potential issues that may warrant a modification include hidden assets discovered after the divorce was finalized, or a parent relocating with a child outside of Alabama.
Another issue that often arises post-divorce is an ex-spouse who is uncooperative and not willing to honor his/her obligations under the final divorce agreement. This can happen with payor spouses who fall behind on child support and/or alimony payments for no valid reason. If there are no other ways to compel them to catch up on their payments, you may have no choice but to go back to court to enforce the terms and conditions of the original decree.
Divorces involving at least one former or current member of the military work a little differently than civilian divorces. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), military divorce proceedings are generally governed by the laws of the state in which it is filed. In Alabama, one spouse must reside in the state for at least six months to file for divorce. Under the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, active duty military may seek to delay the divorce proceedings for an initial period of 90 days. This period can be extended if necessary.
The USFSPA governs the use of military retirement benefits for spousal maintenance, child support, and property division. For a spouse to receive a portion of the military retirement pay in a divorce, the couple must have been married for at least 10 years, and those 10 years must have overlapped with the military member’s time on active duty.
The laws and regulations around military divorces are quite complex. Our attorneys understand these laws and regulations and how they are typically applied in Alabama divorces. This gives our clients peace of mind knowing that their needs and concerns are fully addressed.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Alabama Divorce Lawyer
The divorce process can be emotionally draining, and it can be tempting to give up and settle for less than what you deserve. At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we are skilled litigators, strong negotiators, and good listeners. We stand by your side during these difficult days, listening to your concerns and working hard to develop the most practical and effective path toward a favorable resolution.
If you are facing a divorce in Alabama, contact our office today at 334-699-5599 for a personalized consultation.
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