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Alabama Family Law Blog

Want a healthy co-parenting relationship? Try these strategies

The days of mothers taking primary custody while dads get a weekend of visitation here or there are largely over. Outside of certain extenuating circumstances, experts now agree that it is healthy for children to regularly see both of their parents after divorce. Parents usually accomplish this through joint custody, giving each parent roughly equal amounts of parenting time. It also requires a consistent dedication to co-parenting.

It is never too early or too late to try out new co-parenting strategies. This is true whether you are still in the divorce process, are just adjusting to life after divorce or have been sharing custody for years. Consider some of the following strategies for effective co-parenting.

Father awarded equal time for child custody

Many fathers often feel as though they don't get enough consideration with child custody cases. Mothers are still often favored when courts divide parenting time. Things are changing, however, as society begins to recognize that many fathers are loving, capable parents. This can be seen in a recent case where a dad was awarded shared custody of his two children. Though his case took considerable time, Alabama fathers can see that it is a sign that things may be changing for the better.

The man wanted equal parenting time for his son and daughter that he shared with his former fiancee. When their relationship ended, the two parents had difficulty compromising on a custody agreement. A court-appointed evaluator said that he was a fully capable and willing parent, but recommended he get 34% of the time with his son and 25% of the time with his daughter. According to the man, there was no explanation for this recommendation.

How divorce may affect a person's credit score

Even when getting a divorce is the right thing to do, it can still come with a great deal of stress. One thing that many divorcing people in Alabama worry over is how the process will affect their finances. Many don't realize the exact effect that a divorce can have on their credit. Fortunately, experts have advice on how to minimize those effects overall.

First, professionals recommend that a person getting a divorce obtain a copy of their credit report right away. All financial information has to be shared with the other spouse, and it will give a person a through picture of exactly what he or she has borrowed or paid back. Experts also say that if anything on the report is incorrect, it needs to be corrected as soon as possible. It is also a good idea for each spouse to continue to monitor his or her credit report once the divorce is finalized.

Where does Alabama rank in child support payments?

It cannot be overstated how important child support can be for kids. When two parents are not in a relationship, child support payments are there to make sure the needs of children are met. However, there are many questions regarding how child support is calculated. A recent study showed that payments vary across the nation and that many factors influence how much child support a parent will have to pay. The averages in Alabama may be both surprising and informative to families here.

The study was conducted by an app that helps parents manage shared custody of children. The researchers looked at the levels of child support payments in each state, based on a fictional family. The sample family had two children, aged 7 and 10. The fictional mother makes $45,000 and retains 65% of custody time, while the fictional father makes $55,000. The researchers found that Alabama ranked right in the middle of the list of highest child support payments, at spot number 24 with $758 a month.

Will a job loss affect spousal support?

Divorce can be a troublesome time in a person's life. Add in the loss of a job, and it can completely turn someone's world upside down. This is the reality for many people in Alabama and all over the country. Fortunately, experts have advice for anyone who is facing a job loss, for any reason, and how it might affect a person's divorce agreement, specifically how it can affect spousal support.

First, courts will examine the reason for the job loss. If it is the result of something the spouse cannot control, such as company-wide layoffs, the court will tend to be more understanding. A judge may decide to appropriately modify any existing or forthcoming spousal support agreement to reflect the spouse's new income level, or lack thereof. This also assumes that the spouse who lost the job is doing his or her part to seek new employment. If the spouse lost the job because of something he or she did, the court may not be so lenient.

Are post-divorce issues impeding your parent/child relationships?

Making the decision to file for divorce is definitely one of the most significant issues you can face in life. You might be among many Alabama spouses who tried several options to restore your relationship with your spouse but ultimately decided that severing ties altogether was what you needed to do. As a parent, you assumed you and your children might encounter some challenges as you adapted to a new lifestyle.

The emotional, financial and logistical stress divorce can spark is definitely not lost on most children. They feel it too. Children are typically quite adaptable, especially if they have parents standing by to offer lots of love and much needed support. There are certain legal issues and other situations that can complicate matters at times. That's why it's also important for you to have your own support network in place.

Divorce rate dropping thanks to millennials

For some time now, conventional wisdom has suggested that half of all marriages will end in divorce. Whether that statistic has ever been accurate or not, the reasons that couples in Alabama, and all over the country, get divorced vary widely. However, recent research has discovered that the divorce rate is dropping, thanks in large part to the generation of people commonly called "millennials." Since 1980, according to one study, the divorce rate has dropped by 24%. Experts have several theories on why this is happening.

Overall, researchers say that millennials are getting married later in life. Many say that they want to feel as financially secure as possible before settling down. In the United States, the average age when a woman will get married is now 27, and for men that number is 29. When millennials do meet that special someone, statistics are now showing that they are dating for much longer than previous generations. The average is almost five years.

If a wife earns more than her husband, will it lead to divorce?

Though societal standards are changing, there are still many families in Alabama and across the country where the husband is considered the breadwinner. As women continue to close the wage gap that exists between genders, many people, men included, are welcoming to the idea of women who out-earn their husbands. However, studies show that gender stereotypes still have a strong hold in what people think about pay rates between men and women. Some studies even suggest that when women earn more money than their husbands, those couples are more likely to get a divorce.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 38% of wives earn more money than their husbands. Though it seems to be a growing trend, another study claims that the risk of divorce is a third higher if a husband doesn't work full-time. Men are still viewed as the primary providers for their families, and, right or wrong, some men might feel emasculated if they do not earn as much as their wives. Studies seem to indicate that spouses who earn around the same amount of money are less likely to get divorced.

Three benefits of making a prenuptial agreement

When many people hear "prenuptial agreement," they think of celebrities with significant assets and divorce. It is true that many celebrities draw up prenuptial agreements. And these agreements also play a significant role in a divorce if a couple established one before marriage.

However, creating a prenuptial agreement does not always mean a marriage will end in divorce. There are various benefits that a prenuptial agreement can bring to a relationship.

How do new tax laws affect alimony payments?

Spouses who choose to divorce typically understand that it will not be a simple process. Several different financial factors require consideration. When one spouse is a high-earner, it can raise additional questions regarding child support, property division and alimony.

At the beginning of 2019, new tax laws went into effect that changed how alimony is taxed. Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, alimony is no longer tax-deductible for the person who pays it, and no longer counts as taxable income for the person who receives it. If you are planning to divorce this year, don't panic. Other ways to create your divorce agreement could help you from a taxation standpoint while still being fair to your ex-spouse.

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