Divorce Representation

Divorce is difficult enough, making a decision about hiring an Alabama divorce attorney should not add to this stress. Whether you are weighing the options of getting a divorce, you have made the decision to get a divorce, or you have been served with a complaint for divorce from your spouse, it is important to talk to a family law attorney to get the information you need to make decisions that will affect you and your family.

  • Uncontested divorce

    When you and your spouse agree about property division, custody, visitation, and other issues, an uncontested divorce can cost less in time and money.

  • Property division

    In Alabama, the standard is an equitable division of property. “Equitable” does not always mean equal, but it does mean fair.

    • What is fair? That is based on a combination of circumstances unique to each marriage and case.

    • Assets and debts must be divided

    • All assets need to be accounted for and included – the family home, other real estate, cars, jewelry, art, stock portfolios, retirement accounts, anything of value.

    • Some considerations may include:

      • What was the source of the property? Was property inherited by one spouse? Was the property a gift from one spouse’s family?

      • What contributions did each spouse make to the marriage?

      • Is there a family-owned business?

    • Discovery is an important aspect of property division. All property must be listed and valued. In the case of a family-owned business, a business valuation is necessary. It is impractical to liquidate all assets, so it is important to have an attorney who understands financial issues and how to fairly represent your interests in negotiations.

      • High-asset divorce: When a family business and substantial assets are involved, you need a lawyer with experience in high-asset property division and laws affecting the same.

      • The use of experts including CPAs, forensic accountants, business valuation experts, financial advisors and others can be helpful

  • Alimony

    The court will consider a number of factors when determining spousal maintenance, including, but not limited to:

      • Earning abilities of the parties and their future prospects

      • Their age, sex, health and station in life

      • The duration of the marriage

      • The conduct of the parties with particular reference to the cause of the divorce

    • Unlike child support, there are no standard formulas, no established calculations, for alimony.

    • Spousal support is based on one spouse’s needs versus the other spouse’s ability to pay.

    • Alimony can be modified later upon changes in circumstances including the payer's ability to pay, death of one of the parties, remarriage of the payee, and/or the payee cohabitating with a member of the opposite sex

  • Legal separation

    A legal separation is an alternative to divorce which does not terminate the parties’ marital status.

    • Separation agreements are not often used, but are preferred under a certain set of circumstances.

    • If one spouse does not have separate health insurance or does not qualify for Medicare, a separation agreement may be used to keep insurance.

    • Tax considerations or other financial considerations may be a reason for a separation rather than divorce.

    • In some cases, religious reasons may be involved in the decision.

    • A legal separation still means property has to be divided and custody/visitation and support has to established

    • Couples may negotiate the terms for a legal separation agreement which may be used later if a divorce is ultimately sought by either party.

    • After the court approves a separation agreement, the parties are still married and cannot marry anyone else. The terms of a legal separation agreement may be dissolved by the court at a later time, should the parties choose to reconcile.

  • Mediation

    Mediation can give both parties an opportunity to openly discuss issues with complete confidentiality from the mediator.

    • Mediation is often court-ordered but parties frequently submit to mediation voluntarily as a way to resolve issues and save money

    • Mediation is confidential – the mediator cannot testify about what was said or offered in mediation and neither can the parties or the attorneys

    • A mediator is a neutral who helps facilitate settlement but does not make decisions.

  • Appeals

    After your divorce or other court order is final, what recourse do you have if there is a mistake or something that you believe needs to be changed in the order? Post-divorce appeals in Alabama must be filed within 42 days of the final divorce decree (unless you have sought other post-judgment relief with the trial court, which stays the 42-day time period).

    • Our law firm handles appeals for our clients and for clients of other attorneys who may not do appellate practice.

    • You must act quickly to file an appeal. Once the time has passed to file a notice of appeal, there is no right to appeal.

    • The divorce decree is an important document that preserves all the decisions approved by the court. If changes are needed, consult an appellate lawyer who will act quickly.

  • Divorce Modification

    Often times after a divorce has been finalized, certain portions of a settlement agreement or judgment of divorce need to be modified due to changes in circumstances. Incomes may increase or decrease. One of the former spouses may lose a job. A child may need additional care because of health issues. A parent or home environment may become unfit. Life happens – and court orders may need to be modified to meet the changes life brings.

    • In Alabama, modification of a divorce decree requires that there be a “change in circumstances” since the last order in the case.

    • Property settlements are not modifiable by the Court more than thirty (30) days after the entry of a Judgment of Divorce

    • Child support, custody, visitation, and alimony are always modifiable

    • It is not sufficient for two former spouses to simply agree to a change in support, custody, visitation, or any other aspect of the court order. The agreement must be reduced to writing and filed with the Court so that the Court can recognize the modification and enforce the same later if necessary.

phone 334-821-7799

Call us today for a confidential consultation with a legal professional.

Our attorneys practice law in Auburn Alabama and the following surrounding areas:

  • Opelika
  • Loachapoka
  • Notasulga
  • Beauregard
  • Smith's Station
  • Waverly

Get a free case evaluation today!*

*Divorce and child custody consultations are $300 which will be applied to your retainer if you choose to hire our firm.

McCollum and Wilson, P.C. | 363-A E. Glenn Ave Auburn, AL | Phone: 334-821-7799 | Fax: 334-821-7732 | Email: info@mcwlegal.com