Divorce Lawyer in Dothan, AL
Dissolving a marriage is one of the most monumental decisions anyone ever has to make. Divorce is a difficult and emotionally taxing process, and one that will result in an uncertain future. During a time like this, it is very important to work with an attorney you can trust to handle your divorce competently and look out for your best interests through each step in the process.
Smith & McGhee, PC, in Dothan, Alabama, has handled thousands of divorces. Our lawyers have more than two decades of combined legal experience, and we have in-depth knowledge of the complexities of the marriage dissolution process. If you are contemplating a divorce, if your spouse has told you he or she wants to end your marriage, or if you have any other divorce-related concerns, you can turn to our law firm with confidence.
We take great care in informing our clients about their rights and what they can expect. We can help you understand divorce law, how it can benefit you, and what steps need to be taken to help ensure a smooth process and a positive outcome. As Fort Rucker military divorce lawyers, we handle military divorce as well as civilian divorce.
Important Issues to Resolve During a Divorce
When you are dissolving a marriage, there are several issues that need to be settled. These may include:
- Property Division: You and your spouse will need to divide all of your marital property. In general, marital property means any property that was acquired during the marriage – with a few exceptions. Dividing the marital estate could be fairly simple if there are limited assets to split up, or it could get complicated if there are significant and/or complex assets. Either way, couples are encouraged to work together on a fair and equitable property division plan. If an agreement cannot be reached between the spouses, then the court will decide how the marital estate is divided.
- Alimony/Spousal Support: If one of the spouses earns most of the income and the other spouse is financially dependent on them, spousal support may be appropriate. There are several factors that are looked at in determining if this spousal support should be paid and if so, how much and for how long.
- Enforcement of Marital Agreements: If there is an existing marital agreement (prenuptial or postnuptial), then the terms and conditions of this agreement must be adhered to with regards to property division and alimony/spousal support. If there is a reason to challenge the fairness or validity of the agreement, then it may be possible to get it thrown out.
- Child Support: If you and your spouse have children, the kids will need to be supported financially. Alabama uses an “income shares” model that determines child support using a complicated formula that is based on the combined income of both parents. Although the state applies a preset formula, there are additional variables that the court can use to deviate from this formula.
- Child Custody/Visitation: In Alabama, the default presumption is that both parents should be actively involved in the lives of their children. As such, even when one parent receives sole physical custody, the other parent is usually given liberal visitation rights. As with other important issues, it is always best to try to work out a parenting plan with your spouse, rather than leaving it in the hands of the court.
- Divorce Tax Consequences: Getting a divorce will affect your taxes to one degree or another. At the very least, you will be filing under a different tax status after the marriage is dissolved. In addition, there is a strong likelihood that you will be in a different income bracket. With more complex marital estates, there may be additional tax consequences, such as capital gains taxes from selling a piece of real estate.
Our attorneys will guide you through the important issues that will arise during your divorce. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. Whenever possible, we will try to negotiate a reasonable settlement with your spouse’s attorney in a way that fully protects your interests while avoiding a costly court battle that cause long-term damage to delicate family relationships. That said, if your spouse is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to forcefully advocate for your rights and interests at trial.
We Handle Contested and Uncontested Divorce
Our law firm capably handles contested and uncontested divorce. In a contested divorce, you and the other party disagree on at least one issue. In an uncontested divorce, you and the other party are in agreement on all issues. If you do not have many assets and do not have children (or, even if you do have children), an uncontested divorce can be quite economical and efficient.
There are two general types of contested divorces, no-fault and fault-based. No-fault is the most popular type of divorce, because nothing needs to be proven and the only claim that needs to be made is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.
With a fault-based divorce, one spouse is alleging that the other spouse did something that makes it necessary to get divorced. Grounds for a fault-based divorce may include adultery, voluntary abandonment for at least one year, incarceration for at least two years, habitual drunkenness, domestic violence, and confinement within a mental institution. Our attorneys can help you decide which type of divorce you should pursue.
We Handle Complex Divorces
Our lawyers have the capacity to handle even the most complex divorces. We handle complicated marital property division on behalf of people with substantial marital estates. Whether through mediation, negotiation or litigation, we seek the best possible outcome on your behalf.
We Handle Post-Divorce Issues
In the years following a divorce, problems can arise regarding the divorce decree. Generally, these problems involve child custody and child support. Whether you are a mother or father, custodial parent or noncustodial parent, we can assist you in resolving your problem effectively. We handle child custody modification, child support modification, child custody enforcement and child support enforcement.
Speak with Our Experienced Dothan, AL Divorce Attorneys
If you are interested in learning about how our law firm can assist you in obtaining a favorable divorce settlement, call 334-702-1744 to schedule an appointment. At your first consultation, one of our skilled attorneys will obtain as much knowledge as possible about your assets, obligations, quality of the relationship and other factors. We also serve people who seek divorce in Florida. We then proceed accordingly, based on your goals and specific circumstances.