What Does It Mean that Alabama’s Parenting Statutes Rate a “D”?

This one’s obviously designed to garner headlines, and it seems to be working. The ambitiously named National Parents Organization has issued “report cards” for the parenting statutes of each state, finding nearly half those statutes – including Alabama’s – deserve a “D.” Here’s one of the articles about it. (more)

Spending Down Retirement During Separation

Now it seems every Alabama family lawyer will be advising his or her client to spend down that retirement account on family expenses during separation. (more)

Play It Safe – Set Aside the Default

The lesson for trial judges in divorce is clear: when in doubt, set aside a default judgement if the defendant appears within a reasonable time, regardless of the 30 day deadline. (more)

“But I’m Planning To Make Less Later!”

I can’t tell you Dad wasn’t sincere. I can’t even tell you that he wasn’t guessing the future accurately. What I can tell you is that he’s in extremely good company. (more)

Key Status Data

The information is listed below for each case, in order of the case’s confidential Client ID. (more)

How We Boomers Are Changing Divorce in America

The US has the highest divorce rate in the world – with about 43% of marriages ending in divorce. Now we have new information about the rate at which aging baby boomers divorce. (more)

“Profiting From Divorce”

There’s an interesting article in the NY Times this morning about the apparently shameful business of investing in people’s divorces. Hard for me to get too worked up about it. (more)

A Breathtaking Expansion of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

Did the Alabama Supreme Court know what it was doing when it issued this ruling? It really doesn’t matter now. With apologies to the late Roy Scheider, we’re gonna need a bigger court. (more)

Balancing Judgeships in Alabama

As part of her “Access to Justice” initiative, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is preparing to seek a reallocation of judgeships among Alabama counties. She knows she’s walking into a buzz saw, so she is intentionally tiptoeing in slowly, and she wants lots of company. She wants to make sure the bench (judges) and bar are on record as supporting her initiative before she spends her precious political capital on it. (more)

Who is Supporting Family Values?

This one has me thinking. I hope it gets you thinking, too. If we really want families in America to succeed, what policies should we be setting? (more)

Alabama Relocation: The Law Means What It Says

Alabama’s relocation act has moved the state to one end of the spectrum on forcing parents to stay close to each other. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals has said you can’t go beyond it out of a desire to elevate substance over form. (more)

Awarding Military Retirement Benefits in Divorce in Alabama

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals has used an unusual inference to sustain a division of military retirement plans in an Alabama divorce. (more)

Can I Sue the “Other Woman” or “Other Man”?

CNN published its contribution last month to the continuing mythology surrounding the tort called “alienation of affection,” filing a lawsuit against that interloper who seduced your spouse and ruined your marriage. (more)

What Part of “You’re Wrong” Don’t You Understand?

It’s rare to see a trial court try to overcome an appeals court ruling by sheer bull-headedness, but it’s fun to see in a guilty pleasure kind of way, don’t you think? (more)

When Mom Lives in Two Places

We now can state with certainty: a substantial change in residence of a custodial parent is a material change in circumstances. (more)

Anybody Got Any Facts To Back This Up?

Alabama family law judges know they have to base their rulings on some kind of factual evidence. This case clarifies how the process works. (more)

High Divorce Rate for Military Women

It’s not the headline in this brief story from the NY Times, but it should be. Women serving in the military divorce at a rate of about 7.7% per year, while the rate for military men is about 3%. (more)

Voluntary Underemployment Roadmap

We’re going to see more cases like this, where formerly successful entrepreneurs and wage earners claim a significant drop in their income makes it impossible for them to pay the child support the court had previously ordered, and where the recipient argues they really could be earning more. (more)

Appeals Court Reverses Preservation of Parental Rights

Keep your eyes peeled; you may see this case again soon on appeal. (more)

Recession-Racked Married Couples Delaying Divorce

Divorce lawyers are buzzing about a story in last week’s Washington Times about a drop in the rate of new divorce filings in the U.S. coinciding with the recession. Anecdotally, my practice certainly seems consistent with this trend. (more)