Our Answers To Common Questions About Divorce
At New Horizon Family Law, in Birmingham, we help families through the challenging times they face during a divorce and other legal battles that come with the process. Our goal is to provide experienced and compassionate legal advice and representation to help you build your new life as a family. During consultations with our clients, we have identified a set of common questions and concerns, which we share as follows in the hope they can be helpful for you or a loved one.
Is spousal support/alimony an obligation?
The answer is no. In fact, an individual – whether the wife or the husband – should request alimony during divorce procedures. In addition, a judge will determine whether the requesting party qualifies to obtain such financial support according to certain factors, namely age and health of the spouses, their possibility to get a job, and other factors. Most of the time, alimony is temporary economic support granted to a spouse until the party is able to gain financial independence.
What happens to a privately held business in the division of marital assets?
Business division and valuation are complex and lengthy processes that require the assistance of an experienced attorney. First, your lawyer will help you identify whether such business is your private or marital property. However, if you owned your business before marriage but the other spouse participated in the business and their contribution resulted in significant earnings, the business will likely be divided.
Second, and in order to protect your investment, an attorney should have specialized allies like valuators and forensic accountants who will determine the fair value of the business. The lawyer will then submit the information to a judge for consideration to achieve an equitable asset division.
Is a retirement account part of the marital assets?
A retirement account or plan is part of the marital assets subject to division in divorce procedures provided one of the spouses (or both) acquired such an account during the marriage. Alabama is an equitable distribution state, which means that spouses will obtain 50% as the maximum of the retirement account. 401(k) accounts follow a set of special procedures and considerations that an experienced lawyer can help you through.
Do infidelity allegations affect the divorce in any way?
Yes. Although a divorce proceeding could be started due to “irreconcilable differences,” which is the basis for a no-fault divorce, a plaintiff could also claim the existence as grounds for divorce. One of them is adultery. If a judge considers that one party contributed to the end of the marriage more than the other, this might impact the asset division or alimony requests. However, adultery does not concern other aspects relevant to children such as child custody and visitation or child support determination.
If you have more questions, please contact us. We can help you see the big picture and find solutions to address your current issues and help you build a brighter future for your family.