Merrell Law Firm, LLC
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Hoover Area General Law Blog

Tips for navigating the holidays with children after divorce

One of the hardest periods for parents and children in Alabama after a divorce is the holidays. Parents and children may feel a range of emotions including loss, fear, anger and sadness. However, it is the responsibility of the parents to manage those emotions in a way that allows them to focus on the children during the holidays. This means parents must set aside their feelings toward one another to ensure that children are still able to enjoy themselves.

Parents might need to talk to family and friends or to a therapist in order to deal with their own emotions. They must not try to prevent the child from seeing the other parent because of a desire to get revenge on that parent. Instead, they should encourage their children to enjoy their time with the other parent. Parents do need to make a plan for the holidays and share it with their children. It will reduce stress for the children if they know what to expect.

Coming tax changes create urgency to settle divorces in 2018

Alabama spouses who are ending their marriages have new tax laws to consider, especially if alimony could be part of the final divorce settlement. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will end tax deductions for payers of alimony or spousal support. Divorces completed after Dec. 31, 2018, will be subject to this tax rule. Starting in 2019, those with spousal support obligations will pay income tax on those funds before sending the money to former spouses. This could force some payers into a higher tax bracket. This possible outcome has motivated some people to complete their divorces before the year's end.

The insights of a financial planner could help someone determine how the changing tax rules could influence long-term expenses and income. If settling a divorce in 2018 appears likely to lower long-term costs, then a person might want to finish a divorce prior to the New Year. If the divorcing spouses can work out a tentative agreement in 2018, then the old tax rules would be locked in even if the parties modify the terms in the future.

Six Alabama residents arrested on meth, weapons charges

If you drive north of Hoover for a little more than two hours, you will come to Rogersville, Alabama. The police department there recently announced that they served a search warrant at 2 in the morning and made six arrests on drug-related charges, as well as allegations of firearms violations.

Law enforcement officials reported that as officers arrived at the residence to serve a search warrant, they saw a 24-year-old man run from a vehicle parked in the driveway. They said they saw him throw a handgun and a baggie as he ran.

Choosing Mediation Over Litigation

One of peoples' biggest concerns when they are faced with appearing in civil court are the amounts of time, money and stress it will cost them. Contract disputes, insurance arguments, divorce and other matters are all common, and commonly require each side to foot considerable time and money. However, there may be a way to circumvent this.

Mediation may be the right choice when both parties wish to avoid the court room and are able to keep their emotions in check. While mediation might not award one party as substantial of an outcome as litigation – damages after an accident or full custody of a child, for example – it is often an effective solution to disagreements.

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