Alabama Divorce & Family Law Attorney Blog

Buying Out Your Ex-Spouse or Selling the Family Home?

Posted in Alabama Property Division

For most couples, the family home is the biggest investment made during a marriage. This often makes it the central focus of property disputes and can raise questions for both parties—including whether the home should be sold or how to protect the home if you wish to keep it for your children. While one party may want to keep the home, the other may want to sell it and liquidate the asset. Either way, it is important to know the law, protect your rights, and have a clear understanding of how the courts will side in the event that your case goes to court.

Our Birmingham property division attorneys are experienced representing clients in a wide range post-marital disputes. We will take the time to understand your concerns, establish your rights, and identify the best course of action to achieve optimal results in your case. If you are considering keeping the family home, we will help review your assets, debts and income to make sure that you are able and willing to undertake the mortgage payments. If you wish to sell the property, we will help to advocate your interests through negotiation and settlement or in court.

If you are interested in buying out your ex-spouse to take over a mortgage, keep in mind that there are some important legal questions to consider. Are you still legally married? If you are legally separated, but not yet officially divorced, trying to buy out your spouse on a mortgage can be problematic. This comes down to the legality of splitting marital property before a divorce is finalized. If you want to buy the home for yourself, your spouse would need to sign a quit claim deed. This would ultimately release your spouse of any interest in the property. If you are still married, it is critical that your spouse release any interest in the property.

If you are looking to purchase a new home but still tied to your old home, financing options can become tricky. Even if you are legally divorced and the previous property has been awarded to your ex, it is possible that a lender will not refinance without your backing. Even though a credit report may indicate that the mortgage is no longer in your name, the lender may not release you from your obligations or refinance without your name on the loan. For lenders, the original loan was tied to both parties and it is not legally forced to dissociate from you, regardless of a divorce decree.

To ensure that you are legally separated from a mortgage on a home you no longer own, you must sell the home or have the mortgage refinanced without your name on the loan. This is the only final way to eliminate your financial liabilities on a previously owned home. When facing divorce, remember that your settlement can have long-term implications on your rights and obligations. Consult with an experienced advocate before signing a quick deed or settlement offer.

If you are contemplating a divorce, contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

Additional Resources:

Should You Move Out of The Marital Home? Learn From Divorce Attorneys, Not The Tabloids, June 11, 2013, By Jeff Landers, Forbes

More Blog Entries:

Filing for Alabama Divorce When You Run a Business Together, June 8, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Collaborative Divorce is On the Rise in Alabama

Posted in Alabama Collaborative Law

Divorce can be complicated and overwhelming for any family—even when parties are reasonably amicable about the divorce. One alternative to the traditional court system,  “Collaborative Divorce,” is giving couples a new way to resolve their issues without the interference of a court. According to recent reports, couples who divorce through the collaborative process are more likely to follow through on their agreements. Collaborative divorces are generally less costly and the agreements give both parties more freedom to exercise their own options and interests, rather than relying on court orders.

Collaborative law has already been adopted in Alabama and has been most recently welcomed by the state of New Jersey. Collaborative law is an alternative to common divorce litigation or mediation, allowing both parties to sit down together and with independent counsel to work through the details of their divorce. Our Alabama collaborative divorce attorneys are experienced in representing couples who are seeking a resolution involving division of property, custody, support, and other common divorce issues. The Alabama Collaborative Law process is gaining popularity in helping couples find long-term solutions to meet their family’s needs.

When you make a decision to pursue the collaborative process rather than normal mediation or court proceedings, each party will have their own lawyer who can advise them of their rights and articulate a clear legal position throughout the process. The Uniform Collaborative Law Act was established in 2009 and adopted by the Uniform Law Commission. It has been enacted in several states nationwide, including Alabama. The bill gives individual attorneys incentive to resolve disputes through collaboration than pushing cases through to court. It also provides structures necessary to create a collaborative process that helps both parties achieve independence legally, financially, and emotionally.

Though divorce has always been a strain for families, collaborative law sidesteps the often combative court methods and proceedings. When entering the process, both parties must sign a “participation agreement”  to remain involved until a settlement is reached. Lawyers involved in the collaboration will often be disqualified in the event that litigation results. As divorces become more frequent, with the current rate of divorce hovering around 50%, it is becoming more important for parties and advocates to seek alternative forms of resolution beyond the traditional court process.

Taking a collaborative approach to divorce gives parties the freedom to work towards their own resolutions rather than relying on a judge to make a decision for them. In the end, many parties will develop a more agreeable solution that is tailored to their family’s needs, rather than rely on a judge or jury. Despite the good intentions of both parties who start the collaborative process, some cases will still wind up in court. If issues including property division, custody, and support cannot be worked out through the collaborative process, these parties may end up in another mediation forum or navigating the traditional court system.

Regardless of how you decide to pursue a divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate about your rights. Preventing combative disputes at the outset can also help you keep a clear position, assert your rights, and develop long-term solutions in the best interests of your family.

Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

When Alabama Was the Quickie Divorce Capitol, March 26, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Lawyers Alarmed by Proposed Change in NC Law, April 29, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Custody Debate Over Unborn and Unwanted Surrogate Baby

Posted in Uncategorized

Modern families have evolved to include same-sex couples, step-children, blended families, and surrogate pregnancy. While the notion of modern marriage has changed, so has the modern divorce. The case that once was about a custody battle over an unborn child has now become a more complicated debate about giving up a child born through surrogacy. According to The New York Post, a woman with a pending surrogate child on the way is facing a divorce—and no longer wants custody of the unborn child.

When sorting through the messy finances of a divorce, a judge will also be forced to decide who will get custody of the child and who will be required to pay for a child conceived through surrogate reproductive technology. Our Birmingham child custody attorneys are experienced in helping Alabama parents protect their rights and the best interests of their children. In addition to providing informed and strategic advocacy to parents facing custody disputes, we are abreast of legal developments that may impact families throughout the state and nationwide.

Though the divorce is still being litigated and the child is not yet born, the cases raises questions about surrogacy technology as well as the importance of court intervention. Sherri Shepherd is a 47-year-old and former TV host of “The View” who is divorcing her estranged husband. The couple married only three years ago and during that time conceived a child using a surrogate. The surrogate was impregnated through in-vitro fertilization and contracted to carry the child through birth.

The case is heating up and creating waves in both the legal world and in the medical community. According to TMZ, Shepherd has amassed a personal fortune of about $10 million and though she paid for the costs of in-vitro and the surrogate, she does not plan to pay the expenses for the unborn child. Her argument is that she is not the biological mother of the child, even though she commissioned the pregnancy. She wants to give up all parental rights and obligations, raising the question—who is legally responsible for a surrogate child?

According to The New York Post,  the baby, conceived by the estranged husband’s sperm and a donor egg, is due later this month. Some legal analysts claim that it is possible she could evade all obligations. In this case, Social Services may become involved and it is possible that the infant will wind up in foster care. This case is seen as a personal and legal disaster, both for the unborn child and for parents who are seeking medical technology to help conceive a baby. In typical cases, a surrogate may receive $40,000 for carrying a baby, plus lawyer’s fees and costs of egg donation. It is possible that this pregnancy was a $150,000 investment and now the child has no clear legal guardians.

Critics say that the system exploits women who can make money carrying children for the rich, while the wealthy have no duty to provide continued an ongoing care for unborn children. Other celebrity couples have gone the surrogacy route, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Mathew Broderick. Though agreements for surrogate births are recognized as valid in California, it is unknown how the court will rule in determining parental responsibilities. As a legal defense, Shepherd filed divorce papers in New Jersey, where surrogacy agreements are not recognized. This could give her full custody of the child and the right to give up her parental duties.

Contact Birmingham divorce and family law attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

When Alabama Was the Quickie Divorce Capitol, March 26, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Lawyers Alarmed by Proposed Change in NC Law, April 29, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Divorce and Debt Negotiation: Making a Clean Break

Posted in Alabama Divorce, Alabama Property Division

Whether young or old, any couple entering into marriage is not usually thinking about its downfall. Likewise, most couples are not going to scrutinize debt until it is time to divorce. When the end is near, one of the most contentious issues involve individual or mutually accrued debts. It can be complicated to divide medical, credit card, mortgages or other personal debts, regardless of who was initially responsible. Unfortunately, for some parties, the debt division process can be even more complicated if a former spouse fails to follow through on agreements made in a divorce decree or settlement. Creditors do not have to honor a divorce decree if both parties signed an original loan contract or shared a joint account.

To protect your rights when dividing debts, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and options. There are some steps you can take in advance to improve the chances of a clean break from marital debts. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients who are divorcing. In addition to providing sound counsel and advocacy, we are dedicated to raising awareness of the potential pitfalls that can impact clients before, during and after a divorce. Knowing the law and your rights will help you when negotiating the terms of a divorce and allow you to better secure future financial footing.

Creditors have no obligation to consider your divorce decree when pursuing unpaid debts. If you shared credit cards, both parties are liable to ensure that debts are paid. Since creditors were not parties to the divorce, they are not legally responsible for knowing or following the terms of your agreement. Even if you put in your decree that your spouse will pay debt, creditors can still send you the bill if your spouse fails to pay up.

When you are considering or entering the divorce process, you should eliminate future shared expenses. Figure out which accounts belong to you and which belong to your spouse. You can remove authorized users as soon as possible to prevent a spouse from running up credit card debt. If you have joint accounts, you can put a freeze or hold on the account so that no more purchases are made. This will ensure that neither party runs up a tab before debts are paid.

The best action to take is to settle any joint debts as soon as possible. In the best case scenario, parties can pay off debts before the divorce is finalized. Using marital cash or savings to pay off debts can make it easier later on. Many couples will use proceeds from a family home to pay off any outstanding credit card debt. To make sure your name is removed from any account, you should comb through the details of your credit report. Also make sure that your spouse is not an authorized user on your account. One way to ensure that debts are paid by responsible parties is to transfer the balance to an individual account. An experienced divorce attorney should also include a provision in the settlement that debts are not dischargeable through bankruptcy to prevent being kept on the hook.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Defining Equitable Distribution of Property in an Alabama Divorce, Oct. 14, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Preparation: Compiling a Secret Divorce Fund, Sept. 25, 2013, Birmingham Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Blog

Strategic Asset Liquidation in Divorce Cases

Posted in Alabama Divorce

Making the decision to divorce can be accompanied by a number of difficult financial decisions. Should you sell the family home? How will you divide retirement accounts? Who should cover your children’s health insurance costs? One of the most complicated financial hurdles is deciding which assets should be liquidated. The treatment of assets can have significant personal, financial, and tax consequences so it is best to have a comprehensive understanding of asset liquidation before entering a divorce settlement.

whitefenceAssets generally refer to the property that you own, including your home, vehicles, vacation homes, and other personal items of value. Your assets may also include some accounts, including a 401(k) which will have a different value once liquidated. While liquidation gives you an immediate cash benefit, both parties could be losing if mistakes are made. Our divorce lawyers in Birmingham are experienced in complex property division. We will take the time to review your assets, debts, and income, identify your priorities, and work to establish a comprehensive financial plan so that you can protect your long-term financial security.

According to a recent article published by CNBC, some financial decisions are more costly than parties realize. For example liquidating a 401(k) could have significant tax consequences, while holding on to a family home could be a mistake. Understandably, many financial decisions made at the time of divorce are more emotional than rational. You may want to hold onto your home, without realizing the huge responsibility that comes with refinancing, as well as the additional costs of negotiations.

One of the biggest risks of asset liquidation involves tax implications. Some assets have a gain exclusion (like a family home), while other assets will have a tax liability (such as a 401(k)). When filing for divorce, you must have a clear understanding of your rights and obligations with regard to taxes. In most cases, liquidation will result in a taxable event, while transferring property to a spouse at the time of a divorce is non-taxable. Ultimately, working through the trade of property and assets through negotiations will save you and your spouse money.

When liquidating assets it is important to have a clear understanding of the actual cash value of your assets. You should also know the purchase price of your real estate and have an appraiser quantify all improvements so that you have an accurate valuation of the property at the time of divorce. If you own a family business, a business valuation must give you an accurate assessment of equipment, property, customer lists, and other items of value. You should also have an appraiser go through any collectibles or personal items.

Having a clear understanding of the cash value of your assets can help you avoid unnecessary liabilities and minimize losses in your divorce. You should never liquidate a 401(k), unless you must, and always be aware of the potential tax liabilities with other property liquidation. Some couples want to get rid of everything just to make it easy, but don’t liquidate any assets unless you get a fair price.

Contact Birmingham divorce and family law attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

When Alabama Was the Quickie Divorce Capitol, March 26, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Lawyers Alarmed by Proposed Change in NC Law, April 29, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Divorcing While Pregnant in Alabama

Posted in Alabama Child Custody & Visitation, Alabama Divorce

When making the decision to divorce, your choice could be complicated by pregnancy. Whether you have already decided to file and became pregnant or you were pregnant before you decided to file for divorce, there are important considerations to ensure that you and your baby are protected. For many pregnant women, the decision to follow through with a divorce can be heart-wrenching and scary. You may have discovered infidelities, suffered abuse, or simply realized that the relationship is no longer healthy for you and your child. Regardless of why you have decided to pursue a divorce, being prepared emotionally can help you protect your rights in the legal process.

Divorce is difficult for anyone, whether you have only been married a year, have children, or if you are in your retirement years. For pregnant women, the divorce process can be especially stressful when dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of carrying a child. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are experienced with protecting the immediate and long-term interests of our clients and their children. We will take the time to understand your concerns, identify your priorities, and work to achieve the best possible outcome in your divorce. When facing divorce while pregnant, consider all of the following:

Health insurance and medical care. Remember that after a divorce, you will likely be cut off from your husband’s private insurance. If you do not have insurance of your own, you may be eligible for COBRA or other state or federal insurance programs. It is important to consider the consequences of a divorce on your health care to cover the costs of pre-natal care, childbirth, and the future needs of you and your child.

Safety and your living space. For the remainder of your pregnancy and after your baby is born, your safety and security are of critical importance. The transition of a divorce can have a direct impact on your living situation if you are forced to move out. Consider all of your options, including remaining in the family home, moving in with family members, or seeking out a new place. An experienced advocate can help you review your options and protect your rights in the legal process.

Immediate and long-term financial security. At the time of divorce, it is critical to protect your financial security. Depending on your investments, assets, and debts, you may have to take various approaches to protect your best interests. An experienced advocate can uncover hidden assets, help you review your assets, debts, and income, and prepare for the immediate and long-term security of you and your child.

Paternity and custody. When a couple is married, the court will presume the paternity to be the husband’s. If your child is born after the divorce is finalized, you will want to have paternity established separately. You should also realize that your former husband may have custody interests so you should be aware of your rights and obligations.

Child support. Even if you divorce before a child is born, you have the right to collect child support. Pursuing child support early on will ensure that you have a court order for financial support in the future. It is best to take action during the divorce process so that you have a clear understanding of how much support you are entitled to.

Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Child Support: Taking Action When Your Ex Doesn’t Pay, Dec. 13, 2013, Birmingham Family Law Attorney

Defining Equitable Distribution of Property in an Alabama Divorce, Oct. 14, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Lesbian Couple Seeking Adoption Challenge Alabama Marriage Ban

Posted in Same Sex Couple Issues

For same-sex couples, a marriage ban not only impacts the right to marry, but can have other legal consequences. Couples who marry in other states cannot divorce in Alabama. In another recent case that highlights the disparate impact of Alabama marriage laws, a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts is having difficulty seeking an adoption because of the marriage ban. Now they are challenging Alabama’s Marriage Protection Act to help other same-sex couples get their marriages and legal interests recognized.
The Alabama Marriage Protection Act defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Currently, state law does not allow same-sex couples to be issued marriage licenses and the state also refuses to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed legally in other states. Our Birmingham gay marriage attorneys are experienced in helping couples protect their rights when battling Alabama marriage laws. We understand the challenges faced by same sex couples and are abreast of legal developments in Alabama same-sex marriage law.

The lesbian couple is seeking legal support from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in challenging Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban. The couple and the organization are hopeful because federal courts are trending towards overturning same-sex marriage bans. On record, there is no challenge to a state same-sex marriage ban that has not been overturned by a federal court. The recent challenge is based on Alabama’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage, which denies them equal legal protection under the law. The plaintiffs argue that denying legal protections and rights are ultimately discriminatory.

One of the direct ways that denial of marriage recognition has impacted the couple is that they have not been able to get legal recognition of their adopted daughter. This is one of the primary issues for the parents of a 7-year-old who was adopted as an infant. Though both have had an equal part in raising the daughter, only one of the women is considered a legal parent in Alabama. The couple was originally from Alabama and has been married for two years since their wedding in Massachusetts. They are both active in their church where they teach Sunday school and say that the congregation recognizes them both as parents of their daughter.

Since June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, lawsuits in several states have resulted in the overturning of state laws that prevent the recognition of gay marriage. According to representatives from the ACLU, gay marriage bans are likely to be overturned throughout the country. Regardless of personal beliefs about gay marriage, the shift in laws is likely to have a broad impact on couples who have been married outside of Alabama or who want a same-sex marriage license from the state of Alabama.

According to State Rep. Richard Laird, the majority of Alabamians support traditional marriage and voted in favor of the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment in 2006. The lawsuit filed in Alabama only deals with the recognition of marriages performed in other states, but does not deal directly with the right to marry. Currently, 19 states allow for same-sex marriage. The lawsuit names the Governor, Attorney General, and other high ranking officials.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Fathers’ Rights: Is There Still Gender Bias in Court?, May 21, 2014, , Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Preparation: Compiling a Secret Divorce Fund, Sept. 25, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Father’s Day: A Time to Promote Equal Parental Rights

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation

For fathers in Birmingham and nationwide, Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the special role that a man plays in a child’s life. Unfortunately, for many men, Father’s Day is a reminder of the parental role that they lost after divorce. One Alabama father is taking action to raise awareness to give fathers equal rights in the event of a custody dispute. A recent report highlights the efforts of a father who has not been able to spend Father’s Day with his daughter for over three years. The U.S. Army Retired First Sergeant and the Director of Government Affairs for ALFRA, the Alabama Family Rights Association, is working hard to change custody laws to give fathers better access to their children.

Taking legal action to protect the rights of father’s begins at the legislative level, but requires experienced legal counsel and advocacy in every custody dispute. Our Birmingham custody disputes attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that fathers are on an equal playing field during a custody dispute. We understand the painful transition that families face at the time of divorce and will explore every opportunity to protect your rights and interests. For many fathers who are non-custodial, the battle can last long after a court order is finalized.

According to an article published in Psychology Today, parental alienation syndrome often occurs in custody disputes where children are taken away from their non-custodial parent. When parents have altercations or talk badly about the other parent, these children may also feel distanced, or forced to take sides. Critics of current Alabama legal standards say that the system can contribute to this alienation. For example, parents are often assigned visitation for two weekends a month and some holidays. They do not have regular contact with their children and many do not think this is enough to maintain strong relationships.

Though many states have taken legislative action to equalize men’s rights in the event of a custody dispute, Alabama men may still be at a disadvantage. ALFRA is working to change custody laws so that children who are caught in the middle have access to both parents. This change in the law would give father’s additional rights, except when cases involve abandonment, neglect, or abuse. The Director is a father himself who understands the painful consequences of being separated from his children after divorce. Now his priority is shifting Alabama law to protect the rights of fathers. His actions involvespersuading lawmakers, working with various groups and organizations, and making a point that children also benefit from having their fathers around after divorce.

The Director of ALFRA and other advocates for legislative changes, including child advocate experts, agree that shared parenting is a better option for children. Shared parenting would give children equal access to their mother and their father. It also helps to ensure that attachment relationships are formed with both parents which can improve psychological well-being and security into adulthood. Promoting of shared custody over some current arrangement presumes that the non-custodial parent is equally fit to share parenting duties.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Defining Equitable Distribution of Property in an Alabama Divorce, Oct. 14, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Preparation: Compiling a Secret Divorce Fund, Sept. 25, 2013, Birmingham Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Blog

Divorce Parties: Tacky or Happy Ending?

Posted in Alabama Collaborative Law, Alabama Divorce

Weddings are a celebration of love, the joining of families, and hopes for a happy future. What is there to celebrate at the time of divorce? For many couples, throwing a divorce party is one way to give closure to a marriage, even rejoice in an ending. Despite the growing popularity of divorce parties, many find the trend tacky, or insensitive. When facing divorce, it is best to find the solutions that work for you, your spouse, and your family. Many have found that a divorce party is the best way to celebrate freedom, closure, and moving on.

chapagneThe divorce party business is growing, much like the wedding business, with event planners, caterers, and bakers getting on board with divorce parties. Some of the color schemes include black or dark colors instead of white, but the theme is really not dark—for many, freedom is definitely something to celebrate. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are experienced in representing individuals who are facing divorce. We understand the myriad emotions faced by our clients and will help you review your rights and options to protect your rights and move forward with confidence.

For many, how a divorce party is viewed simply comes down to the purpose of the occasion. It is not necessarily celebrating the end of a marriage, but celebrating the open doors and freedom that can come with divorce. Divorce is difficult for any couple and family, but seeing the experience as a positive can help create better feelings as couples try to renegotiate how to live their lives independently. In many ways, they are in-line with other trends, including coming out parties, cancer survival parties, and even calling-off wedding parties. The trend signals a new social awareness that gives individuals who have overcome a challenge or trauma the ability to say, “I did it,” or, “I made it.”

Divorce parties of course can bring mixed emotions for children, but on the other hand, it may give them another way of viewing the family unit post-divorce. A party or ceremony can actually be symbolic, giving children a method of coping, especially if both parents are involved. The divorce party gives parents an opportunity to express a change in the direction of the family. As the family unit shifts towards co-parenting, new schedules, and a family dynamic that may take adjustment, a party signals that this doesn’t have to be a negative transition.

Some couples will actually enact similar rituals as they had at their wedding. Where divorce was once an embarrassment, the rise of divorce parties may signal a cultural shift in acceptance. A divorce doesn’t have to be a shameful event and it doesn’t have to weigh down parents or a family. Sometimes it is how we view change that can make all of the difference. A divorce party may mean that we do not have to be embarrassed or ashamed of our choice, we can simply celebrate closure and a new life.

Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Child Support: Taking Action When Your Ex Doesn’t Pay, Dec. 13, 2013, Birmingham Family Law Attorney

Defining Equitable Distribution of Property in an Alabama Divorce, Oct. 14, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Study Finds Link Between Divorce and Child Obesity

Posted in Alabama Child Custody & Visitation, Alabama Collaborative Law, Alabama Divorce

The emotional impact and toll that a divorce can take on children is no mystery. While parents considering divorce likely worry about their children’s emotional well-being, they may not consider the physical consequences. According to researchers in Norway, there may be a link between divorce and childhood obesity. The results indicated an even stronger relationship between obesity among young boys whose parents went through a divorce. The data, while not conclusive, suggests that parents ending their marriage should consider the physical and emotional consequences that may link child obesity and divorce.

According to Time Magazine, the study assessed data from 1,000 third grade students at 127 different schools. Approximately 1/5 of the children were considered or defined as obese. A tenth of these students suffered from the most dangerous kind of obesity, which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. The data also showed that students whose parents were divorce were 50% more likely to be obese and 90% more likely to be dangerously obese than students whose parents were married. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are committed to staying abreast of legal issues as well as trending stories that may impact the lives of families entering divorce. Understanding your rights, as well as your obligations and risks can help to ensure a better outcome for your family.

The study also found that boys were at a higher risk for obesity than girls. Boys whose parents were divorced were 63% more likely to be generally overweight than those with married parents. Alarmingly, the study also showed that boys with divorced parents were 104% more likely to be dangerously overweight. The researchers wanted to understand the relationship between health, lifestyle, and the trend of increasing divorces. Those who worked on the study also admitted that the divorce was not necessarily the cause of the obesity but it could indicate some trend.

Sociologists have studied the link between poverty and divorce and have also linked poverty in developed countries to childhood obesity. In addition to this showing, researchers suggest that divorce could create certain stresses for children while at home. They may not be eating regular meals or be given more opportunities to overeat when parents aren’t around. In some cases, women take a financial blow, leaving them unable to do household cooking. It is also possible that there is simply less money to spend on food and health after divorce. In future studies, the researchers want to compare kids’ measurements before and after divorce.

If you are facing divorce, it is important to consider the impact it will have on your children. Planning ahead personally, emotionally, and financially can help you to protect yourself and the best interests of your children. There are many issues that arise during the process of divorce including whether to keep the family home, custody determinations, division of property, and visitation. All of these personal and legal decisions are likely to impact your children’s lives. It is important to try to find amicable solutions for the entire family so that you can move forward in a healthy manner after divorce.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

More Blog Entries:

Defining Equitable Distribution of Property in an Alabama Divorce, Oct. 14, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog

Alabama Divorce Preparation: Compiling a Secret Divorce Fund, Sept. 25, 2013, Birmingham Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Blog