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Family Law Matters

Thursday, March 21, 2019

What’s in a Name? How to Reclaim Your Identity After Divorce

Your divorce is final. Although your divorce agreement provides an accounting of who gets what, for women, there’s an asset that remains unresolved: Your name. How and when you decide to change your name is up to you, but in the state of Alabama, there are specific steps to take in order to revert to your maiden or pre-marital name.

Step 1: Go online to download the petition required for the county in which you live. Each county provides its own form and specific requirements. (Click here for the link to the Jefferson County name change instructions; and click here to download  the Jefferson County name change petition.)

Step 2: Complete the petition provided by the Probate Court. An Alabama driver’s license, birth certificate, supporting marriage and divorce documents and two proofs of residency (such as a current utility bill, voter registration card, deed, mortgage, renter’s contract, etc.) must be provided upon filing petition. Post office box address are not accepted. You are not required to have an attorney to file.

Step 3: Sign the form in front of notary. The petition must be witnessed, signed, and sealed by a licensed notary. (Your financial institution or bank may provide a notary service at no charge. Or you can find a list of notaries online. Some business services providers, such as The UPS Store, provide notary service for a fee.)

Step 4: File your signed and notarized petition in person with the Probate Court Clerk. You must bring the required documentation (See Step 2) and cash or money order. At that time, you will be required to pay between $65 and $80, depending upon the number of copies made.


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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How to Have a Loving Relationship with ... Money: Rethinking your finances after divorce.

Divorce can open your eyes to many realities. Beyond considering future romantic relationships, you may realize a need to re-evaluate your feelings about financial matters. And it’s probably about time.

“One of the first things I had to do (after my divorce) was come to terms with what caused my problems with money in the first place,” writes divorcee Crystal Sands in an article for the Banger Daily News. “I had grown up poor, and I think a fear of ‘being without’ was driving me emotionally. I made a lot of poor purchasing decisions, including the money pit house from my first marriage. I didn’t understand that my efforts to surround myself with more were actually leading me down a path to less.”


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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

How to Tell the World You’re Through: Five Tips from the Stars

One of the hardest parts of divorcing can be breaking the news to your family, friends and colleagues. No matter how eminent the ending, telling your nearest and dearest that your marriage is over makes it real. You also may not wish to share details of your break-up (and it’s wise if you don’t in most cases) and this can lead to awkward silences and/or idle speculation. But how do you say enough without telling too much?

When making your intentions to separate public, take a cue from people who are accustomed to being in the public eye. A quick look through the most recent celebrity breakups provides insight on how to share the news of your impending divorce without baring your soul — or throwing your ex under the bus.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Truth Behind the Cheating Heart: Four insights into infidelity

Cheating is one of the top reasons couples divorce. The loss of trust can be impossible to restore. In fact, the pain of realizing a partner’s unfaithfulness is said to be the second-only to the loss of a child. Facing the reality of infidelity is enough to shake up everything you believe to be true. But in time, those feelings can be overcome.

Processing a spouse’s infidelity takes time. And let’s face it, it may be a real effort to get beyond the initial feelings of anger, sorrow and resentment. “A betrayal of trust sends many people into a time of self-doubt, disbelief, shock, anger, hopelessness, and sadness,” writes Alec Wilson, PsyD and couples’ therapist in Portland, OR in his Therapist Portland blog. “Additionally, because of taboos associated with extramarital sex in Western culture, the discoverer of an affair may feel as if they have nowhere to turn for support and no one to talk to. They may feel shame and guilt about their partner’s affair which can lead to social isolation.”


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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Emerging from the Time Capsule: Five Tips for Post-Divorce Dating


If the last time you went on a first date was more than 15 years ago, brace yourself. “Being married is a little like being in a time capsule,” writes Claire Lower in her article entitled How to Date After a Divorce for lifehacker.com.
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Thursday, February 7, 2019

My Funny Valentine: A little humor can save the day

When you’re divorced (or going through the process), you’re bound to hit some difficult milestones. There’s the anniversary of your first date, the day he proposed, your wedding anniversary, etc. The calendar may be riddled with emotional landmines that you have to tip-toe around. Valentine’s Day is at the top of that list.

If the mere thought of your first post-break-up Valentine’s Day makes you feel like eating an entire box of chocolates, take heart. There are ways you can survive V-Day with aplomb. Meet your feelings head-on, plan ahead and create a smart strategy to avoid an emotional melt-down. (For some inspiration, read: Avoiding the Slings & Arrows of Valentine’s Day.)

*Image Credit: Cafe Press


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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

What I Wish I’d Known Before Getting Divorce: 7 Insights to Consider

Hindsight is 20-20 as the saying goes. When it comes to ending a marriage, a little foresight would go a long way to making smarter, more rational decisions. Although every divorce is different, if you’re embarking on the dissolution of your marriage, consider these seven insights from those who have been there.


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Monday, December 17, 2018

What to Buy Your The Ex On Your List? Holiday Gifting Do’s & Don’ts

The holiday season is a time for giving. But sometimes divorce can leave you feeling like a Scrooge with plenty of “ba-hum-bug” to go around. If glad tidings of peace, love and joy move you to be generous towards your ex, there’s no reason not to include him or her on your gift list. Just keep in mind these gifting do’s and don’ts from The Good Men Project blogger Sinta Ebersohn:


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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

No Holiday from Your Ex-In-Laws? Four Strategies for Happier Holidays

Your divorce is final. You’re moving on with your lives. Your kids have adjusted to the new routine. But divorce doesn’t just involve your immediate family. Typically, there are family members on both sides of the split who may not come into consideration until ... the holidays roll around.

Not sure how to manage your ex-in-laws this holiday season? If they’ve always been Scrooges, chances are they haven’t come to terms with the Ghost of Christmas Past yet. People can and do change, but it may be more productive to accept that things will not be different this year. “Setting realistic expectations is the key to not getting frustrated or angry with your partner’s family. says Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., relationship therapist and author. “It’s inevitable that there will be differences and disagreements, but don’t try to change them or assume that things will be different this year.”


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Monday, December 3, 2018

Create New Traditions and Reclaim the Holiday After Divorce


The first holiday seasons you spend as a divorced person can be difficult. Expectations steeped in decades of tradition may make you feel like you are the odd man (or woman) out. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Embracing the change that comes with divorce rather than mourning the loss can help you move forward in all aspects of your life and be grateful for what you have -- rather than regret what you don’t.

The holidays are the perfect a time to reclaim your independence and set new precedents.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Gratitude Series Part 3: Seven Ways to Give Your Kids the Greatest Gift

During the holiday season, we often stop and count our blessings or give thanks for the good things in our lives. Especially in challenging times, a tradition of gratitude can sustain us through the difficulties. If you’ve been through divorce — or are going through one now — teaching gratitude practices to your children may be the last thing that comes to your mind.


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