Monthly Archives: April 2013

Same Sex Adoption in Alabama

Recently the topic of same sex adoption has arisen in Alabama.  The issue comes from a same sex couple who may have gotten legally married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages.  That couple then for whatever reason relocates to Alabama.  The couple is a female couple and one of them gets pregnant, and the other wishes to adopt the child by claiming that she is the spouse.

To date all Alabama courts have denied these request and upheld the denials on appeal due to Alabama not recognizing same sex marriage.  This includes same sex marriages that may be valid in other states.… Read the rest

What is My Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?

On many occasions, I get confronted with a spouse who does not want a divorce but the other spouse has either filed for one with a divorce attorney, or is at least contemplating filing for divorce.   The reality is that no matter how bad you want to save or salvage your marriage, if one spouse wants a divorce and sues for it, then under Alabama Law they will be able to divorce you even against your wishes.

Obviously this does not seem fair to the spouse who wants to save the marriage however I think that the this rule is sound due to the potential problems that could arise if spouses were forced to remain married until both of them were ready for a divorce.… Read the rest

Should you Take the Implied Consent Test?

The most frequently asked question I face when regarding DUI cases is should I take the test?  The short answer is no.  There are many reasons for not taking the implied consent test and they all have to do with possible defenses in the case.    There are obviously consequences for not taking the implied consent test with the main one being that your privilege to drive in the State of Alabama will be suspended for a period of time regardless of whether or not you are convicted of the DUI.

If you refuse to take the test then the State of Alabama must rely on the officers observations and testimony as to the way you were driving and any inability or impairment that he noted as well as your performance of any field sobriety tests.… Read the rest

What if Spouse Refuses to Return Child After Visitation?

What should you do if your spouse refuses to bring back the minor children at the end of his or her visitation period?  First do not panic.  Call the non-custodial parent and inquire as to the whereabouts of the child or children and when they will be available for you to pick up.  If that does not work or the non-custodial parent refuses then your course of action is by legal means.

Contact an attorney and tell him the situation and they can advise you on a proper course of action.  Some possible legal remedies are filing documents for the immediate return of the minor child or children or filing to have the non-custodial parent held in contempt of court for failing to abide by the court’s order concerning visitation. Finally depending on the gravity of the circumstances you may ask the court to order the local sheriff’s department … Read the rest

Should I Give a Statement to the Police?

In criminal cases the question arises “should I give a statement to the police if they question me”.  Answer is almost always NO!  The Police are doing their job and investigating whatever crime has been committed.  If they have singled you out and asked you to speak with them and give a statement regarding the alleged crime then you are a suspect and should never give a statement without an attorney present to protect your interests.

Many times statements are given and facts revealed that you think are harmless to you but in fact makes the case for the police and results in your being charged and arrested.  Chances are if they have brought you in for questioning they are going to arrest you no matter what you say in the statement.  So don’t give one.… Read the rest

What is “Discovery” in a Divorce Case?

If during a divorce questions arise as to the finances of the family or of one spouse in particular there are methods to conduct “discovery” on those issues and attempt to uncover the facts.

Discovery is information sought by each side in a divorce action to assist them in the divorce trial to make sure a fair representation is being made concerning the facts of the case.  It can come in several forms; the most used form of discovery is interrogatories.  Interrogatories are a set of questions sent to the opposing side that must be answered under oath and a written response returned to the sending party.  Also many times a production of documents request will be sent to aid in discovery.  In a production request you can ask for bank records, financial statements, video, photographs etc.  These are but two of the most common methods of obtaining discovery in … Read the rest

New Alabama Law Concerning Sex Offenders

Alabama recently rewrote the laws concerning sex offenders and the registration requirements of convicted sex offender.  One of the single most important aspects of these new laws was the inclusion of a method by which Juvenile and Youthful Offenders may be excused from registration for life as a sex offender and avoid the public notification requirement.

The criteria is very narrow and seems designed to apply to young adults and teens who find themselves in a situation where an offense has occurred and the only reason it is a criminal offense is due to age.  Offenses involving force are not eligible.  It allows for the crime to be punished but the defendant not to have to register for life or be branded as a sex offender at such a young age.  In addition I think it is the Legislatures way of acknowledging that like it or not minors are engaging … Read the rest

Making Changes to Original Divorce Order

If a divorced parent wishes to change a part of the original divorce order then they must understand the limitations. First any property settlements are final after the 42 day appeal time has expired. The only issues that are subject to modification are; child support, visitation, and alimony. The first two are always available for modification while alimony may require a certain set of facts specific to the particular case to become modifiable.

Generally child support may be reviewed and recalculated upon the occurrence of a 10% increase or decrease in either party’s income or some other material change in circumstance that would affect the support amount. Visitation may be reviewed upon the allegation of a material change in circumstance that is adversely affecting the children or is causing an interference with a party’s ability to have visitation with the minor child or children.… Read the rest