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Child support orders are important part of Alabama family law

No matter their discipline styles or parenting philosophies, most parents in Alabama would probably agree on one thing -- raising children is expensive. Child support is an essential aspect of family law, which ensures that your kids still receive adequate financial support from both of their parents regardless of your marital status. If you are the primary custodian, support payments also help alleviate some of the financial burden you have taken on. 

Alabama has a system that can be used to calculate child support fairly accurately. However, since no two families are alike, each case will need to be examined for unique factors or circumstances that might influence the support order. Working with an expert can help you better understand the factors that go into these calculations and also make sure that you do not leave out any important information. 

Former counselor arrested on criminal law violations

Criminal charges were recently filed against a former Alabama counselor. Accused of defrauding Medicaid for thousands of dollars, she is charged with both first-degree theft and Medicaid fraud. These types of alleged criminal law violations are serious and can have long-term consequences. 

The 61-year-old defendant previously owned a counseling service that was apparently supposed to provide services to at-risk youth in the community. It is not clear if this was the service's only clientele or if the organization also served other patients. However, Medicaid claims that the woman submitted multiple false claims for sessions with at-risk youths, stating that she claimed to have provided services that never actually took place. She allegedly received more than $11,000 for nonexistent sessions. 

Was your personal injury caused by a texting driver?

The idea that distracted driving is dangerous is not new. Most Alabama drivers understand just how much a risk they are taking when they pick up a cell phone while they are behind the wheel, but a large portion of people continue to do so anyway. When these drivers cause serious accidents, their victims may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. 

Most people associate texting and driving with teenagers, and indeed it is a serious problem. A joint study including the Centers for Disease Control demonstrated that some 40 percent of teenagers admitted to texting and driving in the month before participating in a nationwide survey. Sure, this is a large chunk of the teenage driving population, but current estimates still put their parents and other adult drivers at higher rates for this risky behavior, around 49 percent. 

Family law: Prenuptial agreements on the rise with millennials

Not too long ago, asking for a prenup was seen as a sign of distrust in a partner or lack of confidence in upcoming nuptials. Now most people understand that prenuptial agreements play an important role in asset protection. Like in many other big changes, millennials are leading the way on this significant family law shift. 

Young people in Alabama are getting married much less frequently than their parents and grandparents did. Most young adults prefer to go to college and establish a career before they even consider tying the knot, so by the time it comes to pick out rings they are usually sitting on some serious assets. Retirement savings, vehicles, and even homes can all start out as personal property, and then through commingling during the marriage end up as marital property that must be split during asset division. 

The Alabama traffic stop tests you don't want to fail

Let's say you're driving down an Alabama road after enjoying dinner with friends at a local pub, when you suddenly notice a police patrol car attempting to pull you over. The last thing you need is another speeding ticket but you recognize the importance of immediately complying with the implied request of the red and blue flashing lights.  

You realize things may be a lot worse than you'd imagined when a police officer approaches and asks you to step out of your vehicle. In your experience, you know this is not typically how an average traffic stop for driving over the speed limit pans out. You immediately feel worried because you remember that your fun evening out with friends included a few beers. When the officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, you're unsure how to respond. It's critical that you understand your rights and know how to access support.

Are student loans the newest family law issue?

Although divorce is a uniquely personal experience for Alabama couples, there are overarching trends that run through many filings. One of the newest trends popping up in family law courts? Student loans. Couples are increasingly blaming the end of their marriages on overwhelming student debt. 

Financial stress is nothing new when it comes to divorce, as experts identified it as a common factor in divorce quite some time ago. However, student loans as a specific cause for divorce is much newer, and yet still widespread. Of divorcees who have student loans, 13 percent say that debt led to divorce. 

New criminal law puts ignition interlock devices in more vehicles

A new state law will put ignition interlock devices in the vehicles of many first-time DUI offenders. Although Alabama already requires IIDs for repeat offenders and some first-time offenders, those who utilize pretrial diversion programs have never had to use these devices. This new change to criminal law makes IIDs a requirement for all first-time offenders utilizing pretrial diversion. 

The pretrial diversion program is available to some first-time DUI defendants. These individuals have the potential to have their charges dropped so long as they meet certain expectations, such as paying fees and passing drug tests. The new law adds in one more condition -- drivers must have an IID installed until they complete the program. 

Seeking damages after a motor vehicle accident

You begin your morning commute as you always do: a coffee in hand and talk radio blaring from your speakers. However, all of a sudden, your commute takes a turn for the worst when someone strikes your car due to being negligent behind the wheel. For instance, maybe the other driver was attempting to text and drive simultaneously, which is a far too common occurrence these days.

Now you have to deal with the aftermath of your motor vehicle accident. In addition to facing hospital bills, you also have a vehicle to repair. Fortunately, you may be entitled to receive compensation for these things along with monetary relief for your accident-related pain and suffering. Here is a glimpse at the potential damages that can be sought from a personal injury claim:

Criminal law: Mother allegedly forgot baby in car, faces charges

Alabama police recently arrested a mother who apparently forgot her child inside of her locked vehicle. She is accused of endangering the welfare of a child, although it does not appear that she is still in police custody for this alleged criminal law violation. At the time of the incident she also had her other child with her.

A Walmart employee apparently spotted the woman exiting her vehicle with her toddler, and then proceeding into the store. The employee walked by the parked vehicle and noticed that a baby was still in the backseat. According to the worker's account, the doors were locked and the windows were rolled up. The police were notified of the situation, and as the employee and witnesses waited for the mother's arrival, they broke one of the vehicle's windows and removed the baby. Reports indicate that the baby's skin was extremely red and that it was lethargic.

Criminal law: UA linebacker arrested, kicked off team

No one makes it through life without making their fair share of mistakes, but some people end up paying much more for their missteps than others. When accused of violating criminal law, many Alabama defendants end up facing immediate consequences, and potentially even more if convicted. A former linebacker from the University of Alabama is unfortunately currently dealing with this type of situation.

VanDarius Cowan, a 19-year-old sophomore at UA, was a linebacker for the university's team. Cowan had previously taken time away from much of the team's spring practices to focus more closely on his studies but returned by the end of spring. Now, he will not play at all.

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