Representing the entire state of Alabama
Please use our FAQ below as a resource for many of your questions regarding family law. For more information about any of our services or to schedule a consultation, please call Delk & Tomlinson Law at 334-819-4810.
I just got served with child support papers. What do I do?
First, don’t panic. This happens all the time.
Second, there are a few things to take into consideration. Do you know this is your child? If not, request a paternity test. The court should almost always grant a paternity test. If you know the child is yours, prepare to have child support calculated. Go ahead and start saving your paystubs.
Third, always answer the complaint. Never miss a court date. Your child’s other parent can say whatever they want about your income, and you will be stuck with that amount unless you modify it. Past child support obligations are generally non-modifiable, which means that even the judge can’t change it. Lastly, come see us! The last thing you want is a child support obligation that you can’t pay.
I’m thinking about getting a divorce from my spouse. What steps do I need to take?
It is crucial to seek legal counsel before you make any important decisions. Don’t be the guy who thinks he can do it on his own. People hire lawyers for a reason, and divorces are a complicated, messy business.
Divorces have long-term consequences, and there are some mistakes we cannot fix. With that being said, there are steps you can take to prepare to meet with legal counsel.
First, document everything. We cannot stress the importance of documentation enough. Did your spouse come home really late tonight? Did your spouse withdraw a large sum of money? Did your children say something about your spouse? Go ahead and write everything down. If your spouse sends you texts, screenshot them and send them to a new email.
Second, if you have children- now is the time to be spending as much time as possible with them. Not only for litigation, but for your family. Your lives may be about to change drastically, and we want the bond to be as strong as possible. Again, record the time you are spending with your children. We advise clients to stay in the home to hopefully prevent the “every other weekend dad” scenario.
Third, go ahead and get a clear picture of your financial position. Worst-case scenarios can happen when your spouse handles the marital finances, and you are completely unaware of your situation. Figure out your assets and your debts. Become informed.
Lastly, we’ll say it again- see an attorney before you make any decisions. The best time to build your case is when there is no case!
I just got served with divorce papers. What next?
Call and schedule an appointment with us. You have thirty (30) days from the date you were served to answer the complaint. Don’t wait until day twenty-nine to come see us!
Your spouse may try to tell you that you cannot see or visit your children. This is incorrect. You have equal rights to your children until a court order tells you otherwise. The same goes for the marital residence. You have equal rights to be in the residence until a court order tells you otherwise.
Make sure you were served at an address where you can receive mail. If you were served at work, for example, make sure to update the court with your current home address, or another good mailing address. At that point, it is your responsibility to make sure the court knows where you are.
To the extent possible, go ahead and take all the steps we suggest for preparing for a divorce.
My ex won’t let me see my kids even though I have custodial rights. What can I do?
You can petition the court to hold your ex-spouse or child’s other parent in Contempt of court. Make sure you have more than just saying, “She won’t let me see my kids” as proof that your ex-spouse is being non-compliant with the court order.
Text messages, for example, are a great way to show a judge how the other parent is behaving. Ask to see the children over text, or, if you have a recorder, over the phone. Make sure to document everything each time the other party disobeys the court’s order.
The court can punish the other party and/or give you more custodial time to make up for time missed. Come see us, and we will do our very best to make both happen.
Don't stress about finding time to make an appointment. Evening and weekend hours are available!