The down U.S. economy has touched just about every aspect of the legal profession. There are statistics showing that crimes, especially thefts, have risen exponentially since our economy has taken the most recent downturn. In that same time frame, bankruptcies, both personal and business, have certainly been on the increase. The one area of my practice that has been hit especially hard by the economy is divorce.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Tuscaloosa or the surrounding areas, be prepared to run into delays because of the strain on the judicial system caused by the current budget crisis in Alabama. These delays are only getting longer, and that is especially troubling in cases where children are involved. Nothing about divorce is good for children, but the feeling of being in limbo while the divorce is pending is especially tough on them.
While I really don't see any change in the number of divorces personally, I'm sure that there have been some who have put it off for financial reasons. One thing I am seeing is that more couples seem to be trying do-it-yourself divorces at first. These "kit divorces" as I like to call them, seem to cause more trouble than they fix since I usually have to completely start over and the couple loses whatever money they spent on the kit. The biggest problem with the kits is that they may have state specific forms, but those forms don't always conform to the local rules and customs for every county in the state. These kits are especially difficult to use when the couple has children to consider.
I would advise anyone thinking about using one of those kits to speak with an experienced divorce attorney first. I would suggest further to those people that if they are able to agree on all of the issues of the divorce such as division of property, child custody, visitation, and support, an uncontested divorce drafted by an experienced divorce attorney is not that much more expensive than one of those internet kits. And the added peace of mind is especially valuable.
If you or a loved one is contemplating a divorce in Alabama, contact Chris Allen today to set up a free consultation. I represent my clients in the manner that I would want to be represented if the roles were reversed. This means that I try to help them save money in any way that I can.