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Divorce and Your Child’s Best Interest – Co-Parenting After A Divorce

Divorce-and-Your-Childs-Best-Interest

Divorce is a difficult process, from dealing with lawyers to adjusting to a new way of life. When there are children involved, they’re faced with a lot of uncertainty. Their everyday lives will change as well as yours. Bringing in the right child custody lawyer, as well as incorporating counseling, can alleviate some of the discomfort involved, but how do you possibly explain to your children what the future may hold as your family goes separate ways? 

No one experiences more discomfort in a divorce than the children involved. One of the primary concerns of divorcing couples is what happens to the children. While one parent may think they have more parental rights than the other, both parties need to consider the well-being and best interest of the child. 

How you determine child custody with a family law attorney will affect the trajectory of your child’s life, so fully understanding child custody laws in your state and how your child’s best interest plays a role in your divorce will benefit all involved. 

Sure, your mind might be set on doing everything possible to keep your child with you. Still, considering all options with a family law attorney and understanding the emotional adjustment this will be for you and your family will help you in the long run. This article will explore how the court determines child custody and the role that the best interest of the child plays in the process.

Co-Parenting 101

When it comes to child custody, co-parenting is typically in the child’s best interest, barring any immediate danger to the child. The child(ren) won’t see both parents daily, and their everyday life will look a little different. They’ll be spending time at two different homes, which can be a huge adjustment. With positive co-parenting, some of the messiness often involved with the fallout of divorce can be mitigated. Here are some ways that you can effectively co-parent during and beyond the divorce itself and preserve your child’s best interests above all else.

1. Don’t Speak Poorly About Your Ex

One of the cardinal rules is to speak no evil, especially around children. When they hear you talking poorly about your ex, they will internalize those feelings themselves and may lash out as well. You may not want to deal with your ex extensively, but they are still the other parent in the picture. Your child loves them. Keep those thoughts to yourself. 

2. Co-Parenting Isn’t About What You Want

Sure, the divorce was about what happened (or was lacking) between you and your ex, but co-parenting and custody are about the kids (and only about the kids). The best interest of the child or children involved should be the primary focus, and tunnel vision can often get in the way of that. 

The kids aren’t objects to be had in the divorce. They are yours, both of yours, to cherish and make memories with, even if the future may look a little different. What’s best for the child may not always feel good from your perspective, but it will benefit your child greatly in the long run.

3. Know Your Schedule, and Stick to It as Much as Possible

Being realistic regarding your priorities and schedule is an important thing to consider when developing a co-parenting plan. Keeping a sense of consistency is key in things like your work schedule and other obligations that you had even when you were married. Stick to a schedule, and don’t alter it based on the emotional response of the divorce and pending child custody. Develop a sense of normalcy in both your schedule and your child’s. 

4. It’s Up To You and Your Ex To Cooperate 

Both parents need to keep in mind that the child wants both parents around. They need to feel the support and love of both parents.. Just because you didn’t agree with the other parent as a spouse doesn’t mean they’re a terrible parent, and putting the needs and well-being of your child first is crucial to striking a healthy balance that benefits everyone, regardless of the current circumstance. 

5. Find an Agreeable Communication Method

Again, you may want to interact with your ex as much as possible, but the needs and best interest of your child have to remain the priority. This means maintaining effective communication with your ex when it comes to your child.

For co-parenting to work best, communication is key. You can use several methods that reduce in-person or over-the-phone contact, including text, email, shared calendars, and more to keep each other on track and communicate about things like sports, school, appointments, and more. 

Baldwin County Family Law—Representation Tailored To You and Your Family

At Brackin & Johnson, we get the results you deserve when you need them most. With more than 40 years of experience, we can provide comprehensive care and representation tailored to your needs and unique situation. 

No one divorce or child custody case is the same as the next. We are ready to help you understand your legal stance as a parent, contact us today for the best legal services in Baldwin County. 

What You Need to Know About DUI Law in Alabama

What-You-Need-to-Know-About DUI Law in Alabama

Getting a DUI, or “driving under the influence,” is a severe crime in all 50 states and can have long-lasting consequences for both the driver and, in some cases, the victims of impaired driving. In 2017, Alabama had the fifth-highest number of drunk driving-related deaths

It’s important to know what constitutes drunk driving and the penalties for breaking the law. A DUI can have long-lasting consequences, which means there are things you need to know, especially considering how thin the line can be between a nice brunch or night out and a drunk driving arrest. 

DUI Law in Alabama

Today, we’ll take a look at how drunk driving is defined and analyze the consequences of a DUI arrest in the State of Alabama.

Defining Drunk or Under the Influence (DUI)

In Alabama, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to such an extent that you cannot safely do so. The law distinguishes between commercial and non-commercial drivers, those who drive school buses, and those under the age of 21, with different legal limits of blood alcohol content (BAC) for each group. 

  • Drivers over the age of 21 are considered legally drunk with a BAC of over 0.08%
  • Drivers who operate school buses or are daycare workers are legally intoxicated with a BAC of 0.02%
  • Commercial drivers are legally drunk with a BAC of 0.04%
  • Drivers under the age of 21 are legally drunk with a BAC of 0.02%

Actual Physical Control Defined

Additionally, you don’t necessarily have to be driving to get a DUI in Alabama. The law prohibits a person under the influence from driving or “being in actual physical control,” of a vehicle. This means you can still be convicted of a DUI if you aren’t driving but are, for example, sitting in the driver’s seat with your keys in the ignition. 

The law can be very unclear about what constitutes “physical control” of a vehicle, so it’s always best to play it safe and not enter your vehicle if you find yourself in this kind of situation. 

Penalties For Getting a DUI

The penalties for getting a DUI vary based on whether it’s your first offense and other factors, such as if there was someone under the age of 14 in your car. Generally, if you are charged with a DUI, you can expect to at least pay some fines, be ordered to take classes, spend time in jail, or have your license revoked or suspended. 

Penalties For First DUI Offense

The penalty for a first-time DUI can be imprisonment for up to one year, a fine between $600 and $1200, and a driver’s license suspension for 90 days. A first-time offender may also be required to receive treatment for substance abuse or attend a program meant to reduce DUIs. 

Penalties For Second DUI Offense

The penalty for a second DUI offense is higher if it occurs within ten years of a first DUI charge. Your driver’s license could be revoked for up to one year, and the fines are higher, with a mandatory minimum of $1100 and a maximum of $5100. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five days in jail or at least 30 days of community service. 

Penalties For Additional DUI Charges

A third DUI charge carries a prison term of up to one year with a mandatory minimum of 60 days. This prison sentence can also include hard labor. In addition, fines can range from $1200 to $10,100, and your driver’s license can be revoked for three years.  

If a driver is charged with a fourth DUI, the prison term can range from a minimum of one year and one day to 10 years. The fine can be from $4,100 to $10,100, and the revocation period for a driver’s license can be five years. 

There are additional penalties for driving drunk when a child under the age of 14 is in the vehicle. In these cases, the driver can be sentenced to double the mandatory minimum sentence they would have received had a child not been in the car. 

Similarly, drivers with a BAC of over 0.15% are also subject to double the mandatory minimum sentence they would have received had their blood alcohol content been below 0.15%. 

Additionally, school bus and daycare drivers, commercial drivers, and drivers under the age of 21 face harsher penalties for driving under the influence. 

Avoid a DUI Charge and Contact Us Today

Of course, the best ways to avoid a DUI conviction are to not get behind the wheel if you have had anything to drink, designate a sober driver, or take public transportation. 

However, if you’ve been charged with a DUI, Brackin and Johnson can help. We understand the criminal justice process, how to work with each District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney, city prosecutor, or judge handling your criminal case, and the possibilities prior to ever entering the courtroom. 

Our experience allows us to better inform our clients of what to expect prior to even entering the courtroom. We believe in integrity, justice, and honor. We know that going through the legal process is not easy and therefore aim to take as much off of your plate as possible. Contact us today, and let us fight for your future.

Contact Brackin & Johnson Today!

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