Cullman Family Law Attorney

Proudly Serving Blount, Cullman, Limestone, Marshall, Madison, Morgan, Walker and Winston Counties.

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Schedule a consultation to meet with Hankey Law Firm’s dedicated and compassionate team. We are ready to help you move forward with your family law goals, so you can focus on your journey towards resolution.

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Legal Assistance for Every Family

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Divorce is also known as marriage dissolution. When a couple decides to end their marriage in Alabama, they file a divorce petition in their local county court asking that the marriage be ended. There are a number of issues to be determined during a Cullman, Alabama divorce, including child support and child custody if there are children involved, alimony, and division of assets. In some cases, couples may have a high net worth, businesses, or professional practices that can complicate matters.

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Divorced couple during counseling session

Spousal support is generally known as alimony in the state of Alabama. Because so many women have joined the workforce over the past few decades, spousal support is less common than it once was. You might be surprised to find that alimony has never been as common as we tend to think. According to Reuters, in the 1960s, awards of alimony occurred in about one-fourth of all divorces. Today, that number is a bit below ten percent, with some states having even lower numbers. There are times when alimony is appropriate. As an example, when one spouse has given up educational or career opportunities in order to support the other spouse or worked for many years to help the other spouse gain a professional degree, alimony is warranted. Periodic alimony in Alabama is generally reserved for situations like those, or in long-term marriages where it would be unrealistic for the lower-earning spouse to begin a career due to their age or health. Rehabilitative alimony can be awarded for up to five years and is meant to help the lower-earning spouse get back on their feet, so to speak, giving them time to engage in education, training, or skill-building. Interim alimony helps keep the lower-earning spouse above water financially while the divorce is in process. While marital misconduct rarely has an impact on the award of alimony, there are exceptions. If the higher-earning spouse spent a considerable amount of marital funds on an affair, drugs, or alcohol, the judge may be more likely to award alimony to the lower-earning spouse. If the lower-earning spouse who is seeking alimony was unfaithful, the judge may think twice about awarding alimony.

Alimony modifications may be necessary when the circumstances of either party experience a significant change. If the receiving spouse is cohabitating with another adult, the paying spouse may petition to have the alimony stopped. If the paying spouse has suffered a serious illness, injury, or disability, or has retired, he or she may petition the court to lower the amount of the alimony payments or stop them altogether. Perhaps the paying spouse has found out that the receiving spouse won a large sum of money playing the lottery. Because this would improve the receiving spouse’s finances considerably, the paying spouse might petition to reduce or stop alimony payments.

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Mother and son coloring

Child custody has two major components—physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to which parent has primary custody—that is, which parent the child primarily lives with. If one parent has primary physical custody, the other will likely have visitation rights. Legal custody refers to making important decisions for your children, such as those concerning religion, education, and health. In some instances, one parent may have primary physical custody while the parents share legal custody. Joint physical and legal custody is also a possibility, although unless the parents live close to one another and get along well, it may not work as well.

Child custody modifications may become necessary when the circumstances of one parent change significantly. This could occur when the parent with primary physical custody decides to move out of state, or when the non-custodial parent suspects abuse or neglect of the children.

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Father and child

Child support is calculated in the state of Alabama by using a specific formula. The monthly gross income of each parent is added together, and using the Schedule of Basic Child-Support Obligations you can find the corresponding child support obligation for the number of children needing support. Then the percentage of each parent’s monthly gross income is determined to arrive at the amount the non-custodial parent (usually) pays to the parent with primary custody. There were new rules passed in both 2022 and 2023 impacting the calculation of child support so it is imperative to have an attorney that can help navigate these calculations.

Child support modifications can occur when there has been a significant change in the child’s needs, or when there has been a significant change in either parent’s financial circumstances. A motion for modification must be filed, then a judge will decide whether the change in circumstances warrants a modification of the original child support order.

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Father feeding child while on the phone

Paternity establishment can be important for a number of reasons. Establishing paternity can help ensure that both parents are financially responsible for the child and that the child knows who his or her parents are and if he or she is entitled to an inheritance, just like the father’s other children. It is important to note that if the mother is married, there is a presumption of paternity, in that it is assumed the mother’s husband is the child’s father.

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Woman and child playing

Adoption allows many adults who might not otherwise be able to become a parent to do so while finding good homes for babies and children whose parents are unwilling or unable to care for them. Having an experienced, knowledgeable Cullman, Alabama adoption attorney from Hankey Law Firm will ensure your adoption experience goes smoothly from beginning to end.

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Divorce

Divorce is also known as marriage dissolution. When a couple decides to end their marriage in Alabama, they file a divorce petition in their local county court asking that the marriage be ended. There are a number of issues to be determined during a Cullman, Alabama divorce, including child support and child custody if there are children involved, alimony, and division of assets. In some cases, couples may have a high net worth, businesses, or professional practices that can complicate matters.

Read More

Spousal Support/Alimony

Spousal support is generally known as alimony in the state of Alabama. Because so many women have joined the workforce over the past few decades, spousal support is less common than it once was. You might be surprised to find that alimony has never been as common as we tend to think. According to Reuters, in the 1960s, awards of alimony occurred in about one-fourth of all divorces. Today, that number is a bit below ten percent, with some states having even lower numbers. There are times when alimony is appropriate. As an example, when one spouse has given up educational or career opportunities in order to support the other spouse or worked for many years to help the other spouse gain a professional degree, alimony is warranted. Periodic alimony in Alabama is generally reserved for situations like those, or in long-term marriages where it would be unrealistic for the lower-earning spouse to begin a career due to their age or health. Rehabilitative alimony can be awarded for up to five years and is meant to help the lower-earning spouse get back on their feet, so to speak, giving them time to engage in education, training, or skill-building. Interim alimony helps keep the lower-earning spouse above water financially while the divorce is in process. While marital misconduct rarely has an impact on the award of alimony, there are exceptions. If the higher-earning spouse spent a considerable amount of marital funds on an affair, drugs, or alcohol, the judge may be more likely to award alimony to the lower-earning spouse. If the lower-earning spouse who is seeking alimony was unfaithful, the judge may think twice about awarding alimony.

Alimony modifications may be necessary when the circumstances of either party experience a significant change. If the receiving spouse is cohabitating with another adult, the paying spouse may petition to have the alimony stopped. If the paying spouse has suffered a serious illness, injury, or disability, or has retired, he or she may petition the court to lower the amount of the alimony payments or stop them altogether. Perhaps the paying spouse has found out that the receiving spouse won a large sum of money playing the lottery. Because this would improve the receiving spouse’s finances considerably, the paying spouse might petition to reduce or stop alimony payments.

Read More

Child Custody

Child custody has two major components—physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to which parent has primary custody—that is, which parent the child primarily lives with. If one parent has primary physical custody, the other will likely have visitation rights. Legal custody refers to making important decisions for your children, such as those concerning religion, education, and health. In some instances, one parent may have primary physical custody while the parents share legal custody. Joint physical and legal custody is also a possibility, although unless the parents live close to one another and get along well, it may not work as well.

Child custody modifications may become necessary when the circumstances of one parent change significantly. This could occur when the parent with primary physical custody decides to move out of state, or when the non-custodial parent suspects abuse or neglect of the children.

Read More

Child Support

Child support is calculated in the state of Alabama by using a specific formula. The monthly gross income of each parent is added together, and using the Schedule of Basic Child-Support Obligations you can find the corresponding child support obligation for the number of children needing support. Then the percentage of each parent’s monthly gross income is determined to arrive at the amount the non-custodial parent (usually) pays to the parent with primary custody. There were new rules passed in both 2022 and 2023 impacting the calculation of child support so it is imperative to have an attorney that can help navigate these calculations.

Child support modifications can occur when there has been a significant change in the child’s needs, or when there has been a significant change in either parent’s financial circumstances. A motion for modification must be filed, then a judge will decide whether the change in circumstances warrants a modification of the original child support order.

Read More

Paternity

Paternity establishment can be important for a number of reasons. Establishing paternity can help ensure that both parents are financially responsible for the child and that the child knows who his or her parents are and if he or she is entitled to an inheritance, just like the father’s other children. It is important to note that if the mother is married, there is a presumption of paternity, in that it is assumed the mother’s husband is the child’s father.

Read More

Adoption

Adoption allows many adults who might not otherwise be able to become a parent to do so while finding good homes for babies and children whose parents are unwilling or unable to care for them. Having an experienced, knowledgeable Cullman, Alabama adoption attorney from Hankey Law Firm will ensure your adoption experience goes smoothly from beginning to end.

Read More

Cullman Family Law Attorney

Navigating the tough issues that can arise between family members can be difficult. Emotions can run high during family law matters, so having a strong Cullman, Alabama family law attorney as your advocate can make a significant difference in the outcome of your issue. The practice of family law is broad, but for most people, a family law attorney assists them with a divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of marital assets.

Family law attorneys also handle adoptions and paternity issues. Once you have spoken to a Cullman family law attorney from Hankey Law Firm, you can rest easy, knowing attorney Shelbie Hankey will guide you skillfully through the process of your family law issue. While there are certainly no guarantees regarding the outcome of a family law issue, when you have an experienced Cullman, Alabama family law attorney from Hankey Law Firm on your side, you have the very best chance of a positive outcome.

Shelbie Hankey and her legal team always ensure each case is comprehensively prepared so that if it goes to trial, there are no surprises. At Hankey Law Firm, communication is our top priority. We are always reachable via phone, while utilizing a client portal to communicate and send documents to clients. Understanding that it is vitally important that you know what is happening with your case as it unfolds, Hankey Law Firm makes getting your questions answered easily and quickly.

Shelbie Hankey portrait

Meet Shelbie Hankey

Shelbie Hankey is a native of Cullman County, Alabama who worked full time while completing her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, then attended law school at the Cumberland School of Law. Shelbie also studied law in London, England, completing her law degree when she returned to the States.  Shelbie initially worked in one of the largest law firms in Alabama, later returning to Cullman and opening her own firm in 2008. Shelbie is a founding member of the Cullman County Women’s Bar Association and has many more accolades to her name.

Attorney Shelbie Hankey believes all clients deserve dedicated representation and is committed to providing that level of representation to each client. She believes that what wins a case and what makes a legal practice thrive is the passion that drives it.

“I’m passionate about providing a personal approach to a difficult situation, helping families move on quickly.”

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What Our Clients Say

I have used Hankey law firm for multiple reasons over the last few years. She is always professional and efficient when it comes to getting things done! I will continue to use this law firm and I highly recommend Hankey law firm to anyone needing an attorney!

– Former Client

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Hankey Law Firm Values

At Hankey Law Firm, our legal team is friendly and compassionate, making communication our top priority. Clients can reach attorney Shelbie Hankey or a paralegal on their case on the phone in most all cases. We utilize the client portal to communicate and send documents, so you know exactly what is happening—or not happening—in your case. Hankey Law Firm provides integrity, advocacy, and experience. We are the voice for our clients, as well as the voice of reason in many cases. Understanding that our clients are often coming to us during one of the worst times of their life, we try to help our clients make sense of their current circumstances, helping them find their way out of a hurtful and/or harmful situation.

Passion
Experience
Diligence

We are Family Law Specialists in Alabama

Shelbie Hankey headshot

Shelbie Hankey

Jamie Hankey headshot

Jamie Hankey

Nick Shabel

Alexis Killough

Family law cases are civil cases, rather than criminal, generally involving issues between family members such as spouses, parents, and children. Family courts handle a wide array of domestic matters and while not every family law attorney practices each of these family cases, they include divorce, separation, annulment, paternity, child custody, child support, alimony, protection orders, name changes, guardianship, adoptions, termination of parental rights, juvenile matters, and emancipation cases.

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Many people ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for a referral when they are looking for a Cullman, Alabama family law attorney. Alternatively, you may choose to look online for an attorney near you that specializes in whatever issue you are currently having. At Hankey Law Firm, we understand that you have choices when you are seeking a Cullman family law attorney. We also believe that once you’ve spoken to attorney Shelbie Hankey, your choice will be clear. Call Hankey Law Firm today to discuss your family law issue.

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There are many good reasons to hire a Cullman Alabama family law attorney from Hankey Law Firm, including the following:

  • A family law attorney can offer the guidance you need, assisting you through every stage of a legal process.
  • Your attorney from Hankey Law Firm has extensive knowledge of the applicable Alabama laws pertaining to your family law issue.
  • Your attorney will know of any changes to laws that apply to your family law issue.
  • All your documents will be properly prepared and filed in a timely manner.
  • Family law attorneys are expert negotiators as well as highly skilled litigators.
  • Once you hire a family law attorney, you are legally protected.

Your case will be presented in the best light possible by your Cullman, Alabama family law attorney from Hankey Law Firm.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Types of Cases Fall Under Family Law?

Family law cases are civil cases, rather than criminal, generally involving issues between family members such as spouses, parents, and children. Family courts handle a wide array of domestic matters and while not every family law attorney practices each of these family cases, they include divorce, separation, annulment, paternity, child custody, child support, alimony, protection orders, name changes, guardianship, adoptions, termination of parental rights, juvenile matters, and emancipation cases.

More FAQs

How Do I Find a Good Cullman, Alabama Family Law Attorney?

Many people ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for a referral when they are looking for a Cullman, Alabama family law attorney. Alternatively, you may choose to look online for an attorney near you that specializes in whatever issue you are currently having. At Hankey Law Firm, we understand that you have choices when you are seeking a Cullman family law attorney. We also believe that once you’ve spoken to attorney Shelbie Hankey, your choice will be clear. Call Hankey Law Firm today to discuss your family law issue.

More FAQs

Why Do I Need a Cullman, Alabama Family Law Attorney?

There are many good reasons to hire a Cullman Alabama family law attorney from Hankey Law Firm, including the following:

  • A family law attorney can offer the guidance you need, assisting you through every stage of a legal process.
  • Your attorney from Hankey Law Firm has extensive knowledge of the applicable Alabama laws pertaining to your family law issue.
  • Your attorney will know of any changes to laws that apply to your family law issue.
  • All your documents will be properly prepared and filed in a timely manner.
  • Family law attorneys are expert negotiators as well as highly skilled litigators.
  • Once you hire a family law attorney, you are legally protected.

Your case will be presented in the best light possible by your Cullman, Alabama family law attorney from Hankey Law Firm.

More FAQs

Once you have spoken to attorney Shelbie Hankey, you will feel a sense of relief that your questions have been answered and that you have an experienced attorney diligently working on your behalf. Hankey Law Firm provides professionalism and solid communication, while fighting to get you everything you are entitled to.

Contact Hankey Law Firm Today