Cullman County Family Law Lawyer

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Since family law involves family—spouses, children, and other family members—it is almost a given that family law matters can get extremely emotional. Whether a divorce is in the works, a child custody issue is being decided, or a couple’s marital assets are being divvied up, there is always the potential for acrimony and irritation. In particular, divorce often goes from being a relatively friendly, uncontested divorce to a decidedly unfriendly, contentious divorce in the blink of an eye.

Because of the emotions involved, it is crucial that you have a Cullman County family law lawyer from Hankey Law Firm by your side during these issues. Family law focuses on issues that involve family relationships like adoptions, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, child custody, child support, divorce, alimony, and more. Attorneys that practice family law can represent their clients in family court proceedings or in case-related negotiations. Important legal documents like court petitions are also within the purview of a family law attorney.

Overview of Hankey Law Firm and Our Values

In some instances, family law may intersect with other legal practice areas. As an example, domestic violence and child abuse often involve criminal investigations as well as family law proceedings. Family courts must determine how to protect victims, ensuring a safe environment for all those involved. When choosing a Cullman County family law lawyer, it is important that you choose an attorney you can easily communicate with.

Hankey Law Firm and attorney Shelbie Hankey make communication a priority. When you call Hankey Law Firm a real person answers the phone, and you will virtually always be able to talk to an attorney or a paralegal. The client portal is also used as a communication tool, with documents clients need to see uploaded onto their client portal. If integrity, communication, and advocacy are important qualities to you, Hankey Law Firm can provide the assistance you need during a difficult time.

How Can a Cullman County Family Law Lawyer Help? 

When you are deeply involved in a family law issue, it can be difficult to see the situation clearly. You are naturally emotional and may be unable to see the “bigger picture.” At Hankey Law Firm, our attorneys can help you see the bigger picture. We can reassure you that the time will come when this issue will be behind you, and you will be able to move forward in your life. Understandably, this is a difficult concept. Perhaps you’ve been blindsided by a spouse filing for divorce, or you are the one who recognizes that it is time to take that step. Either way, there are many details involved in unhitching your life from the person you married. If you’ve been married for a long time, it can be even more difficult.

Not only must you envision a new future for yourself and perhaps for your children, but you may be struggling financially, or forced to change jobs or move out of a home you’ve lived in for a very long time. All of these things can bring high levels of anxiety and stress. At Hankey Law Firm, we are committed to helping you put your life back together. We believe that one day you will wake up and feel excited about your future after a difficult time.

Hankey Law Firm Practice Areas 

Hankey Law Firm handles many different family law areas, specifically, the following:

  • Divorce is one of the most difficult things you may deal with in your life. As of 2021, the state of Alabama had the fourth-highest rate of divorce. Divorce has been tied to a state’s low median income; Alabama had the sixth lowest median income in the U.S. as of 2022.  While it can seem as though your life has shattered into a million pieces, with solid legal advisement you will be able to plan for your future. Each spouse usually hires their own attorney. The attorneys negotiate on behalf of their clients, with the goal of avoiding a trial. In truth, if a judge has to decide how to divide marital assets, award custody, and determine alimony, neither party is likely to be very happy with the outcome. Hankey Law Firm will help you negotiate the many “slippery slopes” of divorce, so you don’t end up kicking yourself later on. We don’t want you to wake up one day and realize you gave up many things you didn’t have to give up and that your desire to be done with the divorce has significantly cost you. 
  • Asset division and alimony are both important parts of a divorce. Asset division requires that you first determine which assets are separate, and which are marital. Since Alabama is an equitable distribution state rather than a community property state, this means the assets will be divided fairly but not necessarily down the middle. If one spouse had a much higher- paying job, then that spouse might be entitled to more of the marital assets. Alimony is usually only considered in situations where the marriage was of long duration, and when one spouse gave up career or educational opportunities to support the other. This is known as periodic alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is meant to last no longer than five years, with the goal of giving the lower-earning spouse time to seek education, training, or skill-building in order to become self-supporting. There are many different things a judge will consider when dividing assets or awarding alimony.  
  • Child custody and child support can quickly become contentious subjects. Both physical custody and legal custody must be determined. Physical custody refers to which parent the children will primarily live with, while legal custody refers to who will make decisions on things like religious upbringing, education, and health decisions. In some cases, one parent will be given primary physical custody, and the parents will share legal custody. Child support is less of an issue since there is a “chart,” that allows all the numbers to be put in, resulting in an amount the non-custodial parent will pay the custodial parent, usually on a monthly basis.  
  • Paternity issues can also be contentious. If a woman is married, then her husband is presumed to be the legal father of the baby, unless that paternity is terminated, and the biological father is put onto the baby’s birth certificate. With DNA testing, fathers are no longer able to deny paternity. It is usually in the child’s best interests to pursue paternity, not only for the financial assistance in raising the child but also for inheritance reasons. Further, when a child knows who his or her father is, it can keep them from feeling as though they don’t “belong.” In the end, most children benefit from having two parents, so paternity issues can be extremely important for the child.  
  • Adoption is a choice that many adults who want to be parents make, whether from necessity or because they choose to help children whose parents cannot take care of them. There are different types of adoption, but all of them require the services of a Cullman County family law lawyer from Hankey Law Firm.

What Should You Look for in a Cullman County Family Law Lawyer? 

When a family problem is at its worst, the need for a good Cullman County family law lawyer is virtually always the answer. Of course, you want your family law attorney to be professional, inspire trust and confidence, and be experienced and knowledgeable about the laws surrounding family law issues. Family law can be complex, with trends constantly evolving. The perspective of your judge can literally change your future; therefore, your lawyer must have deep expertise in family law. 

If you are dealing with a divorce, you want to make sure your attorney is a confident, experienced negotiator, so do your research. At Hankey Law Firm, we prepare every case as though it will go to court. This means we are never caught unaware by something unexpected. We recognize the fact that there are many family lawyers out there, but we also believe that once you meet Shelbie Hankey and her legal team, your choice will become crystal clear.

Hiring a Cullman County Family Law Lawyer from Hankey Law Firm 

At Hankey Law Firm, we work hard to be the client’s “voice” as well as the voice of reason during a time when emotions are all over the place. We never take your money, then fail to do the job you hired us to do. We fully understand that our clients come to us during some of the worst times of their lives. We hope we can help clients make sense of their circumstances, finding a way forward, away from an emotionally hurtful or physically harmful situation. If you have a family law issue that you need highly skilled assistance with, contact a Cullman County family law lawyer from Hankey Law Firm today.