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Every year, new technological advances change the way of life for many Alabama residents. Indeed, it may be hard for some to imagine life without the Internet, smartphones and iPods. These advances bring some interesting legal questions, as well, including child support issues.

For instance, a sperm donor in Kansas who donated to a lesbian couple after responding to an online ad they posted on Craigslist is now fighting a demand for child support payments. The couple reached a written agreement with the man where the man relinquished all parental rights in exchange for not being liable for child support payments.

Nonetheless, when the couple broke up and applied for state services, a state agency demanded the donor’s name. The couple complied with the request to disclose the man’s name, although they supported his resistance to child support when the agency demanded payment.

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When most Alabama residents get married, they hope their relationship will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as shown by the divorce rates in the state. When a divorce occurs, it brings about a number of issues, including child custody, property division and spousal support issues.

Indeed, the rates are somewhat surprising, as Alabama has the fourth highest divorce rate in the nation. By these statistics, Alabama citizens are more likely to get a graduate degree than they are to have a long marriage.

While not all married couples have children or significant assets, one issue that may arise is the issue of spousal support or alimony.

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In late June, we wrote about the divorce between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. The pair called it quits after five years together. They were married in 2006 at a castle in Italy.

The couple’s divorce took less than two weeks to settle, but was just recently finalized. We are now learning more about the divorce settlement, including the child support payments Cruise will be required to pay.

Although Katie Holmes will not be getting any of the actor’s $250 million fortune, as outlined in the couple’s prenuptial agreement, Cruise will be paying Holmes $400,000 each year in child support for the couple’s 6-year-old daughter, Suri. Cruise will be required to make the payments for the next 12 years, totaling $4.8 million. He will also be required to pay his daughter’s medical expenses as well as pay for her education and extracurricular activities.

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Making the decision to end a marriage can be difficult. Whether an individual lives in Alabama or elsewhere, a divorce can be an emotional process. However, that does not seem to be stopping many baby boomers.

In recent years, the number of older Americans choosing to divorce has risen. In fact, the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled in just the last 20 years.

In 1970, about 13 percent of adults age 46 to 64 were divorced, separated or never married. In 2010, that was true for about a third of adults between 46 and 64.

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Being a parent is not easy. Parents in Birmingham are likely well aware of how much it costs to raise a child. It is for that reason why child support is often a necessary part of a divorce or other breakup. However, if child support is not paid at the proper time, an individual may find themselves in trouble with the law.

Former professional football player, Terrell Owens, is reportedly $20,000 behind on child support payments for one of his children. Recently, the child’s mother filed a petition in court asking that he be fined or even jailed if he does not make the necessary payments.

Terrell Owens has four children. He is reportedly responsible to pay $45,000 each month in child support. However, money problems have landed him in trouble more than once.

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When people get married in Alabama or elsewhere, they often find it unimaginable that their union could ever be broken. However, for some couples, divorce seems to be their only option. Although going through a high asset divorce can be difficult, technology appears to be making it even more challenging.

Smart phones are now being used as evidence in many divorce and child custody cases. In fact, a survey of attorneys by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 92 percent had seen an increase in smart phones being used as evidence in the last few years.

It is hard to imagine a time when people didn’t have smart phones. Cell phones and smart phones have become a critical way for people to communicate with others.

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