Making the decision to file for divorce is almost never an easy process, but that actual divorce process itself doesn’t have to be a horrible one. There are a few different factors that impact the process and how long, how expensive, and how hostile you can expect it to be. In the state of Alabama, you can file for a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is often the best case for parties who wish to dissolve their ties as quickly and amicably as possible, however a contested divorce also has its place.
Remember that the help of an experienced attorney can make the divorce process, whether it be contested or uncontested, easier than you might expect. Let’s take a look at the two different types of divorce below and then talk about how an experienced divorce attorney in Alabama can help.
Prepare Your Forms
The first step to filing for divorce, be it contest or uncontested, is to prepare your forms. Make sure that you read them carefully and provide all of the information that is requested. Failing to provide accurate and complete information can lead to the need for revisions, which only serves to lengthen the amount of time it takes to complete your divorce. The first and most important bit of paperwork to complete is the Complaint for Divorce. It is in this document that you formally declare the grounds upon which you desire a divorce – and it is within this document, then, that the type of divorce you intend on pursuing will be clarified.
Common grounds for divorce in Alabama include:
- Deviant Sexual Behavior
- Domestic Violence
- Habitual Drug Use or Drunkenness
- Incompatibility Preventing Spouses from Cohabitating
- Incurable Insanity and Confinement in a Mental Institution
- Not Cohabitating for, at a Minimum, Two Years
As you can see, there are a wide array of reasons behind the decision to pursue divorce, and the above list is not exhaustive.
When you file for an uncontested divorce. This is the divorce option you select when both parties of the marriage are on the same page regarding issues like property, custody, and support. Uncontested divorces are often the least emotionally taxing and financially draining options possible, which makes them the best option for couples hoping to move quickly through the process and get on with their lives.
With all of the above said, it should not be assumed that an uncontested divorce is a “do it yourself” divorce. You must still come to an agreement with your significant other regarding important issues before you can pursue an uncontested divorce, and that means that you would benefit from the involvement of an experienced divorce attorney to help ensure that you are preparing terms that the court is likely to accept as well as terms that are fair to your best needs and interests. A skilled attorney who understands divorce law can help make sure that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to in your divorce terms as well as what you can expect throughout the divorce process.
A contested divorce is a divorce where all parties involved do not agree on the issues like property, custody, and support. Note that this doesn’t always mean that the parties in question actively disagree. If you cannot locate your significant other, for example, you cannot file for an uncontested divorce. Other reasons behind a contested divorce include disagreements over things like property, custody, parenting time, and support.
After you have completed your paperwork, the complaint will be served to the defendant. They have, in general, 30 days to read and answer allegations in the complaint. Their attorney might, at this point, also see fit to file a counterclaim that alleges shortcomings or misconduct on the part of the plaintiff. This counterclaim should also include details regarding custody and financial support desires.
The next step is discovery, where parties file motions to gain evidence and information to help support and substantiate claims made in the complaint. The parties will then, once discovery is complete, move forward to the court hearing. This is where issues that include things like visitation and child custody, rules surrounding cohabitation, financial obligations and spousal support, and even the placement of pets, come into play.
Contact An Alabama Divorce Lawyer
If you are contemplating or in the middle of a divorce, you should reach out to attorneys who can help ensure that your rights are upheld. Lloyd & Hogan, Attorneys at Law, can help. We offer free consultations and are ready and willing to hear about your case. Contact us today at for more information.