Getting a Divorce in Alabama: Part I (The Basics)
There may come a time when divorce seems a necessary consequence of a bad marriage. It can be a daunting and emotional process. But knowing what to expect ahead of time may make things a little easier. This blog post will be the first of a six-part series on obtaining a divorce in Alabama. This series is meant to provide general information so you will know what to expect, if you are facing the prospect of a divorce in Alabama.
In Alabama, you must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months before you can file for divorce. The legal documents needed to dissolve the marriage are filed in the county where either spouse resides, or in the county where they last lived together. Both spouses do not have to live in Alabama for the divorce to be filed in this state, but if they don’t, the process for obtaining a divorce is a little more complicated.
After the process has been started by filing the appropriate legal documents, the other party is notified of the filing and given thirty days to respond. The parties will attend several hearings with the judge in order to discuss issues such as child custody and support, if applicable, visitation, alimony and division of property. If the couple can reach an agreement and execute a settlement on their own, that is always best. However, that is not always possible. When an agreement cannot be reached between the parties, the case will go to trial so that the court can make all final determinations.
Do I need an Attorney?
Whether you need an attorney depends on whether you and your spouse can agree on all of the terms. Even when you have reached an agreement, you may still want to get some advice from a family law attorney, at least to finalize everything. If you cannot come to an agreement, you will almost certainly need an attorney. If your spouse hires an attorney, it is very important that you at least consult with an attorney, if you cannot hire one to fully represent you.
As always, contact my office for a free initial consultation, (205) 988-5570.