Filing for Uncontested Divorce in Alabama
Uncontested divorce–also known as “simple divorce” in Alabama–is a great option for many couples. It is generally the fastest and most cost-effective option for couples who are able to agree on the terms of the divorce. However, don’t let the term “simple” fool you, even an uncontested divorce is a very complex process, as all terms of the divorce must be negotiated and decided on prior to arriving in court.
How do I file for an uncontested divorce in Alabama?
You have standing to file for divorce in Alabama if either you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months prior. Additionally, you must both be available to sign all required paperwork, and agree on all terms of the divorce, including alimony.
All that is required to initiate an uncontested divorce is for one spouse to file on “no-fault” grounds, by citing irreconcilable differences, and for the other spouse to agree. This essentially tells the court that no part of the legal process will have to be spent determining whose fault the divorce is and whether it is warranted. For instance, if you file a fault-based divorce by claiming adultery and your spouse denies it, both sides will have to present evidence in order for the court to make a determination as to whether adultery occurred and if a divorce can be granted on that basis. This can become a rather long, drawn out proceeding, when really while the couple may argue as to the basis of the divorce, they both agree that they don’t want to be together any longer. An uncontested divorce simply removes the need to determine fault and cuts to the chase with regard to dissolving the marriage.
Do I need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?
You do not legally need to have a lawyer to file for an uncontested divorce. However, most couples quickly realize the benefit to having one (or two). In order for an uncontested divorce to be granted by the court, the couple must have already come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. Some of these issues, like alimony, child support and visitation, custody, division of assets, and division of debt, can be difficult for couples to discuss and agree on even when they are on the best of terms, let alone when dealing with the stress and emotional fallout of a divorce. Additionally, the division of assets and determination of alimony can be complex processes that individuals simply aren’t equipped to make mutually beneficial decisions about. Many couples who try to go the DIY-route realize that an uncontested divorce will only be possible through the use of lawyers to guide the negotiation process. The addition of another party can help keep things civil and make sure that decisions are being made equitably.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are contemplating a divorce, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate this process on your own. The Birmingham divorce lawyers at Peeples Law are here to help. Schedule a consultation today, and take the first step toward a better future.