Alabama divorce details
Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in Alabama
First of all, the Uncontested Divorce is the process when both spouses are amicably willing to complete their legal relations. They don’t want to fight for their rights or conduct other activities that will take their time. Both spouses want to save their money and not to waste them on the supplementary expenses like the help of the attorney, the mediation process, etc. Both procedures of the divorce are not cheap enough, but the Uncontested Divorce stipulates that the couple will not even need the court hearing if all the documents are ready and all the residency requirements are met. In comparison with the Uncontested Divorce, the Contested one is much complex. The couple will need an attorney, who will act on their behalf, they will attend the mediation process, etc. Such a divorce can last 1 year or more, and there is no warrant that everything will be done. The couples usually cannot find a common language with each other on the property division or the child custody, so all their claims they should prove by means of the specific papers and forms. All the Contested Divorces are more expensive due to the extra fees or additional prices. You can pay twice more just for the dealing with the documents, that is not a good job in total. The Uncontested Divorce is the most comfortable way of the marriage termination, so let’s speak in-depth about it.
Uncontested Divorce in Alabama
The Uncontested Divorce in Alabama has a great number of different pros, moreover it is the most convenient divorce among all others. You can see that the price for such a divorce is lower, the term of the whole process is shorter, ets. The Uncontested Divorce has several grounds that you should study in a rather attentive way. Here they are.
Grounds for Uncontested Divorce
There are some serious and legal grounds for the Uncontested Divorce in Alabama:
- The adultery
- The cruelty and violent behavior towards any member of the family
- The incurable insanity of one of the spouses
- The mental illness
- The cruel treatment towards one of the spouses
- The constant drunkenness of one of the spouses
- The incest
- The excessive drinking of any member of the family
All these grounds can be the reason to get divorced, but the couple willing the Uncontested Divorce will never reveal them in the courtroom. The only one thing that they can show only the no-fault ground in their Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. The Uncontested divorce requires a special kit of the documents that we will point down later, all the documents should be prepared in time and with no mistakes if you want the court to approve them. You can imply the DIY Divorce during the Uncontested procedure, it will also save a good chunk of your money. The Online Divorce can be involved as well, and later we will explain to you, why the Online Divorce is so popular nowadays. The Uncontested Divorce, in general, is a way to omit humiliating actions regarding your spouse, so the choice of the divorce type if obvious.
Alabama Residency Requirements to file for the divorce
There is only one residency requirement in Alabama that should be definitely met:
- If one of the spouses is not an Alabama resident, another spouse should have lived in Alabama for at least 6 months before filing with the court
The residency status is highly important for the Alabama legislation, so the Superior Court will conduct its best to prevent the county citizens from being non-residents. The situations are different, and if your case differs from the main residency requirement, it is better to get an advice from the legal body, how to fulfill the action in your case.
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in Alabama
1. Prepare the Petition for the Divorce
The first document that you should attach to all your divorce papers is the Petition for the Divorce. You should sign it and serve your spouse with the same copy of it. The Divorce starts with your granting the Petition namely to the Superior Court.
2. Serve your spouse with all the essential documents
You should grant your spouse with all the documents to file with the court. As a Petitioner, it is your duty to provide him/her with everything needed.
3. Provide the court with extra information
You should provide the court will all the information that can be valid and useful for the divorce process. It can be the information about the debts, the marital ad individual property, etc.
4. Sign the Marital Settlement Agreement
If your case is the Uncontested one, you should sign this document for the future divorce proceeding. It stipulates that the couple finally got the agreement and are ready to complete their marriage.
5. Get a Final Decree
For the Final Judgement, both spouses have to visit the courtroom. If one of the spouses is not there, the judge makes a solution to prolong the procedure, and the case is not an Uncontested anymore. Remember that only those spouses, who are both willing to separate, will get the Uncontested case.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Alabama
Nowadays, in Alabama, such type of the divorce is a truly popular deal. In such a divorce, the spouses do not need the lawyer to commit any action on their behalf. They solve all their matters by themselves. The Spouses can also represent themselves in the courtroom if they need this proceeding later. All the responsibility is put on the couple, getting a divorce.
If you are the Petitioner or the Defendant of your current divorce procedure, it is only your duty to provide your spouse with all the documentation or answer them in time. The DIY Divorce is a pretty cheap way to finish your legal marriage, but every activity you conduct on your behalf and by yourself. Remember it!
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Alabama?
The middle price of the Uncontested divorce in Alabama is $5000. The fee usually involves all the divorce expenses and the help of the attorney as well. If you decide to prepare the documents for the court by means of the online help, your sum of money spent on the divorce will significantly fall down, because the fee for the online documents’ preparation is $149.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Alabama?
In Alabama, the Uncontested Divorce can last not a long period of time. Approximately, it can take from 30-day ?ooling-off period to 6 months. In Alabama, the Uncontested Divorce can be conducted even without a trial procedure, so the fewer misunderstandings the couple has, the fast the process is. The Contested Divorce is far longer. Because of thousands of obstacles, this divorce is a rather problematic one. The general term for the Contested Divorce is 1 year and more if the couple still meets several misconceptions.
Papers and Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Alabama
Here are the documents you might need for the divorce case, but be highly attentive because your case can involve some additional forms or you will not need some of the following papers:
- The Vital Statistics Form
- The Affidavit of Residency
- The Testimony of Plaintiff
- The Child Support Guideline Notice of Compliance
- The Child Support Guideline Form
- The Child Support Obligation Income Statement
- The Child Support Information Sheet
- Certificates of attendance of the Children Cope with Divorce seminar
- The Standing Pre-Trial Order
- The Civil Cover Sheet
- The Complaint about Divorce AL801D
- The Separation Agreement AL803D
- The Affidavit of Testimony in Support of Decree AL805D
- The Answer, Waiver, and Agreement for making testimony AL807D
- The Final Decree and Judgment of Divorce AL-C-57
- The Notice of Entry of Divorce AL810D
- The Instruction Sheet ALCS
- The Circuit & Family Court Request to Access Court Records
- The Answer to Complaint for Divorce
- The Appearance and Waiver
NB! You cannot send all the document to the Superior Court by email. You can order them online, but serve the court by yourself. You also should have a consultation in advance, before you file with the court in total.
How to serve your spouse in Alabama
You can serve your spouse by a hand-delivery, depending on yourself or use the service of the Sheriff, who will serve your spouse on your behalf. It will cost you not so much, just $100-150 per one delivery. The other mean of the spouse serving is e Certified email or the post service. Anyway, you should serve your spouse within 31 days after the signing the Petition, so how you will do it - it is a completely your choice.
Online Divorce in Alabama
The Online Divorce means that you have all your documents and forms prepared online, without the help of the lawyer or another legal body. It significantly saves your capital and makes the divorce procedure a really fast and accurate deal. The Online Divorce process includes such issues as:
- Realizing what type of the divorce you will have in the court
- Ordering essential documents and forms to file with the court
- Paying a reasonable price $149 for the ready papers
- Waiting roughly for 1-2 days until the documents are done
- Downloading the forms from your email in PDF-format and go to the Superior Court.
The procedure seems to be rather easy and it is truly so. You do not need to wait a week or more for your documents and pay for every step of the attorney. As you can see, the Online Divorce is a wise choice for those modern people, who appreciates a rapid and well-qualified job.
Rules for child support in Alabama
After the divorce process, the main deal id to have a fair child custody, despite all the troubles and arguments between the spouses. First of all, both you and your spouse must think over the child prosperity. Both spouses have equal rights for the child visitation as well. If there are no restrictions of the court towards one of the spouses. The Physical Custody involves such aspects as:
- A joint custody - both parents take care of the child
- An individual custody - only one parent takes care of the child and supports him/her financially.
According to Alabama legislation, the total income of the parents is calculated by the court, and after that, the following percentage of the total sum is put on the needs of the child:
- 17% of the total income for a child
- 25% of the total income for two children
- 29% of the total income for three children
- 31% of the total parental income for four children
- In general, 35% of the total income for five or more children
It seems to be a good share, because the parents can have a different health state, financial abilities, etc. The Superior Court examines all these issues in-depth. The main idea of the child support is to provide the child with everything needed in spite of the divorce process, so both parents should put all their efforts to create a pleasant environment for the child during the post-divorce period.
Rules for spousal support in Alabama
The spousal support or the alimony is essential in the whole divorce procedure. In general, there are two types of the alimony: the permanent alimony, the separation alimony, and the rehabilitative alimony. In the State of Alabama, the court considers different issues to stipulate the final decision towards the couple. Here they are:
- The total income of both spouses
- The marriage term of the couple
- The place of child living, who they live with of two spouses
- The tax rate of both spouses
- The health state of both spouses
- The future financial perspectives of both spouses
These and other items are highly important for the Superior Court Court, and the final decision will be made regarding the whole divorce case in general.
Division of property in Alabama
In Alabama, the property division must be equitable. The Superior Court takes into account such features of the common marriage as:
- The income of each spouse
- The time of the couple in the legal marriage
- The health state of both spouses
- The pension rate and health insurance
- The alimony of the spouses
- The state of all the material property of both spouses
- The future financial state if both spouses
- The interest rate of each spouse in the common business if required
- The tax expenditures of each spouse
It is very important for the court to make the property division between spouses equal enough, so you have to evaluate all the marital property and grant the Superior Court the Notices of the independent experts regarding the total cost of the marital property. It will save your time, according to the Alabama legislature.
Divorce Mediation in Alabama
The Divorce Mediation is an attempt to negotiate about divorce items with the help of the third party (the Mediator). Each spouse has a lawyer to help him/her with the divorce proceedings. If you want to be without an assistance from the lawyer side, you can omit hiring the attorney and represent your interests in the courtroom by yourself.
The Alabama Family Code requires the mediation process predominantly for the child support and child visitation issues. In Alabama, the Superior Court will not grant you the Final Decree until you have a mediation process, especially for the Contested cases.
How to divorce a missing spouse in Alabama
If your spouse is currently missed, you have to do everything possible to find him/her the sooner the better. The Court will allow publishing some notes in the several newspapers to find the missing spouse.
In Alabama, you have to fulfill all the following steps to find the missing spouse:
- To search for the spouse everywhere
- To search for the blood relatives of the missing spouse
- To search for the phone number of the missed spouse
- To search for the police and ask for the help to find your missed spouse
Finally, if you fail to find your spouse, even with the help of the Publication in the local newspapers, you grant the Superior Court a special Affidavit that asks to give you a right to be divorced without your missing spouse.
The Default Divorce in Alabama
If you are the Petitioner and want to divorce your spouse, namely Defendant, you have to serve him/her with all the documents needed for the court. The Default case begins with the understanding that your spouse is not going to answer your Petition. The Petition itself should include the grounds for the divorce process, a Legal Statement that you meet the residency requirements, etc. If you do everything right, the Court will grant you the final Divorce Decree even without the presence of your spouse.
Default vs No-Fault Divorce in Alabama
As we have already pointed out, the No-Fault divorce is less expensive and cozier way of the marriage termination. If the divorce is the No-Fault one, and you have not got any children or have minor ones, the waiting period of the whole divorce proceeding can take from 10 to 90 days. The Default divorce demands a longer period of time, much money, and other issues that seem to be not so pretty. The Default Divorce will definitely end with the Final Decree, but the main idea is that a No-Fault is more convenient in general.
How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in Alabama?
To have the Default Divorce hearing in the State of Alabama, you need to inform your spouse about your future plans to divorce him/her. You have to send him/her the documents to file with the divorce and wait for at least 21 days for the reply of your spouse. The Defendant will take the documents and deny answering them. With such information, you should go to the Superior Court and claim that your spouse rejects the court hearing. The Superior Court may ask the Sheriff to repeat the action of the delivery of the documents, but if it fails, you can surely get a hearing in the courtroom without the spouse’s agreement.
Annulment of the marriage in Alabama
The annulment of the marriage is a bit different procedure in Alabama. There are a few grounds for the annulment of the marriage in Alabama, that can be valuable, here they are:
- One of the spouses couldn’t recognize what the legal marriage was and what responsibilities he/she currently has at the marriage registration.
- One of the spouses was underaged at the marriage registration.
- The spouses are blood relatives.
- One of the spouses has another legal family.
- One of the spouses married another one by fraud actions.
The annulment of the marriage stipulates that the marriage has never existed, so all these grounds are significant enough. The child custody and the common debts should be discussed in the Superior Court, according to the county legislation.
Legal Separation in Alabama
The State of Alabama implies the legal separation and recognizes it to be a legal event. To get the legal separation, the spouses may not get a divorce process, so it is easier regarding the financial questions. Anyway, you will have to divide your money and marital property, even if it is a legal separation.The couple can get the legal separation for 1 year, and then it is better to get a divorce officially. During the legal separation, the spouses cannot live officially with anybody else in their common house/flat. They also can’t officially marry another person until their previous marriage is completed.
The Same-Sex Divorce in Alabama
In Alabama, the same-sex couples have the same rights to marry/divorce, according to the legislation of the State of Alabama. The divorce procedure is completely similar to that one, as discussed earlier in the article. The residency requirements are also the same as for any other resident of Alabama. The child custody and spousal support face the same troubles as the usual procedures, so to get a divorce, the same-sex spouses need to follow the common legislation of the State of Alabama. Some counties of Alabama might count the years of cohabitation to the common term of the legal marriage of the same-sex couple. You have to provide the court with all the necessary papers for the court in advance.
Military Divorce in Alabama
To divorce a military spouse in Alabama, you should know the approximate region of the current military disposition of your spouse. You have to ask about it the military commander of your spouse, the police officers, etc. Then, you have to send the required documents to your spouse and wait for the reply. Sometimes the answer of your spouse can return longer due to the active military actions in the area of your spouse’s location or else. If your military spouse is not able to answer your Petition, the divorce procedure can be postponed for a particular period of time. Furthermore, there can be additional 60 days of the waiting period,m according to the military situation. Anyway, after the reply of your spouse, the procedure is the same as any other regular divorce process.
How to divorce a spouse in a jail in Alabama
To divorce a spouse, being currently in a jail, you have to serve him/her with the documents to file with the divorce by the Certified email or the post. Furthermore, you can use the help of the Sheriff, who will deliver your documents to your spouse and take a Notice which stipulates the delivery. In all other cases, the process is alike the regular divorce, except the presence of one of the spouses in prison.
Divorce filing fee
In Alabama, if you want to get an Uncontested Divorce, you can pay approximately $325-$400 for the court fees. But if you decide to order the preparation of the documents online, you may pay twice less, at least $149 for the case. For the exact filing fee, you’d better ask the court representatives, because in your case the cost can significantly vary.
Can a filing fee be waived?
In Alabama, the fee for the divorce might be waived for indigent petitioners.
You have to take a Sheet on Waiver of the Superior Court Fees, fill out all the papers, online or by yourself, sign the Request to Waive Court Fees under the penalty, and then get the Forms required at the Alabama Superior Court. The Court will examine all your expenditures, debts, income, etc and deny or approve your fee waiving. Prepare the documents of your financial statements in advance, and wait for the decision of the court.
How we can help
The divorce procedure is too hard to endure it by yourself. We will help you with the preparation of the documents online, saving your time and money. Moreover, you will not wait for a long time for your documents. Just 1-2 days and your papers are ready. The Superior Court of Alabama will surely approve the documents, and you will get the desired Final Decree earlier. Ask us any question that disturbs you, and we will eventually answer all of them.
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