DOMESTIC RELATIONS FAQ’S
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce means that the parties fully and completely agree on all terms of the divorce. In Alabama the Judge must hold the uncontested paperwork for thirty (30) days prior to signing the decree.
What is a contested divorce?
A contested divorce means that there are issues remaining between spouses which they are unable to agree to or settle prior to trial. A contested divorce is tried before Circuit Court Judge in the county where the parties live.
How is child support determined in Alabama?
Child support is determined using the gross income ( before deductions) of each party. Daycare and medical insurance costs are added in to determine the final child support number.
What is joint custody?
Joint custody has two forms. Joint legal custody happens when each parents share equal decision-making rights concerning the child such as health care and education. Joint physical custody means that each parent has scheduled-contact with the child, but not necessarily for equal amounts of time.
How is custody determined in Alabama?
In Alabama the court may give custody to either parent as the court deems right and proper after consideration of the moral character and prudence of the parents, as well as the age and sex of the children.
Do I need an attorney to get a divorce?
Technically no. However, be advised that most divorces are not that simple, such as when there are children involved or if your divorce is contested. You should seek any attorney’s advice to see if your case is complex or not. Divorce is complex, and unless you know what your doing, you will have to do it over and over again until it is right.
What is an Uncontested Divorce in Alabama?
An uncontested divorce simply means that both sides agree 100% to the divorce. In most situations, one attorney can be used in this matter although the attorney can only represent one party. All of the paperwork is prepared at once and submitted to the Court by your attorney. There is no trial involved as all issues are resolved prior to the paperwork being submitted. Uncontested divorces are much cheaper.
What is a Contested Divorce in Alabama?
A contested divorce is basically the opposite of an uncontested divorce. It’s a situation where the parties cannot reach an agreement on one or more matters regarding their divorce. In a contested divorce each party will be represented by their own attorney. Contested divorces are much more expensive for both parties.
Does Alabama recognize common-law marriages?
Yes. There is no number of years requirement in Alabama for a common-law marriage. The courts will look at the totality of the circumstances to determine if a man and a woman have a common-law marriage.
How long before my divorce becomes final?
It usually takes a couple of months if uncontested. A divorce can become final sometime after 30 days of the filing. Contested divorces can take years to become final in Alabama.
What is an Annulment?
The marriage was not truly an official marriage. Annulments are only available under a few limited circumstances, such as a marriage that was based on the premises of a false claim of pregnancy.
What is Alimony?
Payment from one spouse to another resulting from a divorce, that can be used either to maintain a spouse’s lifestyle or to terminate property interests. Alimony can be a lump-sum or payments over a specified period of time.
What is a fault-based divorce?
A fault divorce is one in which one party claims the other party did some legal wrong. Grounds for fault can include adultery, physical or mental cruelty, desertion, alcohol or drug abuse, insanity, etc.
How do you begin the divorce process?
If contested, a divorce is initiated by filing a Complaint for Divorce. The Defendant spouse is served with the complaint. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree to everything and file it all together.
What happens if my spouse won’t agree to sign the papers?
The divorce will be contested. A contested divorce often results in going to trial to resolve the issues of the divorce. Both sides are allowed to make discovery requests that include Interrogatories, Requests for Production, Requests for Admission, and Depositions. Settlement may be reached between your attorneys or in mediation.