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Filing for Divorce in Alabama

Filing for Divorce in Alabama

Filing for Divorce in Alabama

Going through a divorce can be heartbreaking and time consuming, and the divorce rate in Alabama is the tenth highest in the country. The lawyers at Revill Law Firm are here to assist you with all your divorce needs, whether you are on the filing side of the divorce or you have been served with divorce papers. The information here will help you if you are the one filing.

Filing Party - Plaintiff

As the filing party, you or your loved one will be the Plaintiff. The first step towards filing for a divorce in Alabama is to be a resident here for at least six (6) months. Once you have established residency here for at least that long, it’s time to contact an attorney to help you through this process. Alabama is one of the states that offers a “no fault” divorce, meaning no one party is actually blamed for the divorce; no fault divorces are used the most often. However, there are also “at fault” divorces where one party is essentially blamed for the divorce. Regardless of if there is fault involved, there must be statutory grounds for the divorce. Below are a few of the grounds recognized under Alabama law.

No Fault

  • Breakdown of the marriage that is unfixable, as ruled by the court
  • Incompatibility that prevents the couple from living together any longer, as ruled by the court

At-Fault

  • Adultery (cheating), deviant sexual behavior, or impotence
  • Imprisonment for at least two (2) years with a sentence of at least seven (7) years
  • Becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs after getting married
  • Domestic violence or a fear of domestic violence
  • Abandonment for at least one (1) year
  • If the wife was pregnant at the time of marriage without the knowledge of the husband
  • If one party has been confined to a mental hospital for at least five (5) years and is incurably insane, accompanied by a statement from the director of the mental hospital

Our lawyers can help you understand these grounds and determine what grounds are appropriate in your case. Often no-fault grounds are initially plead to encourage settlement. If the case does not settle, at-fault grounds can be added.

Summons and Settlement Agreement.

These documents outline and specify the terms of the divorce, such as property division, spousal support like alimony, child support, and child custody. A lawyer can help you file those to take some of the burden off of you or your loved one. The last major step that Alabama requires is that the Defendant be served with the divorce papers. If the Defendant is willing, they can sign an Acceptance and Waiver of Service in acknowledgement of his or her receipt of the papers. However, if the Defendant is not willing to sign for the papers, Revill Law Firm can help you navigate the necessary steps to get the proper approval on the served papers.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

The last remaining item of importance is whether the divorce will be contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce, as the name suggests, is easier and faster. In an uncontested divorce both parties agree on the terms of the divorce and their agreement is. reduced into a settlement, which is adopted by the court. Uncontested divorces are beneficial to everyone involved. Especially where there are children. If, however, the parties cannot agree, the case will have to go to trial. This is known as a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, both parties lose control of their circumstances, and issues involving support, custody and visitation are decided by a judge, after a trial. By their very nature, contested divorces are often more complicated and more expensive.

Attorney Fees

Although divorce litigation can be expensive, the court, at its discretion, may award Attorney Fees to a prevailing or more financially disadvantaged party. While the total cost of litigation is rarely awarded, an award of Attorney Fees can significantly reduce overall litigation expenses.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, reach out to Revill Law Firm today. We’re here to help.

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