It is never an easy decision to file for divorce.
Along with the emotional pain comes many questions about what will happen in your everyday life.
Divorce affects not only the spouses but also their children, financial stability, and even where they live.
Having an Athens, Alabama divorce attorney on your side can protect your rights and ensure someone has your best interests in mind.
At Charlotte Christian Law, our team of Athens divorce lawyers provides confidential, no-obligation evaluations. We can learn your story and assess your circumstances. We provide advice and guidance about your next steps and how we can help.
How Our Athens, AL, Divorce Attorneys Can Help You
The team of lawyers from Charlotte Christian Law guides clients through the divorce process from start to finish. We begin by meeting with them for a no-obligation evaluation, where we learn their story and develop an approach to their case.
We can help you with any family law concern in Limestone County, including:
By listening to our clients’ priorities, we fight for the best possible outcome. This could include saving money, remaining in the family home, getting custody, or preserving a prized collection or heirloom.
Throughout the process, our Athens divorce attorneys work to ensure the court recognizes our clients’ voices and points of view. We protect them from unfair legal results by presenting their side of things and countering any unjust allegations. With our divorce legal team on your side, you can focus on what is most important in your life.
Our Team of Lawyers Handles All Types of Athens Divorces
Our Limestone County family law attorneys understand how Alabama divorce law works. We often take on cases that many firms avoid because of their complexity. They typically take more work and knowledge of specific laws, but our lawyers do not back down.
Many families of military personnel stationed at Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Madison live in Athens or other nearby areas. There are also four other military installations across Alabama. We regularly represent members of the U.S. military and their spouses.
Our team understands the unique aspects of these cases, including:
- How divorce affects military benefits
- Federal laws related to serving a deployed spouse with divorce papers
- How a deployment can delay divorce proceedings
- What income counts for property division, alimony, and child support
- How spouses split military requirements under federal law
When a couple has many assets—or significant debts—property division grows more complex. Some attorneys shy away from these cases because of the work involved. Our attorneys understand Alabama’s property division laws and how they apply, regardless of clients’ bank accounts.
During a high-asset divorce case, we help clients:
- Protect their investments, savings, and other accounts
- Show prized collections are not community property
- Understand the rules that apply to property division in Alabama
- Seek and secure alimony or fight a demand for this support
- Fight for the family home or other significant investments
- Ensure they follow all necessary rules for spending and disclose all accounts during the divorce
Divorce for Professionals
When one spouse earns a professional degree and works in that field, it often raises several concerns during a divorce. We know how Alabama law navigates these cases and can help you fight to protect your degree and earnings. We can also pursue support and equitable property division in your case.
Our team stands ready to help if:
- You earned a degree and work as a doctor, lawyer, engineer, professor, or in another field that requires significant higher education.
- You supported your spouse, children, and/or household while they earned their degree to the detriment of your degree or career.
- You worry about how you can protect the value of your degree and your income during a divorce.
- You can’t support yourself during and after a divorce because you did not finish your degree or work outside the home.
We Know Alabama Divorce Law
Our lawyers know how Alabama divorces work. We navigate these cases every day, from start to finish. We understand the state’s fault and no-fault grounds and file cases for our clients based on both.
- An irrevocable breakdown
- Separation of two years or more
- Abandonment for at least a year
- Long-term or chronic imprisonment
- Long-term or chronic mental illness severe enough to require hospitalization
- Arrest or involvement in criminal activity
- Drug or alcohol addiction
If there is or may be abuse in your marriage, we understand why you may have concerns about speaking with our team or seeking a divorce. It requires bravery, but we are here to help and support you. Our no-obligation evaluations are confidential, so the information you share stays with us.
If you decide to move forward with your case, our Athens divorce attorneys can develop and execute a strategy that allows you to safely leave the marriage while protecting yourself and your children. We encourage you to connect with our team today to learn more.
How We Can Reach a Divorce Settlement in Your Case
Most people want to reach agreements with their spouse and settle their divorce case without going to trial.
Yet, you must agree on several things.
Our Athens, Alabama divorce attorneys can help you develop proposals or even mediate conversations with your spouse to try to agree on:
Child Custody and Visitation
Many people unfamiliar with family law think of custody and visitation as the same thing, but they are not. Custody refers to the parents’ decision-making rights and who has primary physical custody of the child. The primary custodian generally has more days in the parenting plan and receives child support from the other parent.
Under Alabama law, judges must consider one’s decision-making rights, shared physical custody, and regular visitation with both parents. This is the most likely outcome of these cases.
However, the judge will consider several factors when determining who will serve as the primary parent, per Alabama law, including:
- The child’s age and gender
- The child’s involvement in their school and community (and if that will change with either parent)
- The child’s current relationship with each parent
- Each parent’s emotional and mental fitness
- The parents’ physical health
- The child’s preference, in some cases
- The child’s environment with each parent
- The parent’s financial stability and ability to pay for the child’s expenses
- Any history of abuse or neglect
Our attorneys understand that the parent awarded temporary custody during the divorce often receives primary custody later. So, we pursue custody in the temporary orders. We also work to establish a parenting plan for visitation that favors our client if this is one of their priorities.
Not every divorce involves a request for alimony, also known as spousal support. However, we often deal with these requests during temporary orders. We can also request alimony or fight a demand for it in the final decree. Ongoing, significant spousal support is rare after a divorce is final.
Alabama laws determine when spousal support is possible, how long it lasts, and when the paying spouse can terminate their payments. In general, only long-term marriages with certain qualifying factors merit permanent alimony.
It may be possible to receive temporary or lump-sum payments while you complete a degree, find a job, or get a new home.
Behind child custody, property division is often the most hotly contested factor in a divorce. Both parties want to keep the family home, retain valuable assets, or keep their retirement account. Our lawyers can help you work out an agreement to avoid trial because of these disputes.
In Alabama, judges must distribute property equitably. This means they award debts and assets fairly between the divorcing parties. However, this does not mean each receives an equal share. If one works and earns more money, they may receive more assets and a greater portion of the debt.
We can often help our clients create trade-offs to reach an agreement on property division. For example, if you want to keep the house, you may need to allow your spouse to keep other property or valuable assets. This requires compromise, but it is often possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Athens, AL, Divorce
Below are general answers to some of the questions we commonly hear from those considering an Alabama divorce. You can connect with our team today to get solutions tailored to your specific circumstances.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Athens Divorce?
We recommend you work with experienced divorce attorneys in Athens familiar with your situation and circumstances. You could benefit from having someone on your side who knows the laws and can protect you from an unfair outcome. Even if you plan on pursuing an uncontested divorce, consulting an attorney throughout the process is a good idea.
Will My Divorce Case Go to Trial?
Only a small percentage of divorce cases go to trial. While it is possible, we can usually help our clients reach agreements through negotiations and mediation. Divorcing spouses may agree on property division, custody and visitation, spousal support, and other issues. Having a lawyer outline your options may help you avoid trial.
What Is Legal Separation?
While not every couple goes through a legal separation, it is a good option for some spouses considering divorce. It is a legal agreement to live separately without divorcing. This establishes a date for separation that could apply for property division purposes if a divorce follows. It also requires parents to develop a custody and visitation plan.
Our lawyers know how legal separation works, including the pros and cons. We can outline a course of action and file all necessary paperwork.
How Can I Pay My Bills During a Divorce?
We often need to address concerns from potential clients who worry about their lack of income or who do not have access to marital funds during a divorce. Our team can petition the court for temporary alimony or force your spouse to give you access to the necessary accounts during this time. You shouldn’t have to worry about your finances when divorcing.
What if I Need to Change the Court Order After a Divorce?
Negotiated agreements and court orders entail specific information about when the divorce occurred. Over time, these circumstances often change substantially. The Alabama family law courts understand and allow for some divorce modifications.
If you can show a substantial change in the circumstances that makes a court order moot, incorrect, or inconvenient, the judge may approve a modification. These petitions could modify child custody, visitation schedules, child support, or alimony.
How Long Could My Divorce Take?
How long a divorce takes in Alabama is dependent upon a number of factors.
Your case’s progression depends on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested:
- If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, you can seek a prompt resolution to your case.
- If you and your spouse cannot agree on specific terms, you could prolong how long it takes to finalize your divorce.
Our team can do everything in our power to keep proceedings moving forward. We know you want a prompt resolution to your divorce, and we can work to prevent unnecessary delays.
Meet with One of Our Athens Divorce Lawyers Today
At Charlotte Christian Law, our team of attorneys provides no-obligation evaluations for those who may need our family law services.
If you are considering divorce or your spouse filed for it, we are sorry you are facing these circumstances. You do not have to do it alone. Our attorneys advocate for our clients, protecting their rights and helping them get the best possible outcomes in their cases.