Charlotte Christian Law

At Charlotte Christian Law, we stand by your side and guide you through the process—from start to finish. We work to protect your financial well-being, help you navigate child custody disputes, and explore opportunities and solutions that you may not have imagined. Our skilled Big Cove, Alabama divorce lawyers advocate for your best interests at every turn and work hard to have your voice recognized.

Divorce can be one of the most challenging times of your life. On top of it all, your court case may seem unfair. Fortunately, our family law firm can help protect you from an unfair legal result. Our main goal is to protect your legal rights while safeguarding your future. We’ve seen many divorce and family law cases and understand how emotional they can be. Our divorce attorneys work to ensure you move through the process efficiently and have someone to protect your rights.

We strive to make our clients’ todays better than their yesterdays. Whether you’re contending with a divorce, custody, child support, or need to modify an existing order, our Big Cove divorce lawyers bring compassion and kindness to your legal matters.

Discover how we can assist you today by calling (256) 445-9206 or filling out our online form.

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Get advice from a qualified legal professional.

We’re the divorce lawyers that Alabama residents trust.

No one should be uncertain during a divorce. At Charlotte Christian Law, our attorneys help you through each step. Move toward a brighter future with clarity and confidence. We help you achieve a future without headaches, where you finally feel in control again. Whether in Birmingham, Big Cove, Tuscaloosa, Florence, Decatur, Athens, or areas in between, we want to make your day today better than yesterday.

Preparing Your Case

Divorce proceedings are initiated by filing a complaint with your circuit court. As your divorce lawyer, we can initiate a divorce in Big Cove by filing a complaint with your local circuit court.

A complaint is a legal document or pleading that a party is required to file with the court to initiate a divorce.

Several pieces of important information must be contained in the complaint, including:

  • The names of the plaintiff and defendant
  • The ages of all parties involved in the case
  • The date of residency for one or both parties
  • The date and location of the couple’s marriage
  • The grounds for divorce
  • Children’s names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers
  • A date of separation, as applicable

You must include a copy of your marriage certificate alongside your initial complaint.

Upon filing your complaint, a Big Cove divorce lawyer can serve a copy on the defendant. The defendant can answer your papers with additional information about the dissolution of the marriage. This response must reach a local circuit court within 30 days of the original complaint’s submission.

Failure to submit a response within the deadline allows the plaintiff to request a Divorce Judgment by Default.

Answering a Divorce Complaint

When you answer a divorce complaint, you do more than affirm your interest in divorce proceedings. You also have the opportunity to elaborate on the issues that you want the upcoming proceedings to address. This includes the division of property, the settlement of debts, and any concerns you may have about child custody.

To have a court address these concerns, you need to tell area courts about any property you share with your spouse. You also need to frankly discuss your debts and the emotional well-being of your children.

You can work with our law firm to elaborate on these issues. We can help you submit your essential documentation within 30 days of receiving your summons.

Establishing Your Grounds for Divorce

Before you are legally permitted to pursue a divorce throughout Alabama, you need to establish your reasons, or “grounds,” for separation. Your reasoning must be recognized by state law for your case to proceed.

The frequently cited grounds for divorce in Alabama are:

  • Infidelity
  • A minimum of two years of intentional separation within Alabama
  • Deliberate desertion for at least one year
  • A jail term lasting at least two years within the previous seven years
  • At least five years of institutionalization for mental health reasons during the marriage
  • Engagement in illegal activities
  • A pre-marital pregnancy not involving one of the parties in the existing marriage
  • Substance abuse

With that in mind, you can discuss your circumstances with a divorce attorney in Big Cove, AL ahead of time. An initial case review can help you get a sense of your legal standing.

Residency Requirements for Divorce in Alabama

To file for divorce in Alabama, one of the spouses must have been a legal resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing of the divorce complaint. The state establishes this requirement in Alabama Code § 30-2-5.

If neither spouse has been a resident of Alabama for the requisite amount of time, the couple may pursue divorce proceedings in another state.

Types Of Divorce

Different couples find themselves involved in various types of divorces. For instance, a couple who amiably navigates the divorce proceedings experiences an uncontested divorce. Similarly, divorces that arise from a mutual agreement are termed no-fault divorces.

If one party doesn’t respond to a divorce summons, the plaintiff might benefit from a divorce by default. This type of divorce enables a judge to allocate an individual’s assets without the defendant’s legally admissible input.

Lastly, there’s the at-fault divorce. In at-fault divorces, one party tries to pin the blame for the marriage’s failure on the other. These cases might witness higher levels of conflict, necessitating legal representatives and a judge to intervene on behalf of the client. This intervention can effectively, if not amicably, split assets and responsibilities between the two parties.

Family Law Services We Offer to Big Cove, AL Residents

When you bring your concerns to our team of Big Cove divorce attorneys, you tap into a comprehensive suite of family law services.

Additional Divorce Paperwork in Greenbrier

After initiating your divorce, your circuit court may ask you and a divorce lawyer in Big Cove to provide more documentation. The forms most commonly associated with Alabama’s divorce cases include:

Protection Orders and Restraining Orders

Protection orders and temporary restraining orders (TROs) are distinct documents meant to shield one individual from another. However, their intentions are broadly similar in the Alabama court cases. Along with your initial complaint, you can petition for either a TRO or a protection order.

A judge will sanction a protection order in instances of domestic abuse. Alabama judges can issue these orders before or during a plaintiff’s divorce.

With a judge’s authority, the holder of the protection order can secure:

  • Child custody
  • Ownership of a home or vehicle
  • Further financial relief

In divorce matters, a judge might issue a TRO offering the same relief as a protection order, especially in cases of domestic violence. The order instructs the abuser to stay away from the victim to ensure their safety. Such orders also play a role in safeguarding children involved in the divorce process.

Additional Paperwork

Throughout the divorce proceedings, the court might request that you fill out a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and a form named Testimony of Plaintiff.

If children are impacted by your divorce, you must provide documents detailing their relationship with your complaint.

These forms can encompass:

  • Child Support Guideline Notice of Compliance
  • Child Support Guideline Form
  • Child Support Obligation Income Statement
  • Child Support Information Sheet
  • Certificates of Attendance for compulsory training or counseling

Such documents assist in establishing plans regarding your children’s care during and post-divorce.

Divorce and Your Finances

Upon commencing your divorce proceedings, the circuit court will mandate that you disclose your financial information. This data aids the court in equitably dividing your assets.

Individual property owned by a spouse will be returned to them post-divorce. Trial judges will then review the remaining assets and divide them as justly as feasible. The division might involve your attorneys, you, and your spouse.

In most scenarios, a judge can assess the financial data when determining the property allocation. For instance, a spouse with a higher income might receive fewer assets than an unemployed spouse, ensuring economic balance.

Temporary Alimony Versus Permanent Alimony

During your case evaluation, a judge might decide to grant you the alimony necessary to manage the financial burdens during and post-divorce. The court determines the alimony based on your earning capacity, marriage duration, and any fault within the marriage.

Two types of alimony are available: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony is allocated to the needy party from the time of filing the divorce suit until the court’s final decision.

In contrast, permanent alimony is integrated into your final awards. You can ask for periodic or lump-sum alimony, based on your preference for receiving support. The type and amount of support lie entirely within the trial judge’s discretion and are separate from other divided assets.

Child Custody and Support in an Alabama Divorce

In a divorce case, the judge can decide on the custody and visitation rights for the couple’s minor kids. However, judges don’t make these decisions arbitrarily.

Custody decisions primarily rely on a judge’s insight into the:

  • Interests of the child
  • Well-being of the child
  • Fault attributed to the divorce
  • Previous evidence of custody and care

Likewise, a parent’s financial condition and overall stability influence a judge’s opinion on their suitability for child care. Children can also voice their custody concerns to Big Cove, Alabama divorce attorneys if they choose to.

The parent not granted primary custody is termed the “non-custodial parent.” Their visitation rights may be limited, based on the judge’s interpretation. Both parties can liaise with attorneys and the judge to determine the visitation schedule and any associated conditions.

Awarding Custody to Others

Usually, Alabama courts prefer to award physical custody to a biological parent. But a judge can grant custody to others, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, or unrelated individuals.

These decisions are influenced by two primary factors. Judges will evaluate a guardian’s capability to care for a child and its overall welfare. Some judges might even involve the child in the decision-making process when contemplating placing them under a non-parental guardian’s care.

What to Expect After Filing and Serving a Divorce Complaint

After you’ve submitted your complaint and your partner has submitted an answer, the speed at which your divorce progresses depends on area courts. You can expect to attend Pendente Lite hearings to discuss the relief available to you throughout the preliminary and ongoing divorce proceedings.

These hearings allow you to discuss child support, spousal support, child custody, and the occupation of shared property. After these hearings, the discovery phase begins. Discovery allows you to gather witness statements about your relationship throughout your marriage and gather information about your assets from your spouse.

Alabama Code § 6-6-20 then mandates that you undergo mediation with your partner. Exceptions are made only if evidence is provided showcasing spousal abuse.

Preparing for a Divorce Proceeding

If mediation doesn’t lead to a resolution, you and a skilled Big Cove, AL divorce attorney can advance to a final divorce trial. Throughout this journey, you’ll work with an attorney to make claims on property or fight for custody rights.

Although you can always appeal a decision post-trial, the Alabama appellate court might reject your appeal unless you present a legal error.

Preventing or Limiting the Fallout of a Divorce

Divorce proceedings can be emotionally taxing. While there might be some benefits, it’s essential to manage the stress it brings. It’s recommended to:

  1. Focus on your well-being and personal interests.
  2. Address your children’s queries about the divorce honestly.
  3. Regularly assess your emotions and consider seeking professional help if needed.
  4. Ready yourself for cooperative parenting.
  5. Avoid rushing into another relationship.
  6. Engage actively in the legal process.
  7. Plan your life post-divorce.

Only seek legal advice from professionals. Friends and family mean well, but unsound legal advice could prolong your proceedings. Turn to our firm for guidance on achieving a smooth divorce.

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Team

Experience shows that family law issues arise from emotional strain and loss, often hindering logical decision-making. It’s vital to lean on a family law advocate who can represent you passionately.

Our values of trust and excellence and our track record distinguish us from others. We aim to help families like yours regain security and embrace a brighter future after facing loss.

If you seek the best divorce lawyers in Big Cove, we encourage thorough research. Reach out to Divorce Lawyers in Madison County to understand their approach, strategy development, and case resolution methods. Contact us; we’re eager to highlight our unique attributes.

Discuss Your Concerns With Our Team of Big Cove Divorce Lawyers

Divorces don’t always result in a fair 50/50 split. Our mission is to guard you against any injustice in the divorce process. If you need professional advice regarding your impending divorce, our team in Big Cove is here for you from start to finish.

Discuss your legal scenarios during a case review with our team at Charlotte Christian Law. Contact us online or through text or call at (256) 445-9206 to set up an appointment promptly and see how we can improve your current situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Have to Submit Evidence of Fault to File a Divorce?

To present your divorce case to a local circuit court, you need to establish grounds for divorce. These grounds can encompass:

  • Adultery
  • Pregnancy by another man
  • Spousal abandonment
  • Spousal imprisonment for at least two years with a sentence of a minimum of seven years
  • Crimes against nature
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Incompatibility of temperament
  • Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
  • Domestic abuse

However, you also have the flexibility to file a no-fault divorce, which means you aren’t obligated to present evidence of any misconduct.

Who Do I File a Divorce Claim With?

To initiate a divorce, submit a divorce claim to your local circuit court. Ensure that the defendant receives a summons within thirty days of lodging your introductory complaint.

Though your spouse will decide how to respond to your summons, neglecting to deliver the necessary documents may invalidate your preliminary complaint.

If I’ve Been Served Divorce Papers, How Can I Respond?

The law mandates that you react to a divorce summons. You can craft your response to express your agreement or disagreement with the claims made by your spouse. To develop a robust legal defense against parts of the primary complaint they contest, defendants might choose to collaborate with a divorce attorney.

Ignoring a summons won’t favor the defendant. Alabama’s laws permit spouses, who don’t hear back from their partners, to seek an uncontested divorce. In such situations, the court determines the division of property and custody rights.

Will a Temporary Order Impact My Divorce Proceedings?

To shield a spouse from physical, financial, sexual, or emotional mistreatment, a judge can sanction temporary orders. These orders might grant child custody and visitation rights to one spouse.

Such temporary orders remain effective until a judge either renews them or provides a conclusive verdict on the divorce.

Which Alabama Court Addresses My Divorce?

In Alabama, circuit courts exclusively manage divorce cases, encompassing all family law issues. If you disagree with a divorce decision, you can escalate it to the Court of Civil Appeals. If the case proceeds further, the Alabama Supreme Court might oversee your divorce.

When Does My Divorce Go Into Effect?

For uncontested divorces, the final judgment takes effect thirty days post-filing your complaint and summons. However, contested divorces may require a longer period for resolution.

Founder & CEO, Charlotte Christian

Schedule a Consultation with a Big Cove Family Law and Divorce Attorney

Facing the challenges of a divorce doesn’t have to be a solitary journey. Our family law attorneys in Big Cove, AL, are dedicated to guiding you through the legal intricacies.

Reach out to us via text or call to arrange your consultation. At Charlotte Christian Law, we are committed to standing by your side during your divorce and addressing any subsequent legal matters.

203 Eastside Square
Suite 6
Huntsville, AL 35801
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