Birmingham Divorce Attorneys
We are located at:
120 19th St N Suite 237, Birmingham, AL 35203
When a couple marries, divorce likely seems out of the question. Most couples expect they will get their “happily ever after” and work through any problems that come their way. Sadly, some disputes and differences are too difficult to overcome, and divorce may feel like the best way to regain your peace and happiness.
Going through the divorce process and everything that comes with it isn’t easy to navigate on your own—especially when children are involved. A Birmingham divorce attorney from The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates can guide and advocate for you. We can represent you in mediation and court hearings, explain what you can expect from the divorce process, and help maintain civility between you and your spouse. We aim to get you the most favorable outcome.
Our team of attorneys is standing by to learn your story. Reach out to The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates today for a free, no-obligation evaluation.
Get started by calling (256) 859-7277 or filling out our online form.
Birmingham Divorce Guide
- The Birmingham Divorce Attorneys at The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates Are Ready to Help You
- An Overview of the Divorce Process in Alabama
- Important Financial Matters That Play a Role in the Divorce Process
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Divorce Process in Alabama
- Contact the Birmingham Divorce Attorneys at Our Firm Today
- 7 of the Best Divorce Attorneys in Birmingham Alabama ›
The Birmingham Divorce Attorneys at The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates Are Ready to Help You
Our experienced divorce attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama assist clients in various areas of family law, such as:
- Child custody and visitation
- Spousal support (i.e., alimony)
- Child support
- Modifications in divorce, child custody, and alimony agreements
When you come to us for your no-obligation evaluation, we listen to your story and discuss all your options. You can count on us to guide you throughout the divorce process from start to finish.
Our team of attorneys provides an array of services, including:
- Gathering evidence to support your case
- Explaining each step of the divorce process
- Informing you of filing requirements for the county and state
- Educating you about property and asset division
- Going over how alimony and child support payments work
- Negotiating the above payments for you
- Representing you throughout mediation and court procedures
Trust that our lawyers have your best interests in mind. We work to ensure the court hears and values your point of view, and we strive to protect you from unfair outcomes.
Types of Divorces We Handle
Some family law attorneys don’t take on every divorce case, as certain types require specific knowledge and procedures.
At The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates, our skilled team of Birmingham divorce lawyers can help you if you’re going through:
- Divorce for professionals: Our attorneys can protect your degree, earnings, and other income if you pursued higher education or you practice a career that required higher education.
- High-asset divorce: We work to safeguard your bank accounts, investments, prized possessions, property, and other assets and ensure that the court fairly splits whatever assets you share with your spouse.
- Military divorce: Understanding federal laws, determining which income supports which divorce-related payment, and figuring out how military benefits work post-divorce can be difficult. Our attorneys can help you navigate these areas and many others.
Whatever type of divorce you’re going through, emotions often run high and it’s easy to let the stress get to you. If you’re confused or overwhelmed with the process, our attorneys can break down each step to help you feel more at ease.
An Overview of the Divorce Process in Alabama
Knowing what to expect from the Alabama divorce process can make it less stressful, allowing you to be more proactive.
The first thing you should know is the most basic requirement: residency. According to
Alabama Code § 30-2-5, the filing spouse must have lived in Alabama for at least six months if they want to divorce their spouse who lives in another state.
Once you meet this requirement, we can explore the details of your case.
On What Grounds Are You Divorcing Your Spouse?
Alabama allows its residents to divorce on fault and no-fault grounds.
The former requires one of the spouses to show that the other’s behavior meets the state’s criteria for a fault-based divorce, such as:
- Crime against nature
- Husband failing to support wife
- Pregnancy caused by someone outside the marriage
Couples can file for a no-fault divorce if they don’t feel compatible or the marriage has sustained an irretrievable breakdown, per Alabama Code § 30-2-1. Couples who file for no-fault divorce don’t have to provide a specific reason for their divorce.
What Type of Divorce Are You Getting?
In Alabama, there are usually two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. The former is when the couple disagrees on at least one issue, so the court has to step in and decide on an outcome for them.
On the other hand, uncontested divorce occurs when the spouses see eye-to-eye on all
issues pertaining to the divorce. This option typically allows the couple to reach a faster and less expensive resolution, especially if there’s no fighting or constant back-and-forth between the two.
Generally speaking, the process for both types of divorces goes as follows. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to submit additional paperwork if you have minor children.
Consult our lawyers to see what forms you need to sign to get a divorce.
We may ask you to:
- File a divorce complaint using Form PS-08
- Send a summons to your spouse
- Sign a marital settlement agreement with your spouse (but only for uncontested divorces)
- Provide an affidavit of your notarized testimony or sign form PS-09 if you have no minor children, assets, or property to split
- Show your Affidavit of Residency
- Sign the Certificate of Divorce
After that, once the court grants the Certificate of Divorce, a judge will finalize it.
How Long Do You Have to Wait for the Court to Finalize Your Divorce?
Regardless of the type of divorce you’re getting, the court will not finalize your divorce until at least 30 days after you initially filed for divorce—this is known as the waiting period. It’s not uncommon for those through uncontested divorces to wait longer, especially if the court is busy. Couples going through contested divorces may have to wait up to several months or a year.
Important Financial Matters That Play a Role in the Divorce Process
Knowing about child custody and support, alimony, and property division can help you avoid confusion later on in the divorce process. We provide an overview of each area below:
Child custody arrangements that Alabama allows include:
- Physical custody: The children live with this parent.
- Legal custody: This parent makes important life decisions for the children, such as medical care, schooling, after-school activities, and religious affiliations.
- Sole custody: This parent has the children most of the time and makes important life decisions for them while the other parent has visitation.
- Joint custody: According to Alabama Code § 30-3-152, Alabama pushes for this custody arrangement the most. Both parents have roughly the same amount of time with the children and make important life decisions for them together.
Even though the court favors joint custody, a judge will review your situation to determine which arrangement is in your children’s best interests.
When making child custody decisions, they may ask:
- If the parents want joint custody
- If either parent has a history of drug use, child or spouse abuse, or kidnapping
- How well the parents work together, especially when making decisions for the children
- If the parents encourage the children to have a relationship with the other parent
- How close the parents live to each other
The judge then creates a schedule that you and your ex-spouse must follow. If later down the line you both want to change it and have a valid reason to do so, you can request to modify the agreement.
Alabama expects both parents financially support their children. However, how much each parent pays depends on how many children they have and how much each parent makes combined.
In most cases, the parent who has physical and legal custody of the children receives child support payments. The parent who has visitation rights is usually the one paying the child support.
Spousal Support (Alimony)
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is the money one spouse pays to the other during and/or after a divorce.
Similar to the issues above, the judge considers multiple factors to determine the most suitable alimony arrangement:
- Each spouse’s health and age
- Each spouse’s standard of living while they were married
- The reason for the divorce
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s education and earning capacity
- The individual assets of each spouse
- How they divide their property
- Who has custody of the children
From here, the judge may order one of the following alimony agreements:
- Interim alimony: One spouse pays this money to the other during divorce proceedings.
- Rehabilitative alimony: One spouse pays this money to the other for a limited time, usually for five years or until they can financially support themselves.
- Periodic alimony: One spouse pays the other periodic alimony for the amount of time the marriage lasted. Exceptions may apply.
You may modify or terminate your alimony agreement if circumstances change, if your spouse moves in with their romantic partner of the opposite sex, or if they remarry.
Alabama law requires divorcing spouses to equitably (not equally) divide their assets and debts. Usually, the spouse with a higher income takes on more of the debts and gets to keep more of the assets.
Deciding who gets the house is one of the most complicated aspects of property division since both spouses usually want it without taking less of their other assets.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Divorce Process in Alabama
Because divorce can be such a complicated topic, here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the matter.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce in Birmingham, Alabama?
Alabama doesn’t require you to hire a divorce attorney, so deciding if you need one is your call. However, getting representation can greatly benefit you. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of divorce law and what it takes to get their client the most favorable outcome.
Can I Change Agreements I Made When I First Got Divorced?
Yes, you can, but you must establish there has been a significant change in circumstances, and you and your spouse must agree to modify the agreement.
Some examples that may qualify for a modification include:
- Spousal support: If the paying spouse loses their job, they can request a pause on making the alimony payments until they find a new job.
- Child custody: If the child is usually with one parent but they are now traveling for work a lot, the other parent can request more visitation.
Your Birmingham divorce attorney can help determine your eligibility for a modification.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce in Alabama?
It depends. Couples going through a contested divorce usually spend more time going back and forth, filling out more paperwork, and appearing in court. These seemingly minor tasks come with a price tag and can add up quickly. You may find it a small price to pay to properly disentangle your life from someone who hurts you emotionally or physically.
Couples going through an uncontested divorce typically pay less because their split is more amicable, and they tend to agree on all matters of the divorce.
What Is a Temporary Order?
Sometimes, a judge has the divorcing couple follow temporary orders during the waiting period. These temporary orders are meant to help stabilize each spouse’s financial status and child custody arrangements.
Either spouse can request temporary orders while they “find their footing” upon waiting for finalization. Once the court finalizes the divorce, the temporary orders automatically expire.
Will My Divorce Case Go to Trial?
Most divorce cases don’t go to trial. Instead, divorcing spouses come to a resolution regarding spousal support, child support, and custody in negotiations and/or mediation. If you cannot reach an agreement, your lawyer can prepare you for trial.
Contact the Birmingham Divorce Attorneys at Our Firm Today
Going through a divorce is a stressful and emotionally charged time for you and your family. To help relieve some of the burden, find out how one of our Birmingham divorce attorneys can advocate for you.
When you hire our firm, we guide you through the entire divorce process, protect your rights, and always keep your family’s best interests in mind.
To get started, contact The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates now at (256) 859-7277 for your free consultation.