While divorce can seem simple, there are a multitude of different ways that the divorce outcome can be reached. In Alabama, there are two different types of divorces: uncontested, and contested. These two types can be reached in a variety of ways.
Here are the types of divorces you can receive in Alabama.
An Alabama uncontested divorce involves the couple and their attorneys settling on all terms of the divorce. This can include the division of property, alimony, child custody, and child support. This will often require a mediation session with a trained, third-party mediator.
When everything is ironed out, and the parties agree to all of the terms, their attorneys will draft a written settlement agreement. One spouse will submit this judgment, along with the divorce complaint, to the circuit court in the county where the other spouse resides. A circuit court judge will review the settlement agreement. If the judge approves the agreement, then it will become part of the divorce decree. A divorce decree means that the couple is officially divorced.
This is the cheapest and fastest way to obtain a divorce, but it does require both parties to agree on every facet of the terms.
The other type of divorce in Alabama is a contested divorce. There are two ways that a divorce decree may occur: by default, or by trial.
A default divorce happens when the spouse being filed against doesn’t respond within the required time limits.
In a default divorce, the judge makes their determination based on the sole testimony of the party who filed the suit. This means that the divorce decree will follow the filing party’s plan for alimony, child support, division of property, and child custody.
In order for a contested divorce to go to trial, the defendant files a response to the complaint filed against them.
In divorce, it is the plaintiff that files the complaint, and defendants are the ones receiving the complaint. When the defendant files a response to the complaint, the court will set a trial date for the case as a civil action. If the other party files a response and disagrees with what the plaintiff requested, the case becomes contested. The defendant may disagree with everything the plaintiff has in their complaint, or only some of the issues. The parties may start a divorce agreement on the issues that have been worked out, while the remaining questions will be decided by a judge.
Unless the case is settled before trial, there will be a hearing in front of a county circuit court judge. Both parties have the right to present evidence and call witnesses on their behalf.
When the judge decides on all of the issues in the case, they will issue a final order of divorce, also known as a divorce decree. The divorce decree will be the legal document that contains all of the terms for the divorce, and both parties are required to follow its directions and agreements. The divorce is official and final when the divorce is signed by the court, and is issued.
It’s important to remember that both spouses need a lawyer for this process. Many of these processes require both parties having a lawyer,
Contact an Experienced Alabama Divorce Lawyer
If you looking into getting a divorce, you want someone who is going to be on your side. Connect with us at The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates Firm to find an attorney that will go to bat for you both in and out of court. We will fight for you.