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Why Do You Need a Lawyer for a Divorce?

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This article was reviewed and approved for publication by Attorney Charlotte Christian.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer for a Divorce?

If you and your spouse choose to get a divorce, you may wonder if you need a divorce lawyer. While a divorce lawyer is not required, they can guide you through the process and help you reach a positive outcome.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates understand how difficult divorce can be. We will be by your side throughout the entire divorce process and advocate for you to reach a fair settlement.

What If My Divorce Is Amicable?

It is easy to feel like you don’t need a lawyer if your divorce is amicable. Even if you and your former spouse are getting along, there are still legal matters that need to be dealt with. For example, a divorce attorney will ensure all forms are filed within the appropriate time frame.

Many issues come up in a divorce, and to have an amicable divorce, you and your ex-spouse will have to agree on every issue. After you have made decisions about each issue, you will be required to present this documentation to the judge. If you use a divorce lawyer, they will speak to the judge on your behalf.

There is a lot of time that goes into drawing up divorce documentation. Without prior knowledge, this can be an exhausting process, and you could miss something that a lawyer could have easily handled. Having a divorce attorney will save you time and allow you to focus on preparing your future.

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An Attorney Will Explain Alabama Divorce Requirements

Every state has different requirements, so it is helpful to have an attorney that is familiar with local laws. In the state of Alabama, there are several requirements regarding grounds for divorce, where you live, and how long you have to wait before proceeding with a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

In Alabama, you must provide the court with the grounds for divorce. According to Alabama Code § 30-2-1, those include:

  • Adultery
  • Voluntary abandonment from bed or board for one year before the complaint was filed
  • Imprisonment for 2 years, with the sentence being 7 years or longer
  • Incompatibility of temperament that the judge agrees the parties can no longer live together
  • Becoming addicted after marriage to habitual drunkenness or drug use
  • If the court finds there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and further attempts at reconciliation are impractical
  • If the wife was pregnant and the husband did not know about the pregnancy
  • If one of the spouses has engaged in violence against the other and the abused spouse feels like their life or health is in danger

Residency Requirements

In Alabama, there are residency requirements to file for divorce. To file for divorce in this state, you or your ex-spouse must live in Alabama for 6 months.

Waiting Period

According to Alabama Code § 30-2-8.1, there is a waiting period of 30 days from the date of filing for divorce for there to be a final judgment. Usually, a divorce will take longer than the 30-day waiting period.

A Divorce Lawyer Can Be Helpful When Negotiating Assets

If you have any assets that need to be protected, a divorce lawyer will fight for you during negotiations to keep them. If you have children or any of the following assets, a divorce lawyer can help you protect them. These assets include:

  • Real estate: An attorney can give you legal advice on how to sell your home during a divorce. If you or your spouse plan to keep the house after the divorce, a lawyer will help you come to an agreement regarding how the house will be owned and managed.
  • Retirement: Consulting with an attorney about what will happen to you or your spouse’s retirement after divorce will help you in the long run. If either party has a pension, it requires a special court order to split. An attorney will have the knowledge and resources to file any type of court order needed throughout the divorce proceedings.

A Divorce Lawyer Will Help Negotiate Child Custody and Support

If children are involved, a parenting plan and schedule are crucial. Even in the most amicable divorces, dividing custody can be emotional and challenging. A divorce attorney can create parenting plans that work for all parties involved.

When it comes to child support payments, an attorney will advocate for you to receive or pay a fair amount. If your spouse does not make payments, you can rely on your lawyer in the future to help enforce those payments.

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Call Today For a Consultation

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Charlotte Christian and Associates are prepared to take on your case. If you are wondering if you need a lawyer to handle your divorce, call for a consultation with our firm. Our attorneys understand that divorce can be stressful, and we want to support you through the process.

Contact us today for a consultation with our firm. We will discuss the circumstances of your case and give you a better idea of how we can help you.

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