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 Hazel Green, Alabama divorce attorneys 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 Hazel Green 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 Hazel Green 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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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, Hazel Green, 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 Hazel Green 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 Hazel Green 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.

Some of the most common grounds for divorce in Alabama include:

  • Adultery
  • Voluntary separation within Alabama for at least two years
  • Voluntary abandonment for at least a year
  • Imprisonment for at least two years within the past seven years
  • Confinement within a mental institution for at least five years during the marriage
  • Participation in criminal activities
  • A pregnancy prior to the couple’s marriage that did not involve one of the spouses involved in the current marriage
  • Drug addiction

If your reasons for seeking a divorce are not listed above, you’re not out of options. Upon reading a summary of your reasons in your complaint, a judge can determine whether or not your marriage has suffered an irrevocable breakdown. What constitutes a breakdown is up to individual judges.

With that in mind, you can discuss your circumstances with a divorce attorney in Hazel Green, 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 different kinds of divorces. For example, a couple who peacefully goes through the divorce proceedings enjoys an uncontested divorce. Similarly, divorces resulting from an amicable plan can be called no-fault divorces.

Should one party fail to respond to a divorce case summons, the plaintiff may benefit from a divorce by default. This kind of divorce allows a judge to divide a person’s property with no legally admissible input from the defendant.

Finally, there is at-fault divorce. At-fault divorces see one party attempt to hold the other accountable for the failure of a marriage. These cases may see more conflict than the others, requiring legal representatives and a judge to intervene on the client’s behalf. This intervention can divide property and responsibilities successfully – if not happily – between the parties.

Family Law Services We Offer to Hazel Green, AL Residents

When you bring your concerns to our team of Hazel Green divorce attorneys, you gain access to the full package of family law services.

Additional Divorce Paperwork

After you’ve filed for divorce, your circuit court may require you and a divorce lawyer in Hazel Green to submit additional paperwork. The forms most frequently tied to today’s Alabama divorce cases include:

Protection Orders and Restraining Orders

Protection orders and temporary restraining orders (TROs) are two separate documents used to protect one person from another. Their purposes are relatively similar in Alabama court cases. When submitting your initial complaint, you can file a petition for either a TRO or a protection order.

A judge will sign a protection order in a case of domestic abuse. Alabama judges can issue protection orders prior to or in the middle of a plaintiff’s divorce.

A judge’s authority gives them the right to grant the protection order’s holder:

  • Child custody
  • Possession of a home or vehicle
  • Additional financial relief

In divorce actions, the judge may issue a TRO granting relief identical to a protection order. This may again be a case of domestic violence where the judge orders the abuser to keep clear of the victim to protect that party and keep him or her safe. This type of order is also granted to protect children involved in the divorce proceedings.

Additional Paperwork

During divorce proceedings, your court may ask you to complete a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and a form entitled Testimony of Plaintiff.

If you have children who will be affected by your divorce, you must submit paperwork elaborating on their relationship to your complaint.

These documents can include:

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

These documents help you establish action plans involving your children’s care throughout and after your divorce.

Divorce and Your Finances

As you commence your divorce proceedings, your circuit court will mandate that you disclose pertinent details about your financial status. This data will subsequently assist the court in equitably dividing your assets.

Assets individually owned by a spouse will be returned to them upon divorce. The trial judges then evaluate the residual assets, striving to divide them as justly as feasible. This assessment can be facilitated with input from both spouses, their lawyers, and the judge.

Often, a judge will scrutinize the financial data to determine the division of assets. For instance, a spouse with a more robust income might be allocated fewer assets compared to an unemployed spouse to maintain economic balance.

Temporary Alimony Versus Permanent Alimony

In assessing your case, a judge might grant you the requisite alimony to cope with the financial challenges during and post-divorce. The suggested alimony amount is determined based on your earning capacity, the duration of the marriage, and any marital misconduct.

Two types of alimony are available: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony is provided to the deserving party from the filing of the divorce case until the court’s final verdict.

On the other hand, permanent alimony is incorporated into your final awards. You can opt for either periodic or lump-sum alimony, based on your preferred frequency of financial aid. The extent and amount of support granted remain the sole prerogative of the trial judge and is distinct from the division of other assets.

Child Custody and Support in an Alabama Divorce

In a divorce scenario, the presiding judge has the authority to determine the custody and visitation rights of the couple’s minor children. However, these decisions aren’t arbitrary.

Key factors influencing custody verdicts include:

  • The child’s interests
  • The child’s welfare
  • The fault associated with the divorce
  • Historical evidence of custody and care

Moreover, the economic situation and overall stability of a parent play a pivotal role in a judge’s assessment of their capability to effectively nurture a child. Children may also voice their reservations or preferences about custody, engaging with Hazel Green, Alabama, divorce attorneys if they so desire.

The parent not granted primary custody is termed the “non-custodial parent.” Their visitation rights may be limited based on the judge’s interpretation of the divorce case specifics. Both parties can collaborate with their attorneys and the judge to chalk out a visitation schedule and any associated conditions.

Awarding Custody to Others

Although Alabama courts generally prefer to assign the physical custody of children to a biological parent, there are instances where custody might be granted to other individuals like grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even non-relatives. Such decisions are influenced by the guardian’s caregiving capability and the child’s overall welfare. Some judges may even confer with the concerned child while considering non-parental guardianship.

What to Expect After Filing and Serving a Divorce Complaint

Once your complaint is lodged and your spouse responds, the pace of your divorce proceedings hinges on the local courts. Pendente Lite hearings might be scheduled to deliberate on the available relief during the interim and ongoing divorce processes.

These hearings present an avenue to discuss child support, spousal support, child custody, and shared property rights. After these hearings, the discovery phase begins, where you can accumulate witness testimonies concerning your marital experience and also secure financial details from your spouse.

Alabama Code § 6-6-20 then necessitates mandatory mediation between the parties. This step can be skipped only if evidence of marital abuse has been presented.

Preparing for a Divorce Proceeding

The best-case scenario is achieving a consensus on financial and property matters during mediation. If unresolved, you, along with a proficient Hazel Green, AL divorce lawyer, can transition to the final divorce trial. Here, you’ll champion your case for property claims or revised custody rights.

Post-trial, if dissatisfied with the verdict, you have the right to appeal. However, the Alabama appellate court might dismiss your appeal unless a legal oversight can be demonstrated.

Preventing or Limiting the Fallout of a Divorce

Divorce proceedings can be draining for everyone concerned. While there might be scenarios where such proceedings are advantageous, there are measures you can adopt to lessen the pressure you endure. When uncertain, ensure that you:

  1. Prioritize your self-assurance and personal objectives.
  2. Answer your children’s queries about the divorce and your ex-spouse’s actions sensitively.
  3. Regularly assess your emotional state and consult professionals when necessary.
  4. Prepare for co-parenting that prioritizes your children’s psychological well-being.
  5. Steer clear of detrimental rebound relationships.
  6. Remain actively engaged in your case’s legal developments.
  7. Strategize for your life post-divorce.

Above all, seek legal counsel only from seasoned experts. While your acquaintances and family have good intentions, misguided legal advice might prolong your divorce process. Alternatively, you can visit our office to understand how you can achieve a smoother divorce.

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Team

Our experience shows that family law issues often stem from emotionally overwhelming situations characterized by loss. Such scenarios usually compromise an individual’s capacity to reason and act without being emotionally swayed. This is why the support of a dedicated family law representative, who is genuinely concerned and will ardently defend you, becomes invaluable.

Our fundamental beliefs in trust and excellence, combined with our history of surpassing client expectations, distinguish us from other firms. Our mission is centered around assisting families like yours regain stability, craft a fresh chapter after a setback, and bask in the bright future you rightfully merit.

For those searching for top-tier divorce attorneys in Hazel Green, proper research is essential. Engage with Divorce Lawyers who are well-versed in Madison County’s divorce procedures to comprehend their firm’s approach, your potential strategy, and your case’s probable resolution. Reach out to us. We’re eager to share what sets us apart.

Discuss Your Concerns With Our Hazel Green Divorce Lawyers Team

Divorces aren’t always equitable or just. We’re here to shield you from an unjust divorce. If you need to converse with an expert about your impending divorce, our team is your best resource. Divorce attorneys in Hazel Green are prepared to assist you from the beginning to the culmination of your case.

Explore your legal alternatives in a case review session with our team at Charlotte Christian Law. Reach out to us online or via text or call at (256) 445-9206 to promptly schedule a meeting, guiding you towards a brighter tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Before proceeding with your divorce in an area circuit court, you must provide grounds for your divorce. These grounds can encompass:

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

There’s also a provision for filing a no-fault divorce. With a no-fault divorce, you aren’t required to provide evidence of any misconduct.

Who Do I File a Divorce Claim With?

To initiate a divorce, you must file your divorce claim with the local circuit court. Following your filing, you have to serve the defendant with a summons within thirty days.

While the manner of response is at the discretion of your spouse, failing to deliver this summons might render your primary complaint invalid.

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

You’re legally obligated to answer a divorce summons. This answer can elucidate your agreement or disagreement with the claims of your spouse. Defendants can liaise with a divorce attorney when crafting their responses to present a robust legal defense against any aspects of the original claim they find objectionable.

Not responding to a summons can be detrimental. In such cases, Alabama’s laws permit the petitioning spouse, without receiving a response, to seek an uncontested divorce. Consequently, decisions on property and custody division fall to the court’s judgment.

Will a Temporary Order Impact My Divorce Proceedings?

Judges have the authority to pass temporary orders, aimed at shielding a spouse from potential physical, economic, sexual, or emotional harm. Such orders can determine child custody and visitation rights.

These temporary orders remain effective until they’re either renewed or a judge decrees a final judgment regarding the divorce.

Which Alabama Court Addresses My Divorce?

In Alabama, divorce matters are exclusively overseen by circuit courts. These courts address all family law issues. If you’re dissatisfied with a divorce ruling, you have the option to escalate it to the Court of Civil Appeals. Beyond that, the Alabama Supreme Court may deliberate on your divorce.

When Does My Divorce Go Into Effect?

For uncontested divorces, the final verdict becomes effective thirty days after the filing of your complaint and summons. By contrast, contested divorces might require a longer time for resolution.

Founder & CEO, Charlotte Christian

Schedule a Consultation with a Hazel Green Family Law and Divorce Attorney

Facing the intricacies of a divorce need not be a solitary battle. Our family law attorneys in Hazel Green, AL, are equipped to guide you through the legal intricacies.

Reach out to us via text or phone to book your consultation. Charlotte Christian Law remains by your side during your divorce and for any subsequent legal challenges.

85 Town Center Dr NW
Suite A
Huntsville, AL 35806
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