It is common for divorces to be contentious and bitter. While this is the case for many, there are instances where spouses can reach a common ground. In that event, they may file for an uncontested divorce. To consider a divorce uncontested, you and your spouse must agree on all issues.
A Huntsville uncontested divorce attorney from Charlotte Christian Law can ensure you follow Alabama’s divorce laws during all proceedings.
Contact us to learn how we can help you during your no-obligation consultation.
Uncontested Divorces Versus Contested Divorces
Whether they’re getting an uncontested or contested divorce, couples must adhere to waiting periods, residency requirements, and restrictions on remarriage.
About Uncontested Divorces
If spouses can agree on issues and cooperate, they can benefit from an uncontested divorce. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to see eye to eye with your spouse, but it can save you from going through the court system.
There are several issues couples must agree on before they can get an uncontested divorce.
The requirements for an uncontested divorce include:
- Both spouses want to get divorced.
- The spouses have agreed on how they will divide their property.
- The spouses have decided on child support payment amounts and frequency.
- The spouses have decided on the child custody schedule.
- Both parties agree to sign any documentation necessary.
If you and your spouse disagree on one issue, you cannot move forward with an uncontested divorce. You can pursue a contested divorce, work issues out with your spouse, or attempt mediation.
Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorces come with many benefits, including:
- It allows spouses to end their marriage without bringing up issues in the union.
- An uncontested divorce typically moves faster than a contested divorce. The couple has agreed on most issues, so they don’t have to take time negotiating who gets what assets.
- Uncontested divorces are usually significantly less stressful than contested divorces. Spouses generally know the assets and debts they will receive and won’t have to worry about fighting for the property they want.
- Uncontested divorces are typically cheaper than contested divorces because of attorney’s fees. Attorneys don’t have to take the time to negotiate assets and attend more hearings, which are services they may include in their fees.
- Uncontested divorces are better for the children. When parents cooperate, it puts less strain on their children.
Disadvantages of an Uncontested Divorce
While there are many benefits of an uncontested divorce, there are a couple of disadvantages, including:
- You may not know the extent of your spouse’s assets. Contested divorces go through a discovery process, fully disclosing all assets. You may not find out about all of your spouse’s assets if there is no discovery process, so you could miss out on obtaining your fair share.
- Your spouse could take advantage of you if you don’t have proper representation.
When you partner with our Huntsville uncontested divorce lawyers, we’ll start by evaluating your options. Then, we’ll explain what legal pathway aims for a prompt and fair outcome.
About Contested Divorces
A contested divorce is when one or both spouses have a dispute about at least one issue. Spouses have to go through more steps in a contested divorce, making the process longer and more costly than in an uncontested divorce.
If spouses cannot agree during the settlement phase, they can proceed to divorce court. At this point, the judge will decide on issues the spouses can’t agree on. The courts will always make decisions based on what is in the children’s best interests.
Advantages of a Contested Divorce
You may benefit from a contested divorce because:
- It is harder for spouses to hide assets. During a contested divorce, each spouse can identify all assets on each side. During asset division, you can divide all assets, instead of only the ones you know about.
- You don’t overlook property that is important to you. Sometimes, spouses will quickly agree to issues to get the divorce over quickly. During a contested divorce, it gives you time to think about the assets that are important to you.
- You may have suffered many injustices in your marriage and want to hold your spouse legally accountable. Working out these issues through a contested divorce can bring you finality and closure. You can end your marriage with nothing left unsaid.
Alabama is an equitable distribution state. The goal of equitable distribution is to split the property in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal. So when a judge splits assets, there may not be an equal division of assets.
What if You and Your Spouse Can’t Agree on All Issues?
Saving time and money makes uncontested divorce a desirable option. If you and your spouse cannot agree on all issues but desire an uncontested divorce, you can proceed to mediation. During mediation, you and your spouse can meet with a mediator who acts as a neutral third party.
The mediator can help with the issues you and your spouse can’t resolve on your own. For example, child support and custody issues are common areas where mediators are helpful. Once you and your spouse have agreed on issues through mediation, mediators can draft a settlement agreement.
An attorney on our team can guide you through the divorce process.
Why Is Mediation Beneficial?
One of the most significant benefits of mediation is it can help you avoid a contested divorce.
- You and your spouse both come to a resolution. Once you go to court, a judge decides on each issue you disagree about, and you and your spouse no longer have control of decisions.
- Mediation encourages positive communication with your spouse. Having a neutral third party can help you take a step back and determine what is fair.
- Mediators can help you realize what is best for the children. If you believe a particular child custody or support agreement would work for you, a mediator can provide insight into how these decisions affect the children.
Mediators are available both online and in-person, so you and your spouse can discuss which option works best for you.
Alabama’s Divorce Laws
Each state has its own set of divorce laws. State laws provide procedures and requirements for lawful divorces. For example, in Alabama, divorcing spouses must adhere to required waiting periods, residency requirements, and waiting periods to remarry.
Required Waiting Period
Alabama law imposes a 30-day waiting period before a judge finalizes a divorce. Once either party has filed the summons and complaint, this waiting period begins. Waiting periods give the spouses time to ensure they want to go through with the divorce.
Completing a divorce usually takes longer than 30 days because dividing assets and completing other requirements takes time. Thirty days is the minimum amount of time an Alabama divorce can take. Our Huntsville uncontested divorce lawyers at Charlotte Christian Law can help move your divorce along as quickly as possible.
To get divorced in Alabama, both spouses must meet the state’s residency requirements. Alabama law states that if the defendant is not a resident of Alabama, the plaintiff must have been a state resident for at least six months before filing.
You Must State the Grounds for Why You Are Getting Divorced
In Alabama, you must state the grounds for the divorce: either fault or no-fault, per Alabama law.
No-fault grounds indicate neither party committed any wrongdoing. For example, the person who petitions for divorce states the couple agrees they no longer want to be married.
In Alabama, grounds for a no-fault divorce include:
- The husband or wife could petition the courts if a complete incompatibility of temperament exists, and the parties can no longer live together.
- The divorce finds there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Any further attempts at reconciling are impractical, futile, and not in the best interest of either party or their families.
Fault grounds indicate one or both parties engaged in misconduct that caused the marriage to end. Sometimes, spouses file a fault divorce to hold their partner accountable for wrongdoing. Alternatively, if there is a prenuptial agreement, one spouse could collect benefits or alimony payments if their spouse committed adultery. Although a fault divorce could provide some benefits, they are much more expensive and take a lot more time to resolve.
In Alabama, grounds for a fault divorce could include:
- If either party was physically and incurably incapacitated when they got married.
- If either party committed adultery
- If either party voluntarily abandoned the bed and board for at least one year before filing the divorce petition.
- Imprisonment of either party for at least two years, and their sentence is seven years or longer.
- If either spouse becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs—habitual use of drugs includes morphine, opiates, or other similar drugs.
- When a mental hospital confines one party for at least five successive years. (A medical professional must complete a full study and examination of the other spouse and determine if they are hopelessly and incurably mentally ill.)
- If the courts rule in the husband’s favor if the wife is pregnant at the time of the marriage without the husband’s knowledge.
- If either party has committed actual violence against the other person or threatened them.
You Can’t Remarry for 60 Days
Once the judge finalizes the divorce, neither spouse can get remarried for sixty days in the state of Alabama. The exception to this rule is if the spouses decide to remarry each other.
If either spouse chooses to remarry in Alabama before the 60 days pass, their new marriage is considered void. However, if either spouse marries a new person in another state, their marriage is valid.
You Can Trust Charlotte Christian Law To Handle Your Uncontested Divorce
The attorneys at Charlotte Christian Law bring compassion and kindness to each case we work on. We understand divorce can be stressful, even when it’s uncontested. Our legal team works hard to make divorce as smooth as possible.
Our law firm aims to protect our clients from unfair results. We prepare each divorce case for success.
So, when you choose our firm, we can:
- Explain what you can expect from the divorce process
- Prepare your case and file a complaint with the circuit court (The complaint includes the names of each spouse, their ages, dates of residency, date/location of the marriage, grounds for divorce, information about any children, and the date of separation.)
- Negotiate a fair settlement agreement with the other party
- Handle communications with the court and your spouse’s attorney
- Determine which laws apply to you
- Guide you through asset division
- Represent you throughout hearings and mediation
We can take care of your legal matters, so your only focus is moving on with your life and finding your new normal.
Hire a Huntsville Uncontested Divorce Lawyer at Our Firm Today
It is always a good idea to seek legal representation during a divorce, even if you and your spouse agree on all issues. A Huntsville uncontested divorce lawyer from our law firm can guide you through the divorce process, help you achieve a positive result, and get your divorce finalized smoothly.
Decisions you make during divorce could affect you for the rest of your life, and our attorneys can provide legal advice so you can make the best decision possible. Contact Charlotte Christian Law today at . (256) 445-9206
We offer a no-obligation consultation to learn your story, and we can answer your questions and explain your next steps.