Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in Huntsville Family Law Cases
Our team provides no-obligation evaluations to those with family law concerns in Huntsville. For now, we also offer our answers to some of the most common questions we hear from our prospective and current clients. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team if you have additional questions or want help based on your unique situation.
Does a Huntsville Divorce Require an Attorney?
Yes. The law is too complicated for you to get divorced, dispute child custody, or modify a previous order without legal representation. Moreover, most people consider working with a family law firm or consulting with a Huntsville family law attorney—for good reason.
A divorce rarely proves simple. Emotions can get in the way of logical decision-making. The outcome affects your financial health, children’s well-being, and many other aspects of your everyday life. We always recommend at least a consultation to learn if your case is more complex than you realize.
In a contested divorce involving children, we always recommend hiring a lawyer. The stakes are often too high to handle your case alone.
Does Alabama Have a Waiting Period for Divorce?
Alabama does have a waiting period. At least 30 days must pass after the date of the initial complaint and summons. Only after at least 30 days and an approved agreement or trial will the court grant a divorce. Other timelines and deadlines also apply in these cases. We can discuss what you can expect based on the circumstances of your case during your no-obligation consultation.
What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?
Courts classify divorces, modifications, and other court petitions as “contested” or “uncontested.” An uncontested petition means the parties agree on all parts of the divorce, and the court does not need to address any issues. A contested petition includes at least one disputed factor. In many cases, they contain several areas where the parties do not agree.
For example, spouses may agree they both want a divorce. They may agree the father will keep the house, and the mother will retain primary custody of the children. However, they may not agree on questions related to visitation with the kids, splitting of assets, or if the situation warrants spousal support. The court would consider this a contested divorce.
Will My Huntsville Divorce Have to Go to Trial?
Like most other civil cases, divorces in Huntsville generally settle without going to trial. Instead, the parties talk through agreements or attend mediation where they reach a consensus on any contested matters. Their attorneys then prepare a document outlining their agreements.
A judge must approve any agreements, but your family law attorney can ensure they are appropriate and fair. Generally, the judge will not dispute an agreement if they meet these criteria.
Of course, some divorces go to trial, especially when significant issues block spouses from reaching a compromise. When this occurs, the judge will hear arguments from each side, listen to witness testimony, evaluate evidence, and rule on any disputed matters. The court then issues a decision and decree.
Can We Draw Up Our Own Child Custody Agreements?
In most cases, child custody and visitation schedules settle outside court. The parents agree on decision-making, primary parent responsibilities, and when the child or children will see the other parent. The courts generally accept this in Huntsville and throughout the state of Alabama.
You will want us to write and review your custody agreement to protect your parental rights.
In a divorce or child custody dispute, these agreements will go into the court order approved by the judge to finalize the case. If you decide to modify them on your own after a previous agreement or court order, a Petition to Modify is a good idea. This officially alters the earlier court order to include the new agreement.