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 Jemison, 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 Jemison 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 Jemison divorce lawyers bring compassion and kindness to your legal matters.

Learn how we can help you today by calling (256) 445-9206 or filling out our online form.

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Get advice from a qualified legal professional.

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, Jemison, Tuscaloosa, Florence, Huntsville, 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 Jemison 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 Jemison 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 Jemison, 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 engage in various types of divorce. For instance, a couple that amicably navigates the divorce proceedings experiences an uncontested divorce. Likewise, divorces stemming from mutual agreement can be termed no-fault divorces.

If one party doesn’t respond to a divorce summons, the plaintiff can benefit from a divorce by default. This type of divorce lets a judge split a person’s assets without any legally valid input from the defendant.

Then, there’s the at-fault divorce. In at-fault divorces, one party seeks to hold the other responsible for the marriage’s collapse. These scenarios might witness more disputes than other types, necessitating the intervention of legal representatives and a judge. This mediation can distribute assets and duties effectively, even if not always to both parties’ satisfaction.

Family Law Services We Offer to Jemison, AL Residents

Turning to our team of Jemison divorce attorneys means accessing a comprehensive range of family law services.

Additional Divorce Paperwork

After you file your divorce, your local circuit court might ask you and a divorce lawyer in Jemison to provide more documents. The forms often linked to present-day Alabama divorce cases encompass:

Protection Orders and Restraining Orders

Protection orders and temporary restraining orders (TROs) serve to safeguard one individual from another. Their goals are relatively alike in Alabama court scenarios. With your initial complaint, you can request either a TRO or a protection order.

A judge will sanction a protection order in instances of domestic violence. Alabama magistrates can grant protection orders either before or during a divorce.

Through a judge’s authority, they can award the protection order’s recipient:

  • Child custody
  • Possession of property or vehicle
  • Further financial relief

In divorce actions, the magistrate might issue a TRO offering similar relief to a protection order. This might occur in cases of domestic abuse, where the magistrate directs the offender to stay away from the victim, ensuring their safety. This kind of order is also provided to protect any children involved in the divorce process.

Additional Documentation

Throughout your divorce, the court may request that you fill out a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and a form named Testimony of Plaintiff.

If your divorce impacts children, it’s essential to provide paperwork detailing their connection to your complaint.

These documents can comprise:

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

These papers aid in outlining action strategies concerning your children’s welfare during and post-divorce.

Divorce and Your Finances

Starting your divorce, the circuit court will want details about your financial status. This data assists the court in dividing your assets.

Specific property owned by a spouse will revert to that spouse post-divorce. Trial judges can then evaluate the remaining assets and split them as justly as feasible. The division can involve the assistance of your lawyers, you, and your spouse.

Usually, a judge might review the financial data when determining asset distribution. For instance, a partner with a higher income might receive fewer assets than a jobless partner to ensure financial equity.

Temporary Alimony Versus Permanent Alimony

When assessing your case, a judge might decide to grant you the alimony needed to cope with the financial challenges of the divorce transition. The proposed alimony is based on factors like your earning capacity, the marriage’s duration, and any marital fault.

Two types of alimony exist: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony is given to the needing party from the time of the divorce suit’s filing until the court’s final decision or trial.

In contrast, judges integrate permanent alimony into your concluding rewards. You can ask for either periodic or lump sum alimony, depending on your preference for receiving financial aid. The amount of support provided depends entirely on the trial judge’s discretion. Furthermore, alimony’s monetary value is distinct from your other divided properties.

Child Custody and Support in an Alabama Divorce

In divorce proceedings, the judge can determine custody and visitation rights for the couple’s minor children. These decisions aren’t made in isolation.

Custody decisions mostly stem from a judge’s grasp of the:

  • Interests of the child
  • Welfare of the child
  • Fault found in the divorce
  • Evidence of past custody and care

Similarly, a parent’s financial status and overall stability can influence a judge’s belief in their capability to adequately care for a child. Children might even wish to express their custody concerns to Alabama divorce attorneys.

The parent not receiving primary custody is typically called the “non-custodial parent.” Depending on the judge’s interpretation of the divorce, this parent might have limited visitation rights. Divorcees can collaborate with lawyers and the judge to fix their visitation schedules and any accompanying conditions.

Awarding Custody to Others

Typically, Alabama courts prefer awarding physical custody of the child or children to a biological parent. However, custody can be granted to others, like the child’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even unrelated individuals.

Decisions like these rely on a judge’s evaluation of a potential guardian’s capacity to care for the child and their overall well-being. Some judges might even involve the child when considering placing them with a non-parent guardian.

What to Expect After Filing and Serving a Divorce Complaint

After you’ve submitted your complaint and your partner has submitted an answer, the speed at which your divorce progresses is dependent on the local area courts. You can expect to attend Pendente Lite hearings to discuss the relief available to you throughout the preliminary and ongoing divorce proceedings.

These hearings allow you to discuss child support, spousal support, child custody, and the occupation of shared property. After these, you can delve into discovery. Discovery permits the collection of witness statements regarding your marriage’s dynamics. You can also obtain details about your joint assets from your spouse.

Alabama Code § 6-6-20 mandates that you participate in mandatory mediation with your partner. This mediation can only be skipped if you present evidence of being a victim of spousal abuse.

Preparing for a Divorce Proceeding

In a perfect scenario, mediation would resolve all concerns regarding your finances and property. However, if that doesn’t happen, you and a proficient divorce attorney can advance to a final divorce trial. Here, you’ll collaborate with an attorney to advocate for the reclaiming of property or altered custody rights.

Remember, post-trial, if a decision doesn’t resonate with you, there’s always the option to appeal. But the Alabama appellate court might decline your appeal unless you demonstrate a legal error.

Preventing or Limiting the Fallout of a Divorce

The journey of divorce can be taxing for everyone involved. Despite the potential advantages of some proceedings, there are proactive steps to ease the burden. Always ensure to:

  1. Uphold your self-confidence and personal goals.
  2. Address your children’s queries about the divorce and your ex-partner sincerely.
  3. Stay in tune with your emotions and consider professional assistance if required.
  4. Strategize co-parenting that supports your children’s emotional well-being.
  5. Sidestep hasty rebounds.
  6. Stay engaged in your legal case.
  7. Visualize your post-divorce life.

Only trust experienced professionals for legal guidance. While well-intentioned, advice from friends or family might prolong your divorce process. Visit our office instead for a smoother divorce journey.

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Team

Experience reveals that family law situations often emerge from emotionally charged losses. These circumstances don’t always allow for logical thinking devoid of emotions. That’s why a compassionate family law advocate is essential during such times.

Our core values of trust and excellence, coupled with a track record of exceeding expectations, distinguish us. We’re committed to restoring security to families, aiding in rebuilding lives after losses, and ensuring a brighter future.

When seeking the best divorce lawyers in Alabama, thorough research is vital. Reach out to Divorce Lawyers who specialize in Morgan County and understand their approach, strategy, and resolution methods. Contact us; we’re eager to highlight what sets us apart.

Engage with Our Team of Jemison Divorce Lawyers

Divorces don’t always result in an equal or fair split. We’re here to shield you from any injustices. For professional consultations on your impending divorce, our team is available. Jemison divorce attorneys will assist you from your case’s inception to its closure.

Delve into your legal alternatives during a case review with our team at Charlotte Christian Law. Reach us online, or text or call at (256) 445-9206 to schedule a meeting and enhance your current situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

To initiate a divorce, you need to establish grounds that can be presented to the local circuit court. These grounds may encompass:

  • Adultery
  • Pregnancy by another man
  • Spousal abandonment
  • Spousal imprisonment for a minimum of two years with a sentence of at least seven years
  • Crimes against nature
  • Alcohol or drug dependency
  • Temperament incompatibility
  • Irreparable marriage breakdown
  • Domestic violence

Alternatively, you can opt for a no-fault divorce, which eliminates the need to provide evidence of any misconduct.

Who Do I File a Divorce Claim With?

To proceed with a divorce, you should file a divorce claim with your area’s circuit court. Within thirty days of submitting your initial complaint, the defendant must be served with a summons.

Although the response to your summons lies in your spouse’s hands, neglecting to furnish them with the requisite paperwork can invalidate your original complaint.

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

Legally, you are obligated to reply to a divorce summons. Your response can clarify your stance on the points mentioned in your spouse’s complaint. With the assistance of a divorce attorney, defendants can craft their answers to robustly outline a legal defense against any segments of the original claim they contest.

If one neglects to respond to a summons, it won’t benefit them. In such scenarios, Alabama authorizes the other spouse, who hasn’t heard back, to proceed with an uncontested divorce. Consequently, the court would determine the distribution of assets and custody rights.

Will a Temporary Order Impact My Divorce Proceedings?

To safeguard a spouse from various forms of abuse – be it physical, financial, emotional, or sexual – a judge can promulgate temporary orders. Such orders might grant child custody and visitation rights to one spouse.

These temporary orders remain in force until their renewal or until a judge renders a conclusive verdict on the divorce.

Which Alabama Court Addresses My Divorce?

In Alabama, divorce matters are exclusively dealt with by the circuit courts, which oversee all facets of family law. Disagreements with divorce verdicts can be escalated to the Court of Civil Appeals. If the case extends further, the Alabama Supreme Court might be the final arbiter.

When Does My Divorce Go Into Effect?

For uncontested divorces, the final ruling becomes effective thirty days after the filing of your complaint and summons. On the other hand, contested divorces might necessitate a more extended period for resolution.

Founder & CEO, Charlotte Christian

Schedule a Consultation with a Jemison Family Law and Divorce Attorney

Navigating a divorce doesn’t have to be a solitary journey. Our dedicated family law lawyers in Jemison, AL are at your service to guide you through the legal intricacies.

Reach out to us via text or phone to arrange your consultation. At Charlotte Christian Law, we pledge our unwavering support during your divorce and for any subsequent legal challenges.

2100 Southbridge Pkwy
Birmingham, AL 35209
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