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 Owens Cross Roads, Alabama divorce lawyers 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 Alabama 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 Owens Cross Roads divorce attorney brings 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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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, Owens Cross Roads, 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 Owens Cross Roads 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, an Owens Cross Roads 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

In Alabama, before advancing with divorce proceedings, it’s vital to set forth your motivations, or “grounds,” for dissolving the marriage. The state mandates that your cited reasons be legally recognized for your divorce to be considered.

The frequently cited grounds for divorce in Alabama are:

  • Infidelity
  • A minimum of two years of intentional separation within Alabama
  • Deliberate desertion for at least one year
  • A jail term lasting at least two years within the previous seven years
  • At least five years of institutionalization for mental health reasons during the marriage
  • Engagement in illegal activities
  • A pre-marital pregnancy not involving one of the parties in the existing marriage
  • Substance abuse

Even if your reasons for wanting a divorce aren’t among those mentioned, there’s still hope. By detailing your motivations in your complaint, a judge can assess if the marriage is irreparably damaged. The interpretation of what constitutes such damage largely hinges on individual judges’ perspectives.

Therefore, it’s beneficial to consult a Owens Cross Roads, AL divorce lawyer before taking any steps. An initial case assessment can provide clarity on where you stand legally.

Alabama’s Residency Criteria for Divorce

To initiate a divorce in Alabama, at least one spouse should have been a legal resident of the state for a minimum of six months before filing the divorce complaint. This stipulation is outlined in Alabama Code § 30-2-5.

If both spouses don’t meet Alabama’s residency duration, they might consider seeking a divorce in a different state.

Types Of Divorce

Different couples encounter various forms of divorce on Owens Cross Roads. For instance, a couple that amicably navigates the divorce process can experience an uncontested divorce. Similarly, divorces that arise from a mutually agreed plan can be referred to as no-fault divorces.

In cases where one party does not respond to a divorce summons, the plaintiff might benefit from a divorce by default. This allows a judge to divide property without any legally valid input from the defendant.

Lastly, there are at-fault divorces, where one party tries to hold the other accountable for the breakdown of the marriage. These cases tend to involve more conflicts, necessitating legal representation and a judge to mediate on behalf of the client. This mediation facilitates the fair — if not amicable — distribution of property and responsibilities between the involved parties.

Family Law Services We Offer to Owens Cross Roads, AL Residents

Seeking our assistance means you will have access to comprehensive family law services offered by our dedicated team of divorce attorneys on Owens Cross Roads.

Additional Divorce Paperwork

Upon filing for divorce, your circuit court might request that you and your divorce lawyer in Owens Cross Roads provide additional documentation. Common forms associated with divorce cases in Alabama today encompass:

Protection Orders and Restraining Orders

Protection orders and temporary restraining orders (TROs) are distinct documents utilized to safeguard one individual from another in Alabama legal proceedings. These orders, although serving similar objectives, can be filed during the initial complaint as a request for a TRO or a protection order.

Judges issue protection orders in cases of domestic abuse, potentially granting the holder custody of children, possession of a home or vehicle, or additional financial relief. These orders can be issued at various stages of the divorce process.

Similarly, judges may issue a TRO to grant relief akin to a protection order, especially in cases of domestic violence, to safeguard the victims and the children involved in the divorce proceedings.

Additional Paperwork

During the divorce proceedings, the court may require you to fill out several forms such as a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and a Testimony of Plaintiff. If children are involved, it’s necessary to detail their connection to the case in documents like:

  • Child Support Guideline 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 facilitate the development of actionable plans concerning the well-being and care of your children during and after the divorce.

Divorce and Your Finances

In the initial stages of your divorce proceedings in Owens Cross Roads, you’ll be required to reveal details about your financial status. This data aids the court in distributing assets equitably between both parties. Judges, with the assistance of your attorneys and both spouses, evaluate and divide the property fairly, considering various financial factors to ensure economic equity.

Temporary Alimony Versus Permanent Alimony

During the evaluation of your case, the judge may consider awarding alimony based on several factors, including your earning capacity, the duration of the marriage, and the fault attributed within the marriage. Alimony, which can be temporary or permanent, is decided based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Child Custody and Support in an Alabama Divorce

In Owens Cross Roads, the custody and visitation rights concerning minor children are determined by the judge overseeing the divorce. These decisions are grounded in the judge’s appraisal of the children’s interests, their welfare, the fault in the divorce, and past custody and care patterns.

The financial and overall stability of a parent significantly influence the judge’s verdict on their capability to effectively care for a child. Children might also be given a chance to express their custody preferences to divorce lawyers in Owens Cross Roads.

The parent not granted primary custody is termed the “non-custodial parent,” possibly having limited visitation rights. Parties can collaborate with lawyers and the judge to devise a visitation plan with possible stipulations.

Awarding Custody to Others

While courts in Alabama generally favor awarding physical custody to a natural parent, in certain circumstances, custody might be granted to other individuals, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or unrelated individuals, based on the judge’s evaluation of the potential guardian’s ability to nurture the child and their overall welfare. The child’s input might also be considered in cases involving non-parental guardians.

What to Expect After Filing and Serving a Divorce Complaint

After filing your complaint and receiving a response from your partner, the pace of your divorce proceedings depends on the local courts in Owens Cross Roads. Pendente Lite hearings are typically scheduled, where you can discuss possible reliefs during the early and ongoing stages of the divorce.

These hearings address matters such as child support, spousal support, child custody, and shared property occupation. After these hearings, the process moves to the discovery phase. Here, you can accumulate witness testimonies related to your marital experience and gather details about your shared assets.

Alabama Code § 6-6-20 mandates that you partake in compulsory mediation with your spouse. This mediation can only be bypassed if you provide proof of being a victim of spousal abuse.

Preparing for a Divorce Proceeding

In an ideal scenario, mediation will address all financial and property-related concerns. If not, with the assistance of a competent Owens Cross Roads, AL divorce attorney, you can proceed to a final divorce trial. During this trial, you’ll partner with your attorney to make claims for property repossession or modified custody rights.

Post-trial, if you’re unsatisfied with the outcome, there’s the option to appeal. But, it’s essential to know that the Alabama appellate court might decline your appeal unless you can showcase a legal error.

Preventing or Limiting the Fallout of a Divorce

The divorce process can be mentally taxing for everyone involved. While sometimes these proceedings can work in your favor, certain measures can help reduce the stress you’re undergoing. Always ensure that you:

  1. Maintain your confidence and prioritize your individual interests.
  2. Address your children’s queries about the divorce and your ex-spouse’s actions with understanding.
  3. Regularly assess your emotional state and consider seeking professional support when necessary.
  4. Strategize on co-parenting that emphasizes your children’s mental well-being.
  5. Avoid rushing into another relationship too soon.
  6. Remain engaged with the legal aspects of your case.
  7. Visualize and plan for your post-divorce life.

For legal advice, trust only experienced professionals. While well-intentioned, guidance from friends or family might elongate your divorce proceedings. Instead, consider consulting our team for insights on a smoother divorce process.

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Team

Through experience, we understand that family law matters often stem from emotional hardships. Balancing logic with intense emotions can be challenging during these times. Therefore, having a dedicated family law advocate to represent you compassionately becomes essential.

We stand out because of our foundational principles of trust and excellence, and our reputation for consistently exceeding client expectations. We envision assisting families like yours in regaining security, rebuilding life post adversity, and embracing a promising future.

When searching for the most proficient divorce attorneys in Owens Cross Roads, thorough research is key. Reach out to Divorce Lawyers practicing in Madison County to understand their firm’s approach, strategy development, and resolution methods. Feel free to contact us, as we’d love to share our unique approach.

Engage With Our Team of Owens Cross Roads Divorce Attorneys

Divorces aren’t always equitably balanced, and fairness isn’t guaranteed. We’re here to safeguard you against unjust outcomes. For professional advice concerning an imminent divorce, our team of attorneys in Owens Cross Roads is ready to assist from the case’s inception to its resolution.

Explore your legal options by scheduling a case review with our team at Charlotte Christian Law. Reach out online or call/text at (256) 445-9206 to promptly arrange a consultation. Let us help make today better than yesterday for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

To present your divorce case to the local circuit court, you need to provide legitimate grounds for the divorce. These grounds can encompass:

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

Alternatively, you can opt for a no-fault divorce. Such divorces do not necessitate the submission of evidence showcasing any misconduct.

Who Do I File a Divorce Claim With?

To initiate a divorce, submit your claim to the Owens Cross Roads local circuit court. Within thirty days of filing your primary complaint, you must also serve a summons to the defendant.

The onus lies on your spouse regarding how they choose to respond to your summons. However, not serving your spouse the necessary paperwork can lead to the invalidation of your primary complaint.

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

You’re legally obligated to respond to a divorce summons. Your response can detail your agreement or disagreement with the complaints raised by your spouse. Collaborating with a divorce attorney when crafting your answer can provide a clearer legal defense against any part of the original claim you might dispute.

Neglecting to respond to a summons is detrimental to the defendant. In such cases, Alabama law permits the other spouse to seek an uncontested divorce, leaving the court to determine the division of property and custody arrangements.

Will a Temporary Order Impact My Divorce Proceedings?

In cases of potential physical, financial, sexual, or emotional harm, a judge has the authority to issue temporary orders. Such orders can grant child custody and visitation rights to one spouse.

These temporary orders remain in effect until they’re renewed or superseded by a final divorce judgment.

Which Alabama Court Addresses My Divorce?

In Alabama, circuit courts are exclusively responsible for handling divorce cases and all family law matters. If you’re not in agreement with a divorce ruling, you can escalate it to the Court of Civil Appeals. Should the case progress further, the Alabama Supreme Court might become involved.

When Does My Divorce Go Into Effect?

For uncontested divorces, the final judgment becomes effective thirty days after the filing of your complaint and summons. Contested divorces, on the other hand, might require a more extended period for resolution.

Founder & CEO, Charlotte Christian

Schedule a Consultation with an Owens Cross Roads Family Law and Divorce Attorney

You don’t have to traverse the complexities of a divorce unassisted. Our family law lawyers in Owens Cross Roads, AL are committed to guiding you through the legal intricacies.

Reach out to us through text or a phone call to book your consultation today. Charlotte Christian Law is by your side, not only during the divorce but for any subsequent legal matters.

203 Eastside Square
Suite 6
Huntsville, AL 35801
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