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 Pell City, Alabama divorce lawyers 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 Pell City 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 Pell City divorce attorney will 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.

Get Divorce Help Today

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 next step. Move to 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, Pell City, 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 Pell City 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 Pell City 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 an 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

With that in mind, you can discuss your circumstances with a divorce attorney in Pell City, 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 encounter various divorce situations. An uncontested divorce, for instance, refers to a scenario where a couple amicably navigates the divorce process. Similarly, when both parties agree to the dissolution reasons, it’s termed a no-fault divorce.

If one party doesn’t respond to the divorce summons, the plaintiff can pursue a divorce by default. This allows a judge to distribute assets without the defendant’s input.

At-fault divorce is another type, where one party blames the other for the marriage’s failure. These cases may involve more disputes, necessitating the intervention of lawyers and a judge to distribute assets and responsibilities between the parties.

Family Law Services We Offer to Pell City, AL Residents

Engaging with our team of Pell City divorce attorneys grants you comprehensive family law services.

Additional Divorce Paperwork

After initiating your divorce, the local circuit court might request more documentation from you and your Pell City divorce lawyer. Frequent forms associated with Alabama divorces include:

Protection Orders and Restraining Orders

Protection orders and temporary restraining orders (TROs), while distinct, serve similar protective purposes in Alabama. When filing your initial complaint, you can petition for either a TRO or a protection order.

A protection order comes into play in domestic abuse situations, with Alabama judges issuing them either before or during the divorce process.

A judge can grant the protection order recipient:

  • Child custody
  • Ownership of a house or vehicle
  • Additional monetary relief

In divorce cases, judges can issue a TRO similar to a protection order, especially in domestic violence situations. This ensures the victim remains safe and the abuser maintains distance. Such orders also protect children involved in the divorce.

Additional Paperwork

During the divorce process, the court might require documents like a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and a Testimony of Plaintiff Form.

For those with children affected by the divorce, further documentation detailing their relationship to the proceedings might be necessary. These 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 help formulate action plans for your children’s welfare during and post-divorce.

Divorce and Your Finances

At the onset of your divorce, the court will need financial details to divide assets. Owned property reverts to the respective spouse upon divorce. Judges then evaluate and distribute the remaining assets. The division often considers financial standings, ensuring an equitable distribution.

Temporary Alimony Versus Permanent Alimony

Based on your economic situation, marriage duration, and marital faults, a judge might decide on alimony to support you post-divorce. Two alimony types exist: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony covers the period from filing for divorce to the final verdict. In contrast, permanent alimony is part of your final awards, either as periodic or lump-sum payments. The alimony’s monetary value remains separate from other divided properties.

Child Custody and Support in an Alabama Divorce

In divorce cases, a judge determines custody and visitation rights for the couple’s minor children. The decision considers:

  • Child’s interests
  • Child’s welfare
  • Fault in the divorce
  • Historical evidence of care and custody

A parent’s financial stability also affects the custody decision. Children can express their custody preferences to the divorce lawyers if desired.

The “non-custodial parent” refers to the parent without primary custody, possibly with limited visitation rights.

Awarding Custody to Others

Alabama courts typically favor natural parents for child custody. However, judges can also award custody to other family members or unrelated guardians, depending on the child’s best interests and well-being.

What to Expect After Filing and Serving a Divorce Complaint

Once your complaint is filed and your spouse has provided an answer, the pace of your divorce process is determined by the local courts. Pendente Lite hearings will be scheduled to discuss the available relief throughout the early and ongoing stages of the divorce.

These hearings facilitate discussions about child support, spousal support, child custody, and the use of mutual property. After these hearings, you will proceed to the discovery phase. This phase enables you to collect witness testimonies about your experience during the marriage and gather details about your assets from your spouse.

According to Alabama Code § 6-6-20, you and your spouse are mandated to undergo mediation. Exceptions to this rule are made if you have evidence of being a victim of spousal abuse.

Preparing for a Divorce Proceeding

In an ideal scenario, mediation will address all financial and property-related issues. If an agreement isn’t reached, you, along with a competent Alabama divorce attorney, can move towards a final divorce trial. During this phase, you’ll collaborate with the attorney to argue for property repossession or revised custody rights.

Post-trial, you have the option to appeal any decision you find unfavorable. Nevertheless, an appeal may be rejected by the Alabama appellate court unless you can showcase a legal error.

Preventing or Limiting the Fallout of a Divorce

Divorce procedures can be draining for everyone involved. While certain proceedings may benefit you, there are measures you can adopt to alleviate the pressures:

  1. Uphold your self-assurance and personal goals.
  2. Address your children’s inquiries about the divorce and your ex-spouse’s actions compassionately.
  3. Regularly check in with your emotions and consider professional help if necessary.
  4. Approach co-parenting in a manner that prioritizes your children’s mental well-being.
  5. Evade hasty rebounds.
  6. Stay actively involved in your case’s legal proceedings.
  7. Plan for your post-divorce life.

Always seek legal advice from qualified experts. Although well-intentioned, advice from friends and family can inadvertently prolong your divorce. Instead, seek insights on how to have a smoother divorce transition from professionals.

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Team

Time has shown us that family law matters are emotionally taxing, often stemming from loss. Such situations can cloud logical thinking and decision-making. This is why having a compassionate family law advocate by your side is paramount.

Our core values of trust and excellence, combined with our consistent success, distinguish us from others. We’re committed to helping families like yours find security, rebuild post-loss, and embrace a promising future.

When searching for the best divorce lawyers in Pell City, take your time and do your research. Call Divorce Lawyers practicing in the local area, learn about their firm’s approach, strategy development, and case resolution methods. Reach out to us; we’re eager to share our unique approach.

Discuss Your Concerns With Our Pell City Divorce Lawyers Team

Divorces aren’t always straightforward or equitable. We’re here to guard against any potential injustices. If you’re contemplating a divorce and need expert advice, our Pell City team is ready. Our divorce attorneys are here to assist you throughout the entire process.

Engage in a comprehensive case review with our staff at Charlotte Christian Law. Connect with us online or via text or call at (256) 445-9206 to schedule a meeting and learn how to enhance your present circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

To proceed with a divorce, you must establish grounds before presenting your case to the local circuit court. These grounds can encompass:

  • Adultery
  • Pregnancy by another man
  • Spousal abandonment
  • Spousal imprisonment for at least two years with a minimum seven-year 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, which eliminates the need to provide evidence of any wrongdoing.

Who Do I File a Divorce Claim With?

To initiate a divorce, submit your claim to the local circuit court. Following this, the defendant must be served a summons within thirty days of your original filing.

Neglecting to serve your spouse can render your initial complaint null.

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

By law, you must answer a divorce summons. Your response can detail your agreement or disagreement with the plaintiff’s claims. Working alongside a divorce attorney can help you better craft a defense against any portion of the initial complaint you contest.

Ignoring a summons is detrimental to the defendant. In such cases, Alabama permits the other spouse to seek an uncontested divorce, leaving asset and custody decisions to the court.

Will a Temporary Order Impact My Divorce Proceedings?

To guard against various forms of abuse, a judge can issue temporary orders. These can grant custody and visitation rights to one party.

Such orders remain effective until renewal or a final divorce verdict.

Which Alabama Court Addresses My Divorce?

In Alabama, circuit courts exclusively manage divorce cases, encompassing all family law matters. Disagreements with divorce rulings can be appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals. Further escalation might bring your case before the Alabama Supreme Court.

When Does My Divorce Go Into Effect?

Uncontested divorce final judgments become effective thirty days post-filing the complaint and summons. On the other hand, contested divorces might require an extended period of time.

Founder & CEO, Charlotte Christian

Schedule a Consultation with a Pell City Family Law and Divorce Attorney

Navigating divorce doesn’t mean going it alone. Our family law attorneys in Pell City, AL are ready to guide you through the legal intricacies.

Reach out to us by text or phone to arrange your consultation. Charlotte Christian Law remains by your side throughout your divorce and any subsequent legal challenges.

2100 Southbridge Pkwy
Birmingham, AL 35209
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