If you are filing for an uncontested divorce in Huntsville, Alabama, or nearby counties, congratulations. You and your spouse have already set the tone for a smooth divorce process. That said, any Huntsville, Alabama uncontested divorce lawyer will tell you, once the divorce process begins, negotiations can heat up fast, and what was once an uncontested divorce can suddenly become a contested one.
That is why having a lawyer well-versed in the rules of an uncontested divorce in Huntsville, Alabama, is one of the smartest decisions you will make for your divorce. But first, do you know what an uncontested divorce is specifically, how to get one, and what filing for an uncontested divorce means for you?
What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce means that going into the process, both spouses already agree on all of the issues in their divorce, including how they will divide assets, child support, and child custody if they have children together. Therefore, a Huntsville, Alabama court will have no reason to decide on behalf of spouses filing for an uncontested divorce; they can make critical decisions for themselves. That makes the divorce process run smoother, more timely, and less expensive.
How Do I Qualify For An Uncontested Divorce In Huntsville, Alabama?
If you and your spouse reside in Alabama, you can file for an uncontested divorce. What is important is that you live there at the time of filing and have lived there for at least six months prior to filing.
What Is The Process For Getting An Uncontested Divorce In Huntsville, Alabama?
Very often, in an uncontested divorce, the couple uses only one lawyer. There is a caveat to doing this: whichever party retains the lawyer is the party whose interests the lawyer has a duty to represent. For that reason, we suggest both parties retain counsel before signing their divorce agreement, despite having a lawyer draft it.
What Forms Must My Lawyer File For Me To Get An Uncontested Divorce In Huntsville, Alabama?
For an uncontested divorce in Huntsville, Alabama, a couple must file numerous documents with the county clerk. They are as follows:
- Affidavit of Residency: This document states that both parties meet the residency requirements to divorce in Alabama. A third-party completes the form, which must be notarized.
- Vital Statistics Form: Divorcing couples complete this form to facilitate state record-keeping.
- Acknowledgment of Non-Representation: Both spouses must sign and file this form with the clerk’s office when one of the spouses chooses not to have a lawyer represent them in their divorce.
- Marital Settlement Agreement: The document in which the spouses lay out all of their divorce terms.
- Complaint: The filing spouse (plaintiff) asks the court to grant them a divorce. The complaint is filed along with the marital settlement agreement.
- Answer: An acknowledgment that the defendant received the complaint from their spouse.
- Waiver: The document in which the defendant waives the right to proper service of process.
- Testimony of Plaintiff: The plaintiff certifies whatever their grounds for divorce are, that their spouse is not military personnel, and have experienced an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This form must be notarized.
- CS-47 (Child Support Information Sheet): This document pertains to child support. Divorcing spouses must complete this form even if they do not have children.
Once the couples’ lawyer files all of the necessary documents with the county clerk, they must then wait 30 days before the court will grant them a divorce. This “cooling off” period allows couples to think about whether their choice to divorce is the right one for them. If the spouses decide to reconcile, one of them can ask their lawyer to file a motion to dismiss their divorce.
If the couple decides to proceed, a court may grant their divorce in as few as 31 days following the filing.
How Can I Get An Uncontested Divorce If I Have Children?
If you are a parent seeking an uncontested divorce in Huntsville, Alabama, the process is the same for those without children. However, you will have a few more documents to file. In addition to the CS-47 form mentioned above, which couples must file even if they are not parents, divorcing parents must also file the following documents:
- CS-41 (Child Support Obligation Income Affidavit): This document reports a spouse’s income. Both spouses must file a separate affidavit.
- CS-42 (Child Support Guideline Form): This document reflects the child support one or both spouses will pay and how they reached the calculation they did.
- CS-43 (Child Support Guideline Notice of Compliance): This document certifies that the child support calculation meets the rules of judicial administration in Alabama.
In addition to filing the above documents with the county clerk’s office, parents must also complete the following parenting education classes:
“Children Cope with Divorce”: After attending this class, parents must submit a certificate of attendance along with their other required filings.
“Transition in Parenting”: This class is usually a requirement only for those with a standing pre-trial order.
Contact Our Huntsville, Alabama, Uncontested Divorce Lawyers Today
Going through an uncontested divorce is far easier than navigating a contested one. Even so, there are many benefits to having a skilled and experienced lawyer who is well-versed in uncontested divorces on your side. Our lawyers are eager to hear from you and explore the details of your case. Contact our Huntsville, Alabama, team today.