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 Trussville, 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 Trussville 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 Trussville 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, Trussville, 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 Trussville 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 Trussville 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 Trussville, 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 find themselves involved in different kinds of divorces. For instance, a couple who amicably proceeds through the divorce proceedings experiences an uncontested divorce. Similarly, divorces resulting from a mutual agreement are often termed no-fault divorces.

Should one party neglect to respond to a divorce case summons, the plaintiff might benefit from a divorce by default. This form of divorce enables a judge to divide assets without any legally admissible input from the defendant.

Lastly, there’s at-fault divorce. At-fault divorces involve one party trying to pin the blame for the marriage’s dissolution on the other. These cases can be more contentious, often necessitating legal representation and a judge to mediate. This intervention seeks to distribute assets and responsibilities, even if not to the satisfaction of both parties.

Family Law Services We Offer to Trussville, AL Residents

When you confide in our team of Trussville divorce attorneys, you unlock a comprehensive suite of family law services.

Additional Divorce Paperwork

Upon filing for divorce, your local circuit court might request that you and a divorce attorney in Trussville furnish more paperwork. Forms often associated with current Alabama divorce scenarios encompass:

Protection Orders and Restraining Orders

Protection orders and temporary restraining orders (TROs), although distinct, serve to shield one individual from another. Their objectives align closely in Alabama’s legal context. When submitting your initial complaint, you have the option to petition for a TRO or a protection order.

A protection order will be endorsed by a judge in instances of domestic abuse. Such orders can be issued at any stage of a divorce in Alabama.

Under a judge’s mandate, the protection order grants the holder:

  • Child custody
  • Ownership of a home or vehicle
  • Additional financial assistance

In divorce scenarios, a TRO with identical provisions to a protection order may be issued. This could arise in cases of domestic violence, instructing the perpetrator to steer clear of the victim, ensuring their safety. Such orders also aim to shield children embroiled in divorce cases.

Additional Documentation

Your court might ask for additional documents during the divorce process. These can include a Vital Statistics Form, an Affidavit of Residency, and a Testimony of Plaintiff Form.

If children are impacted by your divorce, you must provide documents elucidating their connection to your complaint. Such forms can be:

  • Child Support Guidelines Notice of Compliance
  • Child Support Guideline Form
  • Child Support Obligation Income Statement
  • Child Support Information Sheet
  • Certificates indicating attendance for obligatory training or counseling

These papers aid in devising strategies for your children’s care during and post-divorce

Divorce and Financial Implications

Commencing your divorce, the circuit court will require disclosure of your financial status. This information subsequently assists the court in partitioning your assets.

Individually owned property reverts to its respective owner post-divorce. Judges will then scrutinize the shared assets and endeavor to divide them equitably. Such division often involves collaboration between judges, attorneys, and the divorcing couple.

Typically, judges will consider financial records to determine asset allocation. For instance, a spouse with a higher income may be granted fewer assets compared to an unemployed counterpart to ensure financial balance.

Temporary Alimony Versus Permanent Alimony

During your case evaluation, a judge might decide to award alimony to help offset the financial strains of divorce. The quantum of alimony depends on factors like earning potential, marriage duration, and marital faults.

There exist two alimony categories: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony is provisioned from the divorce filing until the court’s final verdict. In contrast, permanent alimony is embedded in your final settlement. You can opt for periodic or lump-sum alimony based on preferred frequency. Alimony quantum is the judge’s prerogative and is distinct from other split assets.

Child Custody and Support in an Alabama Divorce

In divorce proceedings, the judge’s responsibility is to determine the custody and visitation rights of minor children. These decisions aren’t arbitrary but are influenced by:

  • The child’s interests
  • The child’s welfare
  • The role of fault in the divorce
  • Prior evidence of custody and caregiving

A parent’s financial standing and overall stability also influence judgments on their suitability for child custody. Children may even liaise with divorce lawyers to voice their custody preferences.

The parent not granted primary custody becomes the “non-custodial parent.” Depending on the judge’s interpretation, this parent might have restricted visitation rights. Negotiations with lawyers and the presiding judge can help draft a suitable visitation schedule.

Awarding Custody to Third Parties

Alabama courts usually entrust the physical custody of children to a biological parent. However, custody can be granted to other individuals, such as grandparents or unrelated guardians. Custody decisions are contingent on a judge’s evaluation of the guardian’s capacity to care for the child and the child’s overall well-being. In some cases, the child’s input might be solicited when contemplating custody with a non-parental guardian.

What to Expect After Filing and Serving a Divorce Complaint

After you’ve submitted your complaint and your partner has responded, the progression of your divorce is determined by the local courts. You may find yourself attending Pendente Lite hearings, which address interim relief available to you throughout the early and ongoing divorce proceedings.

These hearings facilitate discussions on child support, spousal support, child custody, and occupation of shared assets. Following these hearings, you’ll proceed to discovery, during which you can gather witness testimony related to your marital experiences and acquire information about your shared assets.

As per Alabama Code § 6-6-20, you will then be mandated to partake in mediation with your partner. This step can only be bypassed if you present evidence indicating you were subjected to spousal abuse.

Preparing for a Divorce Proceeding

In a best-case scenario, mediation will help you and your partner resolve financial and property concerns. However, unresolved issues will lead you and your trusted Trussville, AL divorce attorney to a final divorce trial. Here, you’ll collaborate with your attorney to advocate for property rights or adjust custody arrangements.

Post-trial, if you disagree with the court’s decision, you retain the right to file an appeal. Yet, the Alabama appellate court may reject your appeal unless you substantiate it with legal errors.

Preventing or Limiting the Fallout of a Divorce

The journey of divorce can be physically and emotionally taxing. While certain situations may demand this legal step, there are ways to alleviate the stresses involved. Ensure that you:

  1. Uphold your confidence and prioritize your personal interests.
  2. Address your children’s queries about the divorce and your ex-partner’s actions.
  3. Continuously assess your emotional well-being and seek therapeutic assistance when necessary.
  4. Embrace co-parenting to uphold your children’s emotional health.
  5. Avoid seeking comfort in unhealthy rebound relationships.
  6. Actively participate in your legal proceedings.
  7. Strategize for life post-divorce.

Remember to seek legal counsel only from seasoned experts. While friends and family may have good intentions, misguided legal advice could prolong the divorce process. Turn to our office for trusted guidance on navigating a smoother divorce.

The Benefits of Working With an Experienced Team

Experience has illuminated the emotional challenges accompanying family law matters. These episodes, often rooted in profound loss, can hinder logical thinking. Hence, relying on a compassionate family law advocate is essential during such times.

Our commitment to trust and excellence sets us apart. We’re driven by a vision to help families like yours regain security, rebuild after a loss, and relish a bright future.

When searching for premier divorce attorneys in Alabama, due diligence is key. Consult Divorce Lawyers familiar with Shelby County to understand their operational dynamics, strategy development, and case resolution. Connect with us; we’re eager to share our distinctive approach.

Engage with Our Team of Trussville Divorce Lawyers

Divorces aren’t always equitable. We’re here to shield you from an unjust divorce. For insights into your impending divorce, our team is at your disposal. Our divorce lawyers stand ready to support you from the inception to the culmination of your case.

Explore your legal avenues during a case review with our team at Charlotte Christian Law. Reach out to us online or via text or call at (256) 445-9206 to swiftly schedule an appointment. Let us help make today brighter than yesterday.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Before you can present your case to the local circuit court, you need to specify the grounds for your divorce. These grounds can include:

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

Alternatively, you also have the flexibility to file a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces eliminate the necessity of providing evidence of misconduct.

Who Do I File a Divorce Claim With?

For initiating a divorce, your claim must be filed with the local circuit court. Within thirty days of submitting your initial complaint, it’s imperative to serve the defendant with a summons.

While the onus of responding to your summons lies with your spouse, failing to serve them with the necessary paperwork can potentially nullify your initial complaint.

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

Legally, you must address a divorce summons. Your response can clarify your agreement or disagreement with the claims made by your spouse. To construct a comprehensive legal defense, defendants often collaborate with divorce attorneys, particularly if they contest any aspect of the original complaint.

Ignoring a summons doesn’t serve the defendant’s interests. Alabama law permits spouses, who haven’t received a response from their partner, to seek an uncontested divorce. Subsequently, the court gains the authority to determine the division of property and custody.

Will a Temporary Order Impact My Divorce Proceedings?

To safeguard a spouse from potential physical, financial, sexual, or emotional harm, a judge has the authority to issue temporary orders. Such orders may grant one spouse temporary custody and visitation rights.

These temporary orders remain in effect until they are either renewed or a final divorce judgment replaces them.

Which Alabama Court Addresses My Divorce?

In Alabama, circuit courts exclusively handle divorce cases and address all related family law issues. However, if you disagree with a divorce judgment, it can be appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals. In rare scenarios, your divorce may escalate to the Alabama Supreme Court for consideration.

When Does My Divorce Go Into Effect?

An uncontested divorce judgment becomes effective thirty days after the filing of your complaint and summons. In contrast, contested divorces usually take longer to resolve.

Founder & CEO, Charlotte Christian

Schedule a Consultation with a Trussville Family Law and Divorce Attorney

Facing the complexities of divorce doesn’t have to be an isolated journey. Our dedicated family law attorneys in Trussville, AL are poised to guide you through the legal intricacies.

Reach out to us via text or phone call to book your consultation. At Charlotte Christian Law, we’re committed to standing by your side during your divorce and addressing subsequent legal concerns.

2100 Southbridge Pkwy
Birmingham, AL 35209
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