Spouses in Alabama who have decided to end their marriage and agree on all issues about the divorce may obtain an uncontested divorce in a matter of a few months. An uncontested divorce can save money and time. But it is only possible if the two spouses can reach an agreement on how all issues will be handled, such as payment of debts, spousal support, and child support.
How Much Time Do I Have to Wait?
Alabama has a particularly short waiting period of 30 days, which means that a divorce can be finalized in as little as four weeks if all issues can be resolved within that time frame.
Even in an uncontested divorce, you should have legal representation to help you understand your rights and interests. Alabama family law attorney Leigh Daniel can help you work through the issues in an uncontested divorce. Leigh and her legal team seek to strike a balance between being compassionate when situations are delicate and tough-minded when clients are being treated unfairly. If you are ready to talk to a caring and highly competent Huntsville family law attorney about seeking an uncontested divorce in Alabama, contact us now.
Why Do Uncontested Divorces Take Less Time than Contested Divorces?
An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse agree on all the issues. You don’t have to walk in with everything settled. But you do need to be ready to negotiate in good faith and compromise. If you succeed in coming to terms on all outstanding issues, you may go to court with a separation agreement that you have both signed off on, and the judge only needs to review it and approve it.
In a contested divorce, one or more issues remain in dispute when you go to court. The judge must hear each side’s case on each unresolved issue, including the presentation of evidence and testimony. Obviously, this takes longer than simply presenting your signed agreement for review.
An uncontested divorce is faster than a contested divorce because the two sides are willing to compromise and resolve differences without a lengthy adversarial process in court.
What Is The Process In Alabama To Get An Uncontested Divorce?
Here is what’s required for you and your spouse to obtain an uncontested divorce in Alabama:
The spouse who files for divorce must be a resident of Alabama for at least six months if the other spouse is not. There is a 30-day waiting period from filing your divorce papers with the court until the court can grant a divorce.
Before the court can grant a divorce, the spouses must come to an agreement on:
- How to divide marital assets and debt.
- Whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other, and if so, how much and for how long.
- Child custody if there are children younger than 18, including where they will live, how often they will see each parent, and who will make the major decisions for them.
- If child support will be paid, which parent will pay it, and how much will it be?
Typically, an attorney will prepare the written agreement, which both spouses and witnesses must sign. Your attorney can then file it with the court. It usually takes 6-10 weeks – including the required 30-day waiting period – for a judge to sign your divorce decree and for you to be officially divorced.