Contents of a Complaint for Divorce
A person seeking a divorce in Alabama must file a divorce complaint in the Circuit Court of the county where one or both spouses live. The complaint notifies the court and the other spouse of the grounds for the court to grant the divorce. In Alabama, individual counties sometimes have specific filing requirements unique to the county. An individual filing for divorce must always determine what other steps may be required. A family law attorney who handles cases in the local court system can help.
In addition to stating identifying information for both parties to the marriage, the complaint must specify whether you are filing for divorce based on fault or no-fault grounds and confirm that you or your spouse has been a resident of the State of Alabama for at least six months. One of you must have resided in Alabama for six months to obtain a divorce in the state.
In an uncontested divorce with no minor-age children and no assets or debts for the court to divide, the complaint for divorce may be filed on a Complaint, PS-08 form.
In other cases, the complaint for divorce will require more detail and several more forms. In addition to stating that one spouse meets the residency requirement, it will state a legal ground for divorce and address issues such as dividing marital assets and debts, child custody, child support, and alimony.
Other required forms include the Testimony of Plaintiff, PS-09, in which the petitioner certifies the reasons for the divorce and asserts that the defendant isn’t in the armed forces, an Affidavit of Residency confirming residency, and a Vital Statistics Form, used for record-keeping purposes.
In a contested divorce, the plaintiff will state his or her demands for relief regarding alimony, child support, and division of marital property. These demands should be reasonable and backed by evidence justifying them.
If the divorce is uncontested, the parties sign a Marital Settlement Agreement, which states that all issues raised in the complaint have been resolved.
If the divorcing couple has underage children, the couple must also complete and file:
- Child Support Information, CS-47, which identifies the parents, their children, and dates of birth, residences, and places of employment.
- Child Support Obligation Income Affidavit, CS-41, which states the parties’ employment and nonemployment income and the cost of any health insurance coverage for the children.
- Child Support Guideline Form, CS-42, which documents the calculation of child support based on the monthly adjusted gross income of each parent, percentages of combined income, and insurance costs.
- Child Support Guideline Notice of Complaint, CS-43, which is signed by both parents and documents that the Alabama rules of judicial administration for child support have been met, or why they have not been met.
- Standing Pre-Trial Order, which orders the spouses not to harass one another or remove children from the state. The court may require either or both parents to attend the Transition in Parenting class.