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What Kind of Divorce
Is Right for Your Situation?

You might know that you are ready for a divorce, but you might not be sure what type
of divorce will best fit your situation.

Here are the basics of the different types of divorce in Alabama:

Contested Divorce

  • This is a divorce in which the spouses disagree on settlement terms.
  • Child custody, property distribution, or other areas may be in dispute.
  • One spouse will file a complaint, and the other spouse will have 30 days to answer.
  • Contested divorce often involve multiple hearings and a possible trial.
  • When a spouse disagrees with a judge’s decision, they will have 30 days to request changes or 42 days to file an appeal.

Uncontested Divorce

  • Both spouses agree to the divorce.
  • This option is more costly than a contested divorce.
  • Spouses must agree on property distribution, child custody, and other factors.
  • In an uncontested divorce, both spouses could use the same lawyer.
  • At least one of the spouses must have been an Alabama resident for at least six months before filing.

Annulment

  • An annulment essentially makes it as if you were never married.
  • The only grounds for annulment in Alabama are a spouse entering the marriage fraudulently, a spouse being underage, a spouse agreeing to marriage under duress, a relationship being incestuous, a spouse not having the mental capacity to agree to marriage, or a spouse already being married to another person at the time of the marriage.
  • The presumption of paternity can allow parents to retain relationships with children even when marriages are annulled.
  • Alimony is not awarded in annulment cases.

Legal Separation

  • A legal separation allows a couple to separate but still remain married.
  • A legal separation can provide separate residences but still allow a couple to maintain certain marital assets such as shared insurance policies.
  • This can be beneficial for spouses who are still hoping for reconciliation.
  • Neither spouse can remarry during a legal separation.
  • Courts may need to decide child custody or property division issues in legal separations.

Questions To Consider Before Filing for Divorce

  • How long were you married?
  • Is there a significant disparity in your incomes?
  • Do you have children?
  • Does your reason for divorce relate to infidelity?
  • Do you jointly own any property with your spouse?
  • Is there a history of domestic violence?
  • Do you jointly share any assets or debts?
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