Table of Contents for Alabama Uncontested Divorce
- What is an Uncontested Divorce?
- How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?
- Divorce Agreement
- Types Clauses in Divorce Agreements
- Alabama Uncontested Divorce Process
- How Long Does it Take to get an Uncontested Divorce in Alabama?
- How Much Does Uncontested Divorces Cost?
- What are Some of the Advantages?
- How Can I Get Started?
- Frequently Asked Questions
In Alabama there are two types of divorces, contested and uncontested. An uncontested or a non contested divorce is when you know where your spouse lives, your spouse agrees to all the terms and conditions contained in the agreement and your spouse is willing to sign all the divorce paperwork.
With any uncontested divorce, the parties must have divorce agreement. The divorce agreement contains the parties understanding as to:
- division of assets
- division of debts
- child custody
- child visitation
- child support
This settlement agreement is put in writing and is signed by both parties. The agreement, along with other necessary paperwork, is filed with the court.
Types Clauses in Divorce Agreements
The agreement sets out how the assets of the marriage are to be divided, both personal and real property. Personal property are items like televisions, boats and cars. Real property encompasses your house and any land that either spouse may own. If you have a house, the agreement can provide that one party will get the house, or that the house will be sold and the proceeds will be divided. If both parties are responsible for the mortgage, and the real property is going to one party, then that party that is getting the house should remove the other parties name from the mortgage. Typically, this can be accomplished by one party assuming the loan or having the house refinanced. Just check with your lending institution.
It also covers who is going to pay the debts of the marriage or any joint debts. One party may pay all of a debt or just a portion. The clause should set out if the party will pay their portion to the other spouse or directly to the creditor. Also with respect to joint debts, I typically suggest that the joint account to be closed so that the other party can not continue make purchases and thereby increasing the account balance.
The agreement sets out who is going to get the custody of the minor children. In Alabama, anyone that is under 19 years of age is considered a minor unless the child has been emancipated. It will also set out the type of custody. The parties may have joint physical custody, sole physical custody, and/or joint legal custody of he minor children. In an agreement with one party getting primary physical custody and the over party getting visitation, the divorce agreement will provide the visitation schedule for non custodial parent.
The agreement provides how much child support will be and when it will be paid. Child support is calculated based on both parent’s gross income, the number of children any daycare expenses and the cost of health insurance. Also the agreement provides where the child support will be paid. For example, the child support can be deduct from the non custodial parent. Also, child support can be paid directly into the court or child support can be be paid directly to the custodial parent.
School Expenses for Children
Some parties decide to put a provision in the settlement agreement providing how the parties are to split the school expenses of any children. This expense can cover school expenses for children in public school and to cover tuition for children that are in private school.
The divorce agreement also sets out if the wife will revert back to her maiden name. If this clause is not in the divorce agreement, the wife will have file a name change petition with the probate court and pay the filing fee. The probate court will schedule a hearing before granting the name change petition. If had the name change clause put in the agreement, then once the divorce is granted, she will have to get a certified copy of the divorce to change her name at the Social Security office and the driver’s license office. A certified copy of the judgment of divorce can be obtained at the Domestic Relations Division office located on the 9th Floor of Government Plaza.
Sometimes the parties want to include the requirement that the spouse paying child support will also get life insurance. Usually, the children are made the beneficiaries of this life insurance policy. It is used to cover the child support that will not be paid in the even of the spouse’s death.
Alabama Uncontested Divorce Process
The divorce process in Mobile Alabama varies based on whether you have a contested or uncontested divorce. If it is uncontested divorce, then the process is much shorter and easier. It also does not cost as much. Normally, it takes between 45 days to 60 days after the paperwork is filed with the court to get your “no fault divorce”. The following is the overview of the uncontested divorce process:
- The required information is gathered from the parties.
- Based on that information, the paperwork is drafted and reviewed by the parties.
- If both parties agree with the terms and conditions contained in the divorce paperwork, the parties sign the paperwork in the presence of a notary.
- Afterwards, the divorce papers are filed with the court.
- If children are involved, the parties must attend a transparenting class.
- The judge can sign the paperwork at any time after 30 days.
- An uncontested divorce can be signed by the judge anytime after 30 days from the filing date.
- This 30 day period is called the “cooling-off period” and it is mandatory in Alabama
- However, in my experience the judge normally grants your “no fault divorce” between 45 to 60 days after it has been filed with the court.
I base my price on the complexity of the divorce. The less complex the cheaper the divorce. The more the assets and debts that are to be divided, the more it will cost. If you complete the form below I can give you an estimate of the total cost. In addition my attorney fee, there will be a charge for court cost. Court cost varies on the county in which the paperwork is filed. For example I, charge $220 filing fee for Mobile County. For Baldwin County, I charge $234 filing fee.
What are Some of the Advantages?
- It costs less than a contested divorce and is actually a cheaper divorce alternative.
- Generally, parties do not have to go to court to get an uncontested divorce.
- The parties get to decide issues on custody, asset division, and alimony, instead of the court.
- Takes less time to get than a contested divorce.
- It is much easier than trying to figure out an internet divorce kit. Plus you are assured a divorce, unlike a divorce kit.
How Can I Get Started?
- You can contact me via the contact page, fill out the divorce intake form or just give me a call. If no one answers, leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
- You do not even have to make an appointment and come into the office to get your divorce started.
- You can get your divorce started via a phone consultation and credit card payment.
- Once the divorce paperwork has been completed, it can be e-mailed to you.
- If the paperwork is acceptable to all parties, you can make an appointment to come into my office and sign the paperwork.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a divorce attorney represent both parties?
An attorney can only represent one party. This is even for an uncontested divorce. It does not matter that both parties have want the divorce and have agreed on everything. It is a conflict of interest for a divorce lawyer to represent both parties.
Can I get my divorce by publishing it in the newspaper?
No. You can only get a divorce if you know where your spouse is located and your spouse is willing to sign the paperwork. Publishing in the newspaper actually refers to publishing the notice of the divorce action in the newspaper. This is only used in a contested divorce where you don't know where the other party lives or the other party is avoiding being served the divorce papers. The notice in the newspaper only serves as serving the other party with the divorce action.
I have prepared and filed hundreds of uncontested divorces in Mobile, Alabama. If you are married and thinking of filing for divorce, give me a call to help you make the process quick, easy and affordable. I understand that sometimes problems don't occur nine to five. Consequently, a family law attorney is available on a limited basis to take your calls on the weekend and after hours. Please call the firm and leave a message and a lawyer will call you back as soon as possible.