Alabama Divorce Procedures

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Every legal case is marked by certain procedures as defined by the state laws. Divorce is a legal issue where both the parties, i.e., the defendant and the plaintiff are required to abide by some laws, and follow certain procedures. Whether you prefer a contested or an uncontested divorce, you have to go through certain legal steps that are mandatory. These procedures help you maintain transparency in your case, so that you are not cheated. Like all other states in USA, Alabama has laid down its own divorce laws and divorce procedures pertaining to those. Here we provide you an overview of Alabama divorce procedures, with the help of which you can prepare the required legal papers and documents accordingly.

In Alabama, either the husband or the wife can initiate the divorce procedure. When all the divorce procedures are complete, both husband and wife are granted the status of being single. The court is responsible for managing and issuing essential orders for debts, separate assets, division of community, spousal support, child custody, and child support.

Often many people remain confused regarding how to start the divorce. Once you make up your mind for divorce, you need to file for the case in the Circuit Court for the particular County of Alabama, from where you are fighting the case. The court will then assign a case number. You will need a Complaint for Divorce to start your case. Besides filing a complaint, you will need supporting documents such as the Schedule for Visitation/Parenting Time of Minor Children, Affidavit Regarding the Children, Marital Settlement Agreement, etc, depending on the nature of your case.

To provide you with a comprehensive view of the divorce procedures in Alabama, we are going to discuss some significant areas like default procedures, procedures regarding discovery, and procedures about the Contempt of Court.

Alabama Divorce Procedure by default

  • After the Complaint for divorce and the Summons are filed, there is a waiting period of 30 days, on completion of which a final judgment of divorce might be issued by the Judge
  • Acceptance as well as waiver of service is permitted if a credible witness and the Respondent acknowledge them with their signatures
  • In order to endorse a default judgment, particular evidence must be furnished during the court hearing
  • The testimony ought to be taken in front of a court clerk, which can be done by transcripts of oral depositions or sworn statements
  • If any divorcing partner desires for child support, then it is essential that the Child Support Income statement or affidavit, and a standardized Child Support Guidelines form is appended with the other divorce papers
  • In case the divorcing partners fail to qualify for a divorce by default or a Summary divorce, then the traditional dissolution of marriage is available
Alabama Divorce Procedure Regarding Discovery

The procedure of Discovery can take place in one or more of the following methods.

  • Deposition: In this process, the witness or the party is asked questions under oath. The usual venue for deposition is the office of a lawyer, where a court reporter must be present at the time of deposition. The attorney asks questions that will be used as proof or preparation for the trial
  • A lawyer can make written requests for production of documents, which the divorcing partners possess for inspection or copying. These requests are made under oath, and it is expected that the divorcing partners should respond to these requests in a consummate manner
  • Interrogatories: These are questions in written form that are served upon a party and must be answered in written format and under oath
Alabama Divorce Procedure about Contempt of Court

When any individual does not adhere to the court orders and does not have any legally sufficient cause for behaving in this manner, it is said that a contempt of court has occurred. If a person commits contempt of court, the next process is that this person must furnish concrete reasons to the court as to why he/ she should not be punished for violating the orders.

After the divorce has been granted, one divorced partner may notice that the ex-partner is not obeying the terms of the Divorce Decree. In such a situation, the former partner must file a Petition for Rule Nisi. Along with this petition, it is essential to disburse a filing fee. In order to serve the petition to the ex-partner, one has to resort to certified mail or hiring a special process server. This procedure demands extra money.

For a smooth divorce, it is imperative that you should make your goals clear, that is to say, you should know what you exactly want from this divorce. Once you are sure about this, you can discuss with your lawyer regarding the essential requirements. Other than this, reading the above-mentioned Alabama divorce procedures will also help you manage your tasks efficiently, as these provide a clear picture of the court room trials and reduce your anxiety to a great extent.

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