Alabama Divorce Steps

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Every state has its own rules for granting a divorce. Accordingly the procedure for termination of marriage in every state will differ. Alabama divorce steps are similar to the general steps for procedure of divorce. They have some small differences like time period for waiting for decree, residency requirements, etc. A marriage termination is common nowadays due to change in economic and social circumstances. Here is a brief account of steps of such termination in Alabama.

Alabama Divorce Steps at a glance

  • The petitioning partner is supposed to file a petition for divorce along with a summons
  • The venue for filing the above legal document is the local county courthouse. This county courthouse is either located in the county where a petitioner resides or a county where the other spouse stays. A petitioner can apply for a dissolution of marriage in a county where couple resided before getting separated.
  • The petition must be served to the responding partner. This service is important as to inform the partner about a divorce petition against him or her
  • The service of the petition can be done by various means. It is necessary to have an acknowledgement of such documents to confirm the acceptance of a notice by the partner by the following persons who serve the petition:
    • The Sheriff
    • The constable
    • A private process server
  • The responding partner is allocated 20 days to reply to the petition
  • The reply of the responding partner is named as the answer. In this document, the responding partner can explain his view of the story. Moreover, the responding partner can request a support plan and property division as he or she desires
  • There are situations when the responding partner does not file an answer. So, the court awards a default decision. Accordingly, the court grants the petitioning partner everything that he or she has requested in the petition. At this moment, the court does not listen to the responding partner if he or she has any objections as the time limit given to the respondent has been expired
  • Whether or not the responding partner files an answer, the judge oversees all documents and proofs submitted in the court. These proofs include disclosures regarding property, residency evidences, witnesses to prove the martial faults, etc.
  • After a review of all the above, the judge finalizes a decision and a divorce decree is drafted by the court staff.
  • When the judge signs the "Decree of Dissolution of Marriage", the divorce process completes . Thereby, marriage is formally terminated.

Alabama Divorce Steps when both partners accede to divorce

  • The divorcing partners must develop a marital settlement agreement
  • The divorcing partners must create a financial statement. There would be 2 such statements as each partner has to prepare one. These statements will disclose the assets and liabilities of each partner and will include the property details and sources of income
  • The divorcing partners have to fill in the other documents needed for divorce, like
    • Complaint
    • Appearance
    • Decree
    • Certificate of Divorce
  • The petitioning partner must take 2 copies of all the document that he or she is going to file in the court
  • Prior to filing of the documents, the petitioning partner must give a copy of the Complaint to the responding partner
  • The petitioning partner must ask the responding partner to sign the following documents
    • The Waiver
    • The Consent
    • The Appearance
  • The petitioning partner must file all the documents mentioned above in this list with the clerk of the court. At the same time, this partner must disburse the filing fee. Filing fees are forms fees and process fees for a case
  • The court schedules a hearing and conveys its date and time to the petitioning partner. It is necessary to keep record of all important dates to avoid any mistakes regarding this
  • The petitioning partner must be present at the hearing
  • During the hearing, the judge ascertains that the petitioning partner desires for a divorce
  • After some days, the court will mail the final decree of divorce to the petitioning partner
  • This decree is essential whenever the divorced partners wish to alter their status from married to divorced on any document

The Alabama divorce steps can be described as above. A dissolution of marriage can be a lengthy process sometimes, especially if the partners do not agree on any of issues related to their separation. Thus, it is necessary to plan these steps in advance to save time and money.

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