After reaching the conclusion that a marriage is over, many couples often wonder what comes next. They know that they need to file for divorce, but what that means for them might be unclear. Below are the basics of divorce here in Alabama.
Prior to filing for divorce, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of Alabama for a minimum of six months. The minimum amount of time that must elapse between the initial filing and the final decree is 30 days. Alabama is a no-fault state, which means that the parties are not required to prove wrongdoing of the other party in order to obtain a divorce. The parties only need to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no prospect of reconciliation.
However, under certain circumstances alleging wrongdoing might be necessary. Alabama has grounds for divorce that include cruelty, insanity and imprisonment, among others. Whether it would be advantageous to make such allegations would need to be carefully considered, since proof is required. If there are children involved, the court would also establish child support and custody/visitation.
Most courts encourage couples to negotiate their own divorce settlements if at all possible. This allows the parties to tailor the agreement to their particular needs since the courts must work within certain parameters in most cases. If the parties, along with their legal counsel, are able to work out their settlement prior to filing the petition, they could receive the final decree after the expiration of the 30-day waiting period.
Source: FindLaw, “Alabama Divorce Laws“, Accessed on Sept. 4, 2016