About 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States will end in divorce. While this is of course not what people hope for when they get married, it is a reality that many couples do face.
A divorce can often be a complicated and emotional process. However, having an experienced divorce attorney in your corner can be a great asset in helping you get through this difficult time.
If you are considering filing for divorce, we want to help. Read on for an overview of the Alabama divorce process so that you can better protect your rights and prepare for this next phase of your life.
Divorce vs. Legal Separation in Alabama
Before diving in, it is important to understand the difference between a divorce and a legal separation. While people often use these terms interchangeably, they actually describe two separate processes.
Legal separation in Alabama is defined as a “court determination of the rights and responsibilities of a husband and wife arising out of the marital relationship.” Notably, a legal separation does not terminate the marital status of the parties.
A divorce, on the other hand, does terminate the marital status of the parties. Thus, after a divorce, you and your spouse will no longer be married.
Steps in the Alabama Divorce Process
In this article, we will be discussing the divorce process in particular. While the Alabama divorce process can sometimes be complicated, knowing the basic steps can help.
File Your Complaint and Wait for Your Spouse to File Their Answer
The first step in the Alabama divorce process is filing your divorce complaint. This complaint announces your intent to terminate the marriage and is necessary before taking any further action.
After you file the complaint with the court, you must also serve the complaint on your spouse. This formally notifies them that you have initiated a divorce action to seek termination of your marriage.
Discovery, Negotiations, and Trial
In some situations, a divorce will be uncontested. This means that both spouses agree on all issues, which allows the judge to easily finalize the divorce.
In other situations, however, the process is less simple. In a contested divorce, parties will often disagree on things such as property division, child custody, and child support.
When this happens, you may need to proceed with discovery.
Types of discovery tools in a divorce proceeding include:
- Requests for production of documents,
- Requests for admissions,
- Subpoena of documents, and
All of these discovery tools can help compile useful documentation and information to help support your position in a divorce.
Once you have this information, you can then begin negotiating a potential divorce agreement. Having an experienced divorce attorney can become a great benefit.
An attorney can help you negotiate and review any potential agreements and fight to ensure that your divorce does not result in an unfair outcome. Then, if the parties cannot reach an agreement, an attorney can help you prepare to take your divorce to trial.
Contact a Divorce Attorney Today
While you don’t always need an attorney to help with your divorce, having one can frequently make the process easier. More than that, an attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that your divorce ends in a fair and equitable resolution.
If you are in the process of going through a divorce, or if you have questions about how to get started, Dagney Johnson Law Group is standing by and ready to assist.
Our team of legal professionals has been helping clients in Alabama for over 40 years, and we want to do the same for you.
We know that going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Contact us online or by phone at (205) 937-6564 today to discuss your case and see what we can do for you.