There is no magic formula to getting a divorce and no one process fits all divorcing couples. However, there are some general rules that apply to getting a divorce attorney in Huntsville, Alabama and elsewhere. These general rules also help explain why divorce is sometimes called “the end of happy endings”. Unfortunately, ending a marriage is almost never an uplifting experience. Even when both spouses agree that the marriage can no longer go forward as it is, the process of dissolving the marriage can be fraught with emotion, contention and other challenges. As such, anyone who is considering this step in their life should understand what they are signing up for and how to get through it as smoothly as possible. To that end, we have put together this handy guide to address some of the most frequently asked questions about the Huntsville divorce process:
What are the divorce requirements in Alabama?
Alabama law requires that both spouses attend a two-hour divorce education seminar. The location of the seminar, which is usually hosted by a nonprofit organization, must be within the county where either spouse lives. While the rules vary by county and even by judge, the divorce process is generally expected to take six to 12 months. The major factors that influence this time frame are whether there are any children involved, whether there are significant assets to be divided, the level of communication between the spouses and their ability to resolve issues, and whether there are issues of domestic violence or child abuse.
How long does the divorce process take in Alabama?
The time required to dissolve a marriage varies greatly depending on the facts of each individual case. In general, the lengthiest divorces involve several children, significant assets, or both. In situations without any children, a “no-fault” divorce can usually be finalized within a few weeks or months. In cases involving children, the divorce process is likely to take much longer since children’s issues (including child custody and child support) must be resolved as part of the divorce.
How is property divided in a divorce?
Alabama is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that the court must do everything it can to divide the couple’s assets fairly. However, exact equality is not required and there is no formula that the court must use to divide the property. For example, the court may consider one spouse’s greater earning capacity or length of marriage when making a decision. This means that the court will decide how to divide the couple’s property based on what it considers to be a fair outcome.
What about child custody and child support?
The court will determine custody and visitation based on what is in the children’s best interests. Because these decisions can have a significant impact on the future of the children, the judge will take a very careful approach to making these determinations. Because the judge will want to get this part of the divorce right, it is very common for the court to schedule a trial date for the child custody and visitation portions of the case. This means that child custody and visitation may be decided several months after the divorce is filed.
Is there any way to make the divorce process easier?
Communication between the spouses is the most important factor in making the divorce process go smoothly. This may be difficult given that facing a divorce is often a very emotional time, but it is important to try to be as open and honest as possible. Knowing what you want and what steps are required to end the marriage can also make the process go more smoothly. For example, if you want to file for divorce in Alabama and your spouse lives in another state, you will need to go through the Alabama court system. Knowing how to navigate the system can help prevent you from being surprised or frustrated by the process.
Where can I find more information about the Huntsville Divorce Process?
The best way to learn about the divorce process is to speak with an attorney. There are many legal issues that can arise during a divorce, and it is best to have an attorney on your side who can help guide you through the process. Additionally, there are many online resources that can help you learn more about the divorce process in general, including information about the steps that are required to end a marriage.