Birmingham Divorce Lawyer

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At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, our firm believes that a divorce should not be seen as only the end of a marriage, but a divorce is a journey through which you and your spouse separate your lives to each obtain a better future. Our Birmingham family lawyers handle divorce for men and women, divorces that involve few or significant assets, and divorces that do and do not include children. Whatever your situation, we want to be sure you receive the information and guidance you need to confidently move through the Alabama divorce process.

To discuss getting a divorce in Alabama with an experienced attorney, contact Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC. We are available via our online form or by phone at (205) 255-1155. We can also be reached through our discussion forum or self-help portal. You may ask general questions or case-specific advice through our portal, which also has an array of forms you may need to complete your divorce. 

How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help You

A divorce can be a complex and multi-faceted process. Prior to filing for divorce, there are a number of issues to consider. When is the right to file? How will the divorce impact your income and taxes? Did you sign a prenup that impacts what you can get in a divorce? While you can mull over these questions on your own, it is often better to speak with a divorce attorney in Pelham, AL or near your home.

Partnering with a divorce attorney can help you work the underlying issues of your divorce as efficiently as possible.

Following your initial considerations, a divorce attorney will work with you to determine whether you should expect a contested or uncontested divorce. This can guide you in determining the grounds on which you file for divorce, which could be fault-based or no-fault grounds. Many individuals in Alabama file for divorce based on no-fault, however you may wish to prove your spouse caused the marriage to fail.

When you have decided on the basis for the divorce, you or your spouse must file for divorce in a county where you both or one of you live. Filing for divorce in Alabama officially begins the process of legally dissolving your marriage. Your divorce case may take weeks or months to resolve. In highly contentious cases, it can take years. Partnering with a divorce attorney from Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC can help you work the underlying issues of your divorce as efficiently as possible.

Additionally, a divorce lawyer can help you after your divorce should be all said and done. Following your divorce decree, problems may arise that force you to take your spouse back to court. In these situations, you should have a tenacious attorney ready to fight for your rights under Alabama law and the divorce order.

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First Steps to Divorce

You should never dive into the Alabama divorce process without first working with an experienced attorney. By speaking with a lawyer before making any decisions or filing any documents, you learn more about Alabama divorce laws, your rights and options in regard to the divorce, and strategies to obtain the best possible outcome.

Consider your Finances

Divorce is a legal and emotional process, it can also be a significant financial undertaking. You should speak with your attorney about divorce and taxes. If your income may change considerably following a separation and divorce, you may need to prepare for a different outcome to your taxes. In this situation, your attorney may recommend working with an accountant during and following your divorce.

Consider Marital Agreements

Another aspect to consider is whether you have a marital agreement in place, including a pre-nuptial agreement or a post-nuptial agreement. If you and your spouse signed a pre-nup or post-nup when you were married, then this contract may dictate many of the terms of your divorce. A Shelby County divorce lawyer will look over any type of marital agreement closely. At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC are highly experienced in drafting, contesting, and defending pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Consider the Children

You may also wish to speak with an attorney about how the timing of a divorce could impact your children. There is no perfect time to file for divorce, but your lawyer may have a recommendation for how to handle a divorce in Alabama with a child.

What Type of Divorce Will You Have: Contested or Uncontested?

After speaking with an attorney regarding some important initial considerations, your next step is to consider what type of divorce you may be approaching. Based on your current relationship with your spouse, do you expect a contested or uncontested divorce? At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, our divorce lawyers in Bessemer, AL, are highly experienced in both contested and uncontested divorces. If your spouse disagrees with the divorce or one or more underlying issues, then we will guide you through divorce litigation. This can be a challenging experience, but we strive to get you through this journey as efficiently as possible. If you believe you are heading into a contentious divorce, contact a divorce lawyer right away. If your spouse agrees that a divorce is the best choice for you both, and you seem to agree on many of the underlying issues, then you may consider a collaborative divorce. We can guide you through filing for divorce, negotiating the details of a divorce settlement, and obtaining a final court order. A common mistakes couples make is to think they do not need legal representation during an amicable or collaborative divorce. We recommend you each obtain legal counsel to ensure you do not overlook important details that should be addressed in your divorce order, such as obtaining a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to divide retirement investments. You would be surprised at how many couples look at the big picture and forget small, yet important, assets. If you are confident a divorce attorney is unnecessary, we still want to help. You can utilize our divorce self-help system. For a small fee, you can access up-to-date divorce court forms, accurate legal information, and some legal advice. You can also post questions to our community forum and receive responses from the public and attorneys.

How to Get a Divorce in Alabama: Fault or No-Fault Divorce

To legally end your marriage in Alabama, you or your spouse must file for divorce in a county that has jurisdiction over the matter. The initial paperwork is known as the complaint. In this document, you must tell the court the grounds for divorce. In other words, why you want to obtain a divorce. Under Ala. Code 30-2-1, there are 10 potential fault-based reasons you may use to ask for a divorce:

This law also outlines three reasons for divorce that are not one spouse’s fault. You may allege in your divorce paperwork that:

Whether or not you should argue fault in your divorce depends on the situation. You should speak with our divorce attorneys before deciding on a fault or no-fault divorce. Filing a fault-based divorce may give you an advantage when seeking a larger portion of marital assets, alimony or spousal support, and child custody. However, there is no guarantee of this. Because of the extra time and effort that may be required for a fault-based divorce, many of our clients choose to file for divorce on a no-fault basis.

Steps to a Divorce

Once you have considered the type of divorce, contested or uncontested, and the grounds for your divorce, it is time to get started.

Filing

The first official step is to file for divorce. You should speak with a divorce lawyer in Hoover, AL or near you to be confident you file in the correct county. Typically, you will file a divorce complaint in the county where you live, though you may file in the county where you spouse lives.

Appearing in Court

After you file for divorce, you can expect to appear in court. Your divorce will likely require multiple hearings, some of which you must attend and others during which you can be represented by your attorney.

Discovery

Following the initial filing, you and your spouse’s attorneys may take part in discovery. This is the phase of divorce proceedings during which both sides request and exchange information. This can be important if you believe your spouse is lying about their income or hiding assets. The discovery process enables you to obtain a clear picture of your spouse’s financial situation and of the marital estate. This is also the time to speak with your attorney about asset protection in divorce. You may have certain assets that you believe are your property alone and not part of the marital estate. We will seek to keep these separate.

Resolving the Underlying Issues

A divorce, on its face, is about ending a marriage. In reality and in court, it becomes a lot more than that. During a divorce in Alabama, you and your spouse must make decisions regarding numerous individual issues or put those issues before a judge. Essential issues that must be decided or litigated during a divorce include:

Voluntary or Required Mediation

Depending on the circumstances, you may choose or be required, based on Ala. Code 6-6-20, to go through divorce mediation. This is an out-of-court process during which you and your spouse, with the help of your attorneys, talk with each other in the presence of a neutral mediator and attempt to negotiate a resolution to a dispute. Mediation may be used for some or all aspects of a divorce.

Submit a Divorce Settlement to the Court

You and your spouse may be able to amicably negotiate all the unique issues present in your divorce, thereby creating your own divorce settlement. With a divorce attorney from Alabaster, AL, you can be confident your divorce settlement includes everything you need it to. You can be confident that it is drafted clearly and accurately to avoid any post-divorce problems. If you and your spouse do not negotiate a divorce settlement, then the issues must be resolved by the judge.

Wait the Necessary Amount of Time

Many divorces take months to resolve, though some can be finalized quickly. Alabama’s divorce waiting period is only 30 days, which means you can obtain a final divorce decree after about four weeks if the underlying issues can be resolved in that time.

We Represent Individuals in Post-Divorce Actions

If everything goes as planned, once your divorce is finalized, then you do not need to return to court. Unfortunately, not all divorces go as planned, which is why our divorce lawyers in Shelby County, Alabama represent individuals in post-divorce actions. You may need to return to court if your ex-spouse is violating the court order. It may be that your spouse refuses to hand over certain assets or take responsibility for certain debts. We also handle post-divorce alimony issues, including when one party wishes to increase alimony or end it. If you are divorced, yet you are experiencing continued problems, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your options.

Contact Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC About a Divorce Today

At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, we are proud to serve individuals throughout Alabama. We represent all types of individuals in a variety of family law matters, including divorce for women and men, divorce involving high-value assets, and divorce involving children. We hope you will let us represent you through this process and help you achieve a better future for you and your family. We believe it is more important for you to have access to legal information than to hire us to represent you in court. We understand many people choose to go through a divorce without an attorney. To ensure you can move through this process yourself with minimal stress, we offer an automated divorce self-help system for a small fee. Through this system, you gain access to legal information, up-to-date forms, and attorney advice. You can obtain additional advice through our community discussion forum. Post your questions to receive answers from attorneys and other Alabama residents. To speak with a Birmingham divorce lawyer, contact Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC at (205) 255-1155.