Going through a divorce is a painful and stressful time for families. Generally, it’s safe to say that most spouses want a hassle-free divorce granted as quickly as possible. But even couples who intend to end their marriage peacefully may end up disagreeing to certain terms once the divorce process begins. In Alabama, that is called a contested divorce.
A contested divorce is rarely what you see on TV, with angry spouses hurling insults and threatening to sue or take the kids away. But legally speaking, marriage is a contract. Dissolving that contract involves coming to a mutual agreement on a variety of issues related to the marriage, such as asset division, child custody, child visitation and spousal support.
If a spouse does not agree on even one term of the divorce, you’ve moved into contested divorce territory. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. While some divorce proceedings may turn ugly, good family law attorneys for both sides should be working toward a divorce settlement that both parties agree upon, keeping it out of court if possible.
The attorneys at New Beginnings Family Law in Huntsville help clients navigate the challenges of all aspects of the divorce process. Our lawyers help couples in contested divorces find a common ground that is reasonable and fair, always keeping the family’s wellbeing in mind. If an agreement cannot be reached, we are also prepared to zealously represent our clients in court.
There are some basic things to understand about Alabama’s divorce laws before going into the specifics of how a contested divorce works.
There are several steps to get divorce proceedings underway. These include:
The timeline for finalizing a divorce in Alabama varies based on what type of divorce you will be going through. Uncontested divorces go relatively quickly, assuming the spouses completely agree, and are usually completed within two months. You would need to consult with a divorce attorney if your divorce is contested. Depending on the complexity of the issues and nature of the disputes, your lawyer can give you a general estimate on how long your case might take. Some take a year or more.
Contested divorces can get expensive the longer you spend in court. That is why judges in Alabama strive for couples to come to settlements with their attorneys or mediators. There is an initial filing fee when you bring your divorce papers to county court, which is $324 in Madison County (plus any fees charged by the court for electronic filing, which brings the total to $337.01). Your divorce lawyer will be able to discuss the potential cost of the proceedings after learning the details of your case.
When your marriage is ending, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. At New Beginnings Family Law, our attorneys can help lighten your burden by making the divorce proceedings as smooth as possible.
Our divorce philosophy is to help couples build bridges to create a stable environment for themselves and their children in their new lives. To learn more about how we can help, call us or contact us online now
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