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Alabama Divorce Laws Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the minimum residence period that I must complete to file for divorce?
You need to reside at least for a period of 6 months or 180 days (whichever is longer) in the State of Alabama before you can file for divorce.

2. What happens if my spouse doesn’t reside in State of Alabama?
Alabama State law requires that the spouse filing for divorce be a resident for a period of 6 months. However, if your spouse resides elsewhere, the divorce process will take longer and will become more complicated.
3. What sort of complications?
Under Alabama divorce law, your spouse will have to be served with the Complaint for Divorce. Under the Alabama divorce law, if your spouse resides in another State, than the State will require the services of a special process server to deliver the Complaint for Divorce. Under certain verified circumstances, the Complaint for Divorce can be sent via certified mail. If you don’t know your spouse's address, the Court may approve the publishing of a divorce notice in the newspaper.
4. Does it really take years for the divorce to finalize?
The Alabama divorce law has a 30 day waiting period. Until this waiting period is completed no divorce can be granted. The waiting period doesn’t need to be of the minimum 30 day period and could be longer. If your spouse agrees to a settlement than the divorce can be finalized in a little over 30 days, pending on the signing of the divorce decree by the judge. However, if you and your spouse have disagreements on the terms regarding your divorce, divorce process takes months to complete. In certain cases the divorce process has taken more than a year to finalize. In fact there are cases where the divorce decree was issued after years of legal battle.
5. How much does it cost to file for divorce?
The filing fee depends on the county of Alabama you reside. For example in Birmingham, the filing fee for Jefferson County is $154, while in Shelby County the fee is $160.
6. How do divorce attorneys charge for services rendered?
There are basically two ways you can be billed by your divorce attorney. Either, the divorce attorney handles the divorce cases on a set flat fee or the divorce attorney charges on an hourly rate.
7. How much will an Alabama divorce lawyer?
This depends on four variables. Firstly, the divorce attorney’s normal charges. Secondly, the charges themselves depend on the complexity of your divorce case. Thirdly, the fee depends on your financial health. Lastly, the fee depends on the maturity of your negotiating skill. Depending on these variables, attorney's fee could just be a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Make sure that the fee arrangement is completely clear to you.
8. Under the Alabama divorce law can the Court make my spouse pay for my Alabama divorce lawyer?
Under the Alabama divorce law, the Court can award an attorney’s fee in a divorce case.
9. Must I hire the services of an Alabama divorce lawyer or can I represent myself in court?
Yes, you can represent yourself in court but, it is advisable to take the services of a practicing divorce attorney.
10. Can my spouse and I hire the same divorce attorney?
No, one divorce attorney can’t represent both you and your spouse. Even if the divorce is uncontested both the plaintiff and the defendant are represented separately. You could have the same divorce attorney prepare all the papers and represent yourself.
11. Is the Alabama a common law state?
Yes, Alabama is a common law State. Under the Alabama State law, both spouses must fulfill three requirements. Firstly, both of the spouses must agree to be husband and wife. Secondly, both spouses must of course have the mental capacity to understand such an agreement. And lastly, under the Alabama divorce law the couple must consummate this relationship, martially.
12. Is Alabama a No-Fault State?
Yes, Alabama is a no fault State.
13. How long does a couple have to be separated before filing for a no fault divorce?
Under the Alabama divorce law the couple has to be separated for 2 years before filing for a no fault divorce.
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