Filing a Contested Divorce in Alabama

Albeit the less desirable way to end a marriage, filing for a contested divorce in Alabama is sometimes the only option available to parties that have come to the end of their marital relationship.  The state of Alabama will require that at least one the parties have actually resided within the state six months prior the filing of the divorce. 

Filing and Service of the Divorce Complaint

The spouse that is filing for the divorce is known as the petitioner and the spouse that will be responding to the divorce is termed the respondent.   The petitioner will file for a divorce in the county of the parties residence.  Filing fees for Alabama contested divorces average about $200.   After the petition for divorce is filed the respondent must be served with it by an appropriate legal medium.  This can include acknowledgement of service by the respondent or by paying the Sherriff’s office or a special process server to deliver the documents.  Once a respondent is served he or she will have 31 days to file an answer to the petition for divorce. 

Grounds for Filing for Contested Divorce in Alabama

Grounds are basically the legal reasons that the petitioner alleges in the petition as to why the divorce should be granted.  They include but are not limited to the following:

  • Addiction to Drug or alcohol
  • Adultery
  • Domestic abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Physical incapacitation

Process After Filing for a Contested Divorce in Alabama

Discovery process is where both parties get to send over information and document requests to the other side for the purpose of using such information to advance their side in the case.  During the discovery period the parties can also depose one another.  Most attorneys will push for mediation if the case is one that could be resolved before trial.   However if the case is one where parties emotions are running high then issues such as alimony, child support, child custody, retirement benefits, insurance coverage, and marital property may have to be tried by the court.    If the parties can reach an agreement then the court can enter the same into a final judgment and decree.  If the parties go to trial, the court will have a hearing on all pending matters and enter a final judgment declaring the marriage dissolved. 

Seeking Legal Help

Only a licensed attorney in your area with copious amounts of contested divorce experience should be handling your case.  Family law can be tricky and it can almost become impossible to deal with on your own.  Seek the advice of a lawyer to help ease e your mind and to make sure that you receive the legal guidance you need.

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