Divorce Law in Alabama
How to Find an Alabama Divorce Attorney
Most folks, but not all, of course, enter into marriage with great hopes of happiness and fulfillment. But, life changes as it unfolds. Some statistics suggest that about 50% of all first marriages, 60% of all second marriages, and more than 70% of all third marriages end in divorce. For whatever reasons, divorce rates are even higher in Alabama. It's said that Alabama has the 4th highest divorce rate in the country.
Life's a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you're gonna get.
- Mrs. Gump, Alabama Native
If you and your spouse no longer go together like peas and carrots and you're considering divorce or looking for an Alabama divorce attorney, this article is for you.
In this article, we'll discuss:
- Alabama specific divorce law requirements;
- What you need to know about divorce; and
- Whether it's in your best interest to hire an Alabama divorce lawyer and, if so, how to find one and how to prepare to work with him or her.
Alabama Divorce Law Specifics
- If your spouse is a resident of Alabama, you can file the divorce papers at any time. If your spouse is not an Alabama resident, then you must have been a resident for at least 60 days before the divorce papers can be filed in Alabama.
- You must state divorce grounds when you file the divorce papers; you have the option between filing for a "no-fault" divorce or a "fault divorce".
- Alabama uses the terms, "plaintiff" and "defendant" to describe, first, the spouse who initially filed the divorce papers, and, second, the other spouse.
- In Alabama, divorce papers are filed in Circuit Court of the appropriate county.
- In some cases, alimony is available.
- In Alabama property distribution will be based upon what's "equitable" (i.e. fair) and child support will be based upon the Income Shares Model.
What You Need to Know About Divorce - 4 Insider Tips
Even though divorce is extremely common, it's also extremely stressful. After all, you need to reorient your dreams, your family, your finances, and your life.
If you pull yourself together and follow these insider tips, your stress level will be greatly reduced and you'll be closer to building the life you want.
- Insider Tip #1: You can control your legal fees and keep them to a minimum. Follow your attorney's advice (that's what you're paying him or her for).
- Insider Tip #2: Focus on compromise, collaboration, communication, and cooperation to avoid court interference, keep costs and stress to a minimum, stay in control, and get more of what you want.
- Insider Tip #3: Work with a therapist, instead of using your children or lawyer as a sounding board. When you feel like throwing rocks at your spouse, go to your therapist.
- Insider Tip #4: Hire an Alabama divorce lawyer who will work collaboratively with your spouse's attorney.
Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with an Alabama Divorce Lawyer?
Absolutely, your Alabama divorce lawyer will know both the law and strong collaborative negotiation tactics to get you more of what you want. Hiring an attorney will likely cost you less than if you try to go it alone.
After all, what will one, two, or a few mistakes cost you when you try to do-it-yourself? If you give up any marital rights during divorce, you will be forever barred from asserting them later.
Even attorneys, who go through divorce, hire their own divorce attorneys.
How to Find and Select an Alabama Divorce Attorney
It's simple and fast to find a number of divorce attorneys. Type "How to Find a Alabama Divorce Attorney" into Google or your favorite search engine.
Then, the selection process begins. Narrow down your results by selecting those who focus their legal practice on divorce law or family law. Then, eliminate those who appear "shark-like" and will antagonize you and your spouse.
Choose a few attorneys and ask questions. Always ask whatever questions you have about collaboration, fees, process, what to expect, communications, and timing.
How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney
Here is a checklist that will help you to prepare to work with your divorce attorney:
- Consider reconciliation. It's okay to wait until your anger passes to file divorce; if you feel the same way in a few months, file then.
- Talk with a therapist, who specializes in helping people going through divorce.
- Make a "wish list" of everything you would like in the divorce. But, know that you will have to make compromises as will your spouse.
- Make a list of questions your attorney.
- Gather all financial and legal documents.
- Know that you're going to be okay; that in a year or so from now, your divorce will no longer be the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning.
My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on.
-Forrest Gump, Alabama native