A divorce comes in many forms. All of them can be difficult, but the form with the least amount of hassle is the uncontested divorce. The case of a contested divorce is ideal, as it has the least amount of time spent taking legal action. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before determining that your divorce is indeed uncontested. For one thing, the state of Alabama recognizes the distinction between a fault and no-fault divorce. Each has different grounds for which a divorce can be sought, but it boils down to whether or not one person is petitioning the court for a divorce on the basis of wrongdoing or violence. In Alabama, you do not have to assign fault to your spouse in order to get a divorce. No-fault reasons for divorce are as follows:
These factors are relatively open to interpretation, but effectively, you may seek a no-fault divorce if both parties agree to separate amicably without trying to prove any wrongdoing.
The next step in the process is to fulfill the residency requirement, meaning at least one of you must have lived in the state of Alabama for a period of six months or longer prior to filing. Next, you and your lawyer prepare the initial divorce papers. Even in an uncontested divorce, the normal process of any divorce still applies. The person filing is considered the Plaintiff, and the person being served is the Defendant. Your papers will include a complaint and a summons, and will list your grounds and terms you want to settle on before ending your marriage contract, including property division, alimony and child support.
The essential part of an uncontested divorce is in the settlement agreement. To have an uncontested divorce, the Defendant must agree on terms that would properly define all of the matters listed above. The divorce papers would need to be filed with the county clerk’s office and from there, your spouse would be officially served the documents, to which they may agree or disagree.
Though this is the easiest way to get a divorce, the paperwork and logistics can be quite daunting. If you think you might be unable to handle this on your own, Allison Herlihy has years of working with families and can ensure that your divorce process goes as smoothly as possible. Call Herlihy Family Law today to find out more!