About the harris firm attorneys at law
The Harris Firm, LLC has offices in Birmingham and across the State of Alabama, helping individuals through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Our family law attorneys help people with their divorce, adoption, probate of estates, guardianships, elder law issues, divorce modifications, contempt, child custody, protection from abuse, and many other domestic relations matters. Call us to speak with one of our adoption, elder law, probate, divorce, and family law attorneys in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, Anniston, Decatur, Madison, Cullman, Bessemer, Alabaster, Shelby County, Mobile, Dothan, Prattville, Millbrook, and Auburn
Family Law Attorneys
What is family law? It is a term for an area of law dealing with mostly domestic relations matters and issues involving families. Cases such as divorces, custody petitions, child support matters, adoptions, buying a first home for your family, or any other matter involving mostly matters of a domestic nature.
The most common area of law that family law attorneys in Birmingham, and throughout Alabama, deal with is divorce. However, it is not always the filing of a divorce. It can often be someone going back and trying to change or modify their prior divorce agreement or decree. This is called a Divorce Modification and can be done by agreement or you can attempt to do it without the ex-spouse’s agreement if there have been substantial changes since the divorce decree was entered.
Another divorce related family law issue is the Petition for Contempt. This is where you got your divorce decree, and in it, your ex-spouse was ordered to do something like refinance a loan or transfer a home. If they do not do what they were ordered to do, you can file this Petition and take them back in front of the same judge to hold them in contempt of court. Contempt Petitions are a very powerful way to make someone do what they were ordered to do previously. Our contempt attorneys can fight for you and work hard to get your former spouse to do what they agreed to do in your prior case.
We can also handle your probate or estate planning needs in Birmingham or anywhere else in Alabama. If you need an estate probated, our probate attorneys in Alabama can help. If you need a last will and testament, or any other estate documents prepared, our estate planning attorneys can help advise you on all of your estate needs.
If you and your spouse are not in agreement, then you will need to file a contested divorce and have our attorneys argue your case for you to the judge. A divorce begins with a Complaint being filed with the Court. Once filed, your spouse is served the document and they get their own divorce lawyer in Birmingham to file an Answer.
At that point, your divorce attorney and your spouse will negotiate and try to reach an agreement. If no agreement can be reached, then there will sometimes be mediation ordered in the case. If an agreement cannot be reached at mediation, then our divorce attorneys will take your case to trial and the judge will have to decide all of your contested marital issues.
It is important to have a local Birmingham divorce attorney to fight for you during the case. They will gather evidence during something called the Discovery process and prepare your case for trial. Even though a settlement might be reached, by properly preparing your case from the beginning it puts you in a much better negotiating position and can result in a better settlement outcome.
UNCONTESTED DIVORCE LAWYERS
If you are contemplating a divorce, then you are usually going to file an uncontested or contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is where you both agree on everything and a contested divorce is where there is no agreement and you need someone to fight for you in court. Either way our divorce lawyers are here to help.
If it is an uncontested divorce, we are currently charging a flat fee plus filing fee to handle it for you. Our Alabama divorce lawyers will work with you to ensure that your uncontested divorce goes as quickly and easily as possible.
We have offices across Alabama, so whether you need an uncontested divorce lawyer in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Decatur, Cullman, Bessemer, Alabaster, Mobile, Dothan, Florence, Prattville, Millbrook, Auburn, or anywhere else in Alabama then we can help.
Although we can handle your online divorce in Alabama, our divorce lawyers also handle other family law matters but they are typically much more expensive than an uncontested divorce and require something called a retainer to be paid up front. If you call our family law and divorce lawyers today we can give you a quick consultation over the pupfronthone and can usually quote you a retainer fee the same day you call.
Probate and Estates Attorney
If you need to probate a loved one's estate, file an adoption, or have your last will and testament updated, then our Alabama probate attorneys can help you. Our probate and estate lawyers will meet with you to go over your situation and determine what is the right option for you. If you need to file a probate matter, then our probate lawyers can go over the entire process with you, have you sign the proper paperwork, file your case for you, and help you through the process. Whether you need a probate lawyer in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Decatur, Cullman, Calera, Talladega, Troy, Athens, Pell City, Bessemer, Alabaster, Prattville, Millbrook, Auburn, or anywhere else in the State of Alabama then we can help
The probate process can be very confusing and can last a long time if not handled from the beginning correctly. Our attorneys can file your petition and obtain something called Letters of Administration so that the appropriate family member can begin the process of handling the deceased person's esate. Our estate planning attorneys can also help prepare your updated last will and testament, durable financial power of attorney, or a living will so that you, and your family, are prepared as you get older.
Our elder law attorneys can also help with any issues particular to individuals as they age such as guardianships, conservatorships, handling elder abuse claims, or evaluating your estate planning documents. Give our local probate and elder law lawyers, a call today for a consultation and let us answer any questions you may have about the probate process.
Family Law FAQs
There are two types of custody in Alabama, physical and legal custody. Legal custody is who has the rights to make decisions for the child and is usually given jointly in a divorce. The physical custody is who the child is actually living with most of the time, that parent has sole physical custody and the other parent has visitation rights such as every other weekend. In rare cases, both parents spend equal amounts of time with the children in what some call “shared” custody, this is basically joint physical custody... Read more
In Alabama, there is a formula that is used by the courts to determine how much one party is to pay in child support to the other. This is called the child support guidelines and is based primarily on both spouses' gross monthly incomes. The courts will usually go by what these guidelines say, but if you wish to agree to a different amount you can do so in your settlement agreement but if a judge feels that the amount you have agreed to is unfair then they might not sign off on your agreement and a hearing will need to be held or you will need to amend the documents appropriately. Typically, if you are close to the guidelines then it is alright, but if you agree to an amount that is substantially lower or higher than the guidelines it can cause delays in your divorce being finalized and may not be approved. Our local divorce attorneys will perform the guidelines for you in an uncontested divorce and it is usually best to go by their calculations if possible.... Read more
In Alabama, there is a formula that is used by the courts to determine how much one party is to pay in child support to the other. This is called the child support guidelines and is based primarily on both spouses' gross monthly incomes. The courts will usually go by what these guidelines say, but if you wish to agree to a different amount you can do so in your settlement agreement but if a judge feels that the amount you have agreed to is unfair then they might not sign off on your agreement and a hearing will need to be held or you will need to amend the documents appropriately. Typically, if you are close to the guidelines then it is alright, but if you agree to an amount that is substantially lower or higher than the guidelines it can cause delays in your divorce being finalized and may not be approved. Our local divorce attorneys will perform the guidelines for you in an uncontested divorce and it is usually best to go by their calculations if possible... Read more
If your spouse was ordered to do something and refuses to do it, then you can take them back to the judge that ordered it and they can find them in Contempt of Court. This means that the judge can make them do it or punish them for not doing it. Sometimes this could mean making them pay fines or additional costs. It could also mean ordering them to jail in cases where someone is not paying child support or can do the thing they're ordered to do but is refusing to do it anyway for no good reason... Read more
Sure, this is called a joint petition to modify if both parties are in agreement. So if the two of you need to change the primary custody from the mother to the father so that the child can be enrolled in another school system, it can be a matter of mostly paperwork and there is usually not a hearing. If the parties are not in agreement, and you just want to have a judge modify the old decree based on something going on that’s new, you can do that but there must be evidence shown at a hearing about such new substantial changes that have happened... Read more
If the biological father is in agreement, then you can do something called a step-parent adoption. This is where no one is contesting the adoption and doesn’t require much court. Once filed, there is a person appointed to look after the child’s best interest called a guardian ad litem. This person looks into the prospective parents home situation and recommends the adoption take place. As long as the biological parents are in agreement then it can occur without too much difficulty in the Probate Court where the child resides... Read more
It depends on which type of divorce you are doing. If you are pursuing an uncontested divorce (where you and your spouse have reached an agreement concerning all marital issues) then you can fill out our questionnaire... Read more
For a contested divorce, you will need to call and speak with one of our attorneys for a quote. However, we usually work with you to structure a low, flat fee instead of expensive retainers that are billed out of at an expensive hourly rate... Read more
As long as you or hour spouse is a resident of Alabama, then you can file here. To be a resident, you have to have resided in the State for at least six months prior to filing a case. If you both are residents of Alabama, then... Read more
An uncontested divorce is where both you and your spouse have reached an agreement about all of your marital issues such as custody, child support, division of property, and all other issues. If you have reached such an agreement... Read more
An uncontested divorce usually takes about one or two months after everything has been signed by both spouses and filed with the court. A contested divorce can take anywhere from 30 days to months or years, depending on... Read more
Probate is the legal process of validating a will and distributing assets after someone's death, ensuring debts are paid and assets are properly passed to the heirs... Read more
The duration can vary depending on the complexity of the estate, but it generally takes several months to over a year... Read more
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows one person to act on behalf of another in financial, medical, or other matters... Read more
Thousands of Clients served in Alabama
“Excellent service, very reasonable price, and willing to speak with you in a timely manner about your concerns. I highly recommend the Harris Firm for your legal needs.“
“The Harris Firm did an outstanding job handling my case. The staff was always professional & answered all of my questions and concerns in a timely manner. I have already recommended them to my friends & colleagues.“
“Quick and easy Uncontested divorce. Everything was spelled out in easy to follow instructions. The Harris Firm was prompt and responsive when questions arose. Excellent customer service!“