An uncontested divorce usually takes about four to eight weeks after everything has been signed by both spouses and filed with the court. If both parties agree on the big questions of how you will divide your assets and debts, child custody and support, and if one spouse will request alimony, you can file an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce can take much longer. If both parties cannot reach an agreement during the contested divorce and a trial is necessary to determine the contested issues, then it can take a year or longer to obtain a divorce decree.
Even when both parties agree to the divorce, Alabama law requires a “cooling off” period of thirty days after the filing. The intent of this law is to allow couples a time to reflect, now that they’ve gone through the formality of filing paperwork with the court, to make sure divorce it is really what they want. This cooling off period in an uncontested divorce does not usually have a significant effect on the wait time to get a decree by the court, especially compared to the length of time it takes to obtain a contested divorce.
For uncontested divorces without minor children, the Plaintiff will need to submit a Complaint for Divorce. After the Complaint for Divorce is filed, the thirty day “cooling off” period begins. In an uncontested divorce, testimony may be taken via affidavits, depositions, or by the court clerk. After the Plaintiff files the Complaint, the Defendant replies with the Answer. Testimony is then taken where grounds for the divorce are declared. The Complaint for Divorce is usually filed alongside a Marital Settlement agreement which lays out the “who gets what” terms of the divorce for the court.
Thirty days from the time your divorce is filed is the fastest turnaround legally possible for a divorce to be finalized in Alabama. This is due to the aforementioned cooling off requirement, but practically speaking, most uncontested divorces take that long to process through the courts anyway. A quick and easy divorce is also dependent upon all of of the parties paperwork being filed on time and correctly. That is why it is so important to hire a local, experienced divorce attorney to handle your case. They can make sure everything is in order when it goes through the court to ensure the fastest possible processing time. An Alabama licensed divorce attorney should be able to navigate your case through the uncontested divorce process in whatever county you reside in.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!