Yes, there is a mandatory waiting period before a divorce can be finalized in Alabama. According to the Code of Alabama §30-2-1, et. seq., there is a thirty day waiting period that must pass after the date of filing the Complaint. Also, at least one party must have resided in the State of Alabama for six months prior to the date of filing. So if you move to the State of Alabama, you and your spouse might have to wait until you have lived here long enough.
Divorces are one of the most stressful and emotional events a person can go through in their entire life. That is the rationale for this “cooling off” period. It is seen as a way to take a step back once the papers have been submitted, just in case the parties decide to reconcile.
Realistically, depending on the case load of the Court where the divorce complaint is filed, it could take thirty days for your divorce to be granted even if there was not a required thirty day waiting period. Contested divorces take much longer to get a final divorce decree, especially if there are children or large estates. Contested divorces can cost thousands of dollars and potentially take years to get settled or eventually be tried in front of a judge.
Uncontested divorces are the fastest and cheapest way to get a divorce. If both parties agree to the big questions of how to divide all assets and debts, child support and custody, and other property distribution then you can file an uncontested divorce. When the parties agree on all of those issues from the outset then that can make the divorce process quicker and easier. An uncontested divorce usually takes about five to eight weeks after everything has been signed by both spouses and filed with the court.
Thirty days from the time your divorce is filed is the fastest turnaround legally possible for a you to get divorced 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 turnaround time is also dependent upon all 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 filed with the Court and ensure the fastest possible processing time.