If you are looking into alternatives to traditional divorce, and a way to keep costs down, finding the right method can be fairly straightforward. Especially if both parties are in agreement about major issues that one typically encounters during a divorce. In Alabama, online divorces are an alternative to contested divorce, and it is both simple and inexpensive.
What is an Online Divorce?
Online divorces are available to couples who have arrived at the decision to do an uncontested divorce. In essence, this means that the couple has agreed to dissolve the marriage, while resolving major issues like division of property, alimony, child support, custody, and co-parenting, if that is necessary. If couples cannot agree on these issues, they would not be eligible for an uncontested, online divorce.
To begin the process, you will gain consultation from an online service, starting with a questionnaire. Once that is done, you will learn about issues like the preparation of divorce papers, how to draft a divorce settlement agreement, and how to file paperwork with the court. This process removes a lot of the mystery of the divorce process, once you have completed an online interview with an attorney, as well as the questionnaire, the service will fill out your paperwork and tell you where to file it.
To file for an online divorce, you are required to be filing an uncontested divorce in Morgan County, with reasons being irreconcilable differences or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Online divorces typically do not allow you to cite adultery, substance abuse, or abandonment as a cause, since that tends to be more complicated.
Before completing your online divorce, you will need to have the resolution of your issues completed in a divorce settlement agreement, which is sometimes known as a marital settlement agreement or marital separation agreement. Most online divorce services will aid you with this process, usually with an additional fee.
Fee Structure and Other Expectations
If the couple has substantial property or tax concerns involved, business interests, paternity concerns, retirement plans, or other complicated issues that would require additional time and effort, then additional fees and the assistance of an attorney would be required. Additionally, you should expect to have court filing fees in the county in which you reside. These fees will vary from county to county.
Though an online divorce is fairly simple, it is good to have a local divorce lawyer involved, since they will know what requirements are necessary in the county you reside in. You will find that local courts across Alabama will have their own requirements that your attorney can help you negotiate. If you work with an attorney, you can get away with having to pay a flat fee.
Benefits to Having an Online Divorce
First, you will be able to save a great deal of money on attorney fees. The average divorce can cost between $6,000 to $12,000 dollars or more in attorney fees. This does not include other necessary costs, like document costs, filing fees, divorce petition delivery, real estate appraisal, or divorce parenting courses. Second, you will not run the risk of filing your forms incorrectly, thus having them rejected by the county court. With the online services aiding you, often with automatically generated prompts, you are less likely to make mistakes. Third, you and your spouse will not have to spend time in court in front of a judge. These online documents can be completed at home, on your own time.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!