What is an uncontested divorce?
The first most asked question about an uncontested divorce is “What is it?” An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both spouses are willing to end their marriage and have come to an agreement and mutual understanding regarding the circumstances of their divorce. Because the agreement is filed at the time that the divorce is filed, the divorce begins as an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces in Limestone County, or anywhere else in the State of Alabama, are generally faster, cheaper, and less stressful than contested divorces.
What are the requirements for an uncontested divorce in Alabama?
The second most asked question about an uncontested divorce involves the requirements.
Residency Requirements. If both you (the “petitioner”) and your spouse (the “defendant”) live in the state of Alabama, you may file for divorce at any time. If your spouse lives out of state, the law in Alabama states that the petitioner must have lived in the state for at least six months immediately prior to filing divorce papers. (Ala. Code § 30-2-5 (2022)
Agreement on the Reason for Your Divorce. When filing for a divorce, you need to state the legal reason that your marriage is ending. Alabama’s grounds for divorce include two no-fault grounds that you and your spouse need to agree on when filing for an uncontested divorce:
- You and your spouse suffer from an incompatibility of temperament and can no longer live together.
- There has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage such that any further attempts at reconciliation would be impractical or futile and would not be in your family’s best interests.
Agreement on the Divorce Issues. If you and your spouse are filing for an uncontested divorce, you will need to agree about the division of shared property, assets, and obligations related to any children including child custody, visitation, and support. If you and your spouse are having difficulty working out disagreements on any of these issues, divorce mediation can be a helpful resource.
What is the process?
The third most asked question about an uncontested divorce involves the legal process. We have gotten our process down to a science so that we can make this process as painless as possible. Once we have received your questionnaire and your attorney fee, we will call you to discuss the information that you provided on your questionnaire to limit the number of edits that we will need to do. After we have gone over your questionnaire with you, our uncontested divorce attorney in Madison County will go and draft your documents to sign. This usually takes between three and five business days. When your documents are ready to sign, we will send you your paperwork for your approval and signatures. After you get that back to us, we can file your divorce with the court.
How long does an uncontested divorce take?
The fourth most asked question about an uncontested divorce is how long it takes. An uncontested divorce is the quickest way to get divorced in Alabama. Uncontested divorces are usually finalized within 6 to 10 weeks of the paperwork being signed and filed. It takes this long because the courts cannot officially declare you divorced until 30 days after the divorce has been filed.
What is the cost of an uncontested divorce?
The fifth most asked question is “How much does it cost”? The Harris firm currently, at the time of this article, offers a flat rate of $390 for an uncontested divorce without minor children (19 and under), and $490 for an uncontested divorce with minor children. This flat fee can change from time to time, but we try to charge a low flat fee so that people can get a cheap divorce where they reside in the State of Alabama. Additional attorney fees may be required if there are substantial property or tax considerations involved, business interest, paternity issues, retirement issues, or any other issues that would require more time of the attorney.
In addition to the attorney fees there is a filing fee that must be paid before your paperwork can be filed with the court. This fee will typically range from $200 to $400 and will depend on the county that you file in. When you call a Huntsville divorce attorney they can tell you what the filing fee is where you are filing.
Ms. Dixon is a paralegal in our Huntsville office. She was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Her extensive education includes a BA in Psychology from Hawaii Pacific University, a BS in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Alabama, and she is currently working on her MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Capella University. In her spare time Ms. Dixon enjoys painting, taking care of her houseplants, and teaching her old dog new tricks. She regularly writes on various topics including law, organizational theory, and psychology.