What is a no-fault divorce and how is it possible in the State of Alabama? When two parties decide to get a divorce, it is important for them to understand that there are two different ways to obtain a divorce. They can either pursue a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce in Jefferson County. A contested divorce is when the two parties are unable to reach a mutual agreement regarding the terms of their divorce. Contested divorces are much more stressful and complicated, and they take longer than uncontested divorces, which makes them even more expensive. Birmingham divorce attorneys have to charge by the hour for contested divorces because it is practically impossible to know how much time, money, and resources will be spent in order to resolve it. They can take anywhere from months to years to resolve.
On the other hand, uncontested divorces, or no-fault divorces, tend to be a pretty simple and cheap way to get divorced. Uncontested divorces are when the two parties are able to reach a mutual agreement regarding all of their marital property. Marital property includes any real and personal property as well as other assets that the two parties obtained during the marriage. It does not include any property or assets that the two parties separately owned before entering the marriage unless agreed upon or ordered otherwise. For example, marital property includes things such as homes, cars, bank accounts, cash, investments, retirement accounts, etc.
If the two parties are able to reach an agreement, then they are saving themselves a lot of time and money by doing a no-fault divorce in Alabama. Uncontested divorces allow each party to meet and decide each term of their settlement agreement according to their own schedules and preferences, which allows them to avoid going to court for the judge to divide their property. Uncontested divorces are much cheaper than contested divorces because they are normally done on a flat fee basis, which is only possible because they do not require an attorney to spend numerous hours researching and applying relevant laws to the facts of the case, communicate back and forth with the opposing counsel, and prepare the case for trial.
To obtain an online divorce in Alabama, one party should contact a divorce attorney. The other party may hire an attorney as well, but they do not necessarily have to, although it is encouraged. The two parties must agree on the division of every piece of their marital property. If there are only a few terms that they cannot agree on, then mediation is recommended before pursuing a contested divorce.
After reaching an agreement, the divorce attorney will draft a marital settlement agreement that states every term and obligation. Each party needs to read the agreement carefully and make sure they fully understand it before signing it. Once it is signed, the attorney will file the marital settlement agreement with the Circuit Court as well as a Petition for Divorce. Since they are filed at the same time, the divorce is considered to be “uncontested.” After Alabama’s mandatory 30 day “cooling off” period, the Circuit Court judge may issue an order granting the divorce, known as a divorce decree, and the parties will officially be divorced and legally bound according to their marital settlement agreement.
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!