Do the rules of civil procedure apply to divorces and what are they? In Alabama, divorce actions are heard and decided by the Circuit Court. Divorces can be brought in the county where the Defendant resides, the county where the Plaintiff resides if the Defendant resides in another state, or in the county where the parties resided before they separated. Regardless of the type of divorce being pursued, contested or uncontested, every divorce action is governed by Alabama’s Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rules of Civil Procedure were created to provide consistency and stability. The Rules of Civil Procedure ensure that every action or proceeding is fairly and timely decided, and they ensure that the associated costs are reasonable. The rules for an uncontested divorce in Autauga County or anywhere else are essentially the same but there are sometimes local differences in how these rules are applied.
Alabama’s Rules of Civil Procedure contain over 80 different rules that include various obligations. There are rules that concern each of the following topics: the commencement of an action; service of process; pleadings; motions; orders; parties to the action; depositions; discovery; trials; judgment; remedies; special proceedings; appeals; circuit courts and clerks; and other general rules. Some of these rules must be followed in every single divorce action, and some may only apply in very complex divorce actions.
For example, every divorce action must abide by the rule that concerns the commencement of action, which governs the filing of the Divorce Complaint. The Divorce Complaint typically identifies the parties to the action, the grounds for divorce, and any other terms and obligations that are sought as relief. Divorces also have to abide by the rules that dictate summons and the service of process, which ensure due process by notifying the Defendant of the divorce proceeding and their required attendance in court.
Rules concerning pleadings and motions, which specify how and when they are to be done, must be followed in divorces, too. Each party to a divorce action in Calhoun County must be an adult, or have a representative acting on their behalf, and they must comply with the other rules regarding parties, which require the parties to have real interest in the matter and the capacity to sue or be sued. If a divorce action is more complicated due to it being contested and tried in the Circuit Court, then the rules detailing the following topics must be followed in addition to the ones previously mentioned: depositions, interrogatories, discovery, trial by jury or the court, dismissal of the action, evidence, jurors, judgments, new trials, contempt, jurisdiction, and venue.
While it is true that certain aspects of a divorce proceeding can be handled solely by a party to the action, it is highly encouraged that both parties to the action hire an attorney that specializes in divorces. Divorce attorneys have experience with complying to the rules and procedures that are required when trying a divorce action before a Circuit Court judge. They are much less likely to negatively impact an action due to improper procedure than one of the parties attempting to handle the divorce on their own. It is crucial that every rule is followed explicitly, so it is best to hire representation. Contact us today, and we will get you in touch with one of our experienced divorce attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama.
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!