For the uninitiated, an uncontested divorce is one, where the separating spouses agree on most important aspects of the divorce and part on amicable terms. In other words, both people in the marriage want the divorce and do not ‘contest’ the decision made by one. If you want to avoid a messy separation, an uncontested divorce is your best bet. Alabama allows for no-fault divorce, which can be an uncontested divorce, provided your spouse agrees to it. Working with a known Birmingham uncontested divorce lawyer can help in easing the process and minimizing the stress. Here are some details about uncontested divorce in Alabama.
- Residency requirements. Either of both of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months, before initiating divorce requirements. You must offer proof of residence.
- Get an attorney. Although not mandatory, hiring an attorney is extremely significant. Your lawyer can guide on the documents you may need, and work on the formalities on your behalf. The forms are available online, and your lawyer can finalize the paperwork and submit the same.
- Proof of service. Once you have filed the papers, you need to inform your spouse that you want a divorce. The summons can be sent by either certified mail or through the local sheriff’s office. If your spouse cannot be located, you can consider publication in a local newspaper to complete the process. These papers must be served within 30 days.
If you and your spouse can decide on important aspects and come up with a separation agreement with relevant details, the divorce can be finalized within 30 days, from date of filing.
Do you need an attorney for uncontested divorce?
The short answer is yes. A do-it-yourself divorce isn’t the best choice, at least for most people. Even in an uncontested divorce, you have your rights, like right to property. You need an attorney, so that you can find more on your rights and protect your interests. Hiring an uncontested divorce attorney also minimizes the work and stress. If your spouse has hired a lawyer, it’s apparent that they want legal advice, and you should consider the same. When two spouses are not on talking terms with one another, lawyers have a big role in mediation and negotiation.
Call an attorney soon after you decide on the divorce. They can reduce the friction and ensure that the uncontested divorce is finalized soon.