Divorce Lawyers in Birmingham, AL Helping Clients Navigate a Difficult Life Event
A marriage falling apart is usually difficult for everyone going through it. Even when you and your soon-to-be former spouse are splitting into amicable terms, things might start to go downhill fast. In matters of divorce, it’s always smart to enlist the help of a seasoned divorce law firm to be sure your rights are protected.
The Rose Law Firm LLC specializes in family law in Birmingham, AL. Our savvy team of knowledgeable divorce lawyers is proud to offer top-quality legal advice at manageable rates. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.
What Are The Types of Alabama Divorce?
Before even discussing the various types of divorce, it is pivotal to be aware that there are two totally different paths to divorce: uncontested divorce or contested divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, parties typically list irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce. In these types of cases, the parties may have children and property to split; however, they amicably reach a resolution prior to court involvement. They just want a divorce. This is often listed as “irreconcilable differences” and nothing more. This is because, in Alabama, individuals can get divorced without giving a full explanation of why. This is the main mode of divorce for people who are hoping to get through the system quickly. If a case happens to include children, a no-fault divorce will require both spouses to live away from each other for one year. When there aren’t any children in the picture, the divorce can be processed faster without needing a one-year period apart.
In a contested divorce, the parties cannot reach an amicable agreement prior to filing with the court. Typically, these cases have to proceed to mediation or even to trial. With an experienced attorney on your side, even a contested divorce can be settled amicably. A contested divorce is a much more complex situation and these divorces often take a lot of time and preparation. There are multiple grounds for the divorce available in Alabama and typically a contested divorce will outline a specific ground as the reason for the divorce. No matter what type of divorce is best for you, working hand in hand with a skilled divorce lawyer in Birmingham will be one of the best decisions you make as we can navigate you through a very complicated and sometimes overwhelming process.
How is Property Divided in a Divorce?
From the moment you said “I do,” the estate you and your spouse share has probably been growing. The property, the vehicle, the business that you built, the retirement benefits, 401K, bank accounts, new baby gifts, and more. You are probably thinking, “now, who gets what?” First things first, it will need to be determined what properties, assets, and debts make up the marital estate and which assets or debts will be considered personal, separate property. The truth is, sometimes what you think will be considered your separate property is actually not.
Once we figure out what makes up your marital estate, we then have to put together values for each piece. What is the actual market value of the property? How much in retirement benefits have been accumulated during the marriage? How can we determine the value of business interests that one or both of you may have?
Alabama is an equitable distribution state (as opposed to a community property state), which means your marital estate will need to be divided equitably between you and your partner, depending on the specific factors of your marriage and how they break down. Firstly, we need to recognize that what may seem fair depends on a person’s perspective, often determined through knowledge of or experience with a certain situation. Keeping this all in mind, when the value of each asset of the estate has been determined, we can then start a thoughtful path towards formulating strong, persuasive, and undeniable arguments, strengthened by evidence and the testimony of multiple parties, as to why the belongings in the estate should be divided in a method that’s fair to everyone involved. This process tends to be long and complex, which is why enlisting the help of a divorce lawyer who understands the process well is key.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Alabama?
Just as you likely didn’t accrue the marital estate overnight, a divorce can sometimes be a long process. Ultimately, choosing an experienced family law attorney will make that sometimes long process go more smoothly. The process of going through a divorce is specifically designed to bring the parties together multiple times in hopes that the parties can work together and resolve their differences, therefore having an amicable split.
Once the actual process of divorce has begun, most Alabama divorces tend to take anywhere from a couple of weeks to well over a year, depending on how complicated the situation is and whether or not the divorce is disputed. Divorce often tends to be confusing and can quickly overwhelm just about anyone. In the middle of a deeply stressful and difficult experience, you don’t want to have to navigate the complex legal process alone. Our caring and trusted Birmingham divorce lawyers can help.
How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Alabama?
Many factors must be taken into account when trying to estimate how much a divorce could end up costing. First among these various factors include how much time the lawyer thinks will be needed and how complex the case is. Your lawyer also might consider the general temperament of the other spouse, as well as the manner in which the law firm that is representing the other spouse has been throughout the process leading up to this point.
Every divorce comes with different circumstances, which in turn means the overall price of the divorce fluctuates quite a bit. That said, a more complicated or contested divorce can quickly become expensive. That said, a more complicated or contested divorce can quickly get into the five-figure range. As with most statistics, the price of divorce in Alabama mainly boils down to whether or not the divorce is contentious. At the end of the day, every divorce will ultimately be faster and cheaper with the help of a seasoned Alabama divorce attorney who can ensure every step is done correctly and on time.
Is Mediation An Option?
Mediation isn’t always the first thing people think of when it comes to divorce, but mediation is actually a really good way for a couple to get through their divorce without spending an arm and a leg on large trial fees. While hiring a mediator does cost money, it could end up preventing the higher cost of a trial at the end of the day. Mediation is a process that allows a couple the ability to take control of the outcome of their divorce versus leaving that outcome in the hands of one Judge. Mediation, whenever possible, is possibly the easiest way to settle a divorce, especially if there are any disputes. Mediation consists of an unbiased party whose entire job is to help the couple work out differences and eventually agree on the distribution of property, assets, child custody, and any other glaring issues the parties haven’t been able to work out on their own. While most divorces can benefit from a mediator, there are, of course, scenarios where it’s not enough. Either way, an experience divorce attorney can be there to guide you each step of the way, argue for you during mediation, and should mediation not produce the outcome desired, advocate for you during your final trial.
How Do I Make Changes to or Enforce My Divorce Parameters?
Once a divorce is finalized, the former spouses are required to follow the rules set forth within the divorce decree. Those provisions that are in regard to obligations of support (which includes child support), and child custody may later be changed if the spouse asking for the modification is able to meet the required burden of proof. For you to obtain a modification to a divorce decree, a petition will need to be registered with the court.
The legal responsibilities either spouse could have within a divorce agreement can be enforced by filing a proper petition with the court. If the judge finds that the other party has willfully stopped following the order and will not comply with its obligations, the court will likely force them to comply. If it comes down to it, your ex-spouse could end up having penalties ordered. These penalties can range from fines to jail time. At The Rose Law Firm LLC, our seasoned divorce lawyers are ready to talk about any modification or enforcement actions that could be necessary.
When is Divorce Court Required?
A divorce trial is required when an agreement cannot be reached. A trial can last from hours to sometimes days, depending on the issues being presented before the Judge. The key is to make sure that you have an attorney who is knowledgable about divorce law so that the best arguments in your favor can be presented at that time.
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer in Alabama?
Once you have decided to divorce, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced Birmingham divorce lawyer right away. Your choice of a divorce attorney in Alabama will be one of the most important decisions you have to make. When handling divorce in Alabama, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration before you can successfully finalize a divorce. Because of this, a divorce attorney is highly encouraged and often critical to increasing the odds of your Birmingham divorce case being successful.
If you are in the middle of a divorce and you require legal help, you may want to contact an experienced Alabama divorce lawyer right away. The Rose Law Firm LLC can help you file your divorce and resolve any other related legal matters that may come up during your divorce proceedings. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your divorce, contact The Rose Law Firm LLC at (205) 858-9224.