In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all issues that need to be resolved during the divorce process, such as child support, alimony, and the division of marital property. Choosing this route can save time, money, and stress for everyone involved.
Choosing an uncontested divorce may sound easy enough, but there are things to consider when making this decision. So, before you make this important decision, let’s discuss some facts about uncontested divorce, things you should consider when deciding which route to take, and how the process works.
Things to Consider When Filing for Divorce
There are some factors that you should take into account when deciding if you should file for a contested or an uncontested divorce. It’s essential to consider the following aspects before making that decision.
One of the first things people look at when making this decision is the financial aspect. And while finances are something that can sway your decision one way or another, there are a couple of other things to consider.
Divorce is a very emotional time for people, so you must consider how well you can handle your emotions. If you are feeling resentment towards your soon-to-be ex, you may find that those emotions can take precedence over reason and patience, which can turn your simple uncontested divorce into a long, drawn-out court battle.
If children are involved, you should consider that as well. Remember, they also have to deal with the divorce, and they have no control over anything in this process. The more you and your spouse can agree on things, and the less fighting there is, the better it will be on your children.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
As mentioned above, an uncontested divorce means that the couple agrees on all of the issues surrounding the divorce. That means a contested divorce is when the couple can’t agree on one or more important issues, and their divorce must go to court and be presented in front of a judge.
Often, a couple can begin the process of an uncontested divorce only to end up in a contested divorce because they can’t agree on things such as alimony or parenting time. Contested divorces take a considerable amount more time to settle than uncontested divorces, and are potentially far more expensive.
How Uncontested Divorces Work in Alabama
According to the Alabama Code § 30-2-1(a)(7), either spouse may file for divorce based on fault or no-fault grounds. While the couple must agree on issues, child support is not negotiable, and the court will make that determination according to child support guidelines.
To get an uncontested divorce in Alabama, you must take the following steps:
- Prove Alabama Residency – At least one spouse must be an Alabama resident for at least six months before filing for divorce.
- Have Your Documentation Prepared – Even if your divorce is uncontested, it’s essential to make sure you have as much documentation as you can together and organized so that it is readily available if needed.
- Complete the Paperwork – Contact your local county clerk’s office to complete all of the necessary forms.
- File the Forms – You must file your forms at the Circuit Court in the county where you reside or the county you lived in when you separated from your spouse.
- Proof of Service – After filing your forms, you have to legally notify your spouse via certified mail, have a deputy or a process server serve them, or they can accept the paperwork from you and complete an “Answer and Waiver” form. If your spouse cannot be located, you can complete a proof of service by publication. When you do this, a notice of the divorce is published in the newspaper for four consecutive weeks. After that time, if your spouse has not responded, they will be considered served.
- Submit Proof of Service to the Courts – After your spouse is served, submit proof to the courts.
After completing these steps, the courts will review the submitted documents. If everything is in order, after a three-day waiting period, they will sign off on your uncontested divorce.
Baldwin County Family Law—Representation Tailored To You and Your Family
At Brackin & Johnson, we get the results you deserve when you need them most. With more than 40 years of experience, we can provide comprehensive care and representation tailored to your needs and unique situation.
We will focus on resolving conflicts peacefully through negotiation or mediation. However, if needed, we will fight for you if your case ends up going in front of a judge.
No one divorce or child custody case is the same as the next. We are ready to help you understand your legal options and create the best case for your interests. Contact us today for the best legal services in Baldwin County.