In Alabama, a contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on one or more key issues, such as child custody, alimony, property division, or other matters. Here are some steps and considerations related to contested divorces in Alabama:
- Filing for Divorce:
- To initiate a contested divorce, one spouse (the petitioner) must file a complaint for divorce in the appropriate county court.
- The complaint outlines the grounds for divorce and may include requests for specific relief, such as property division, alimony, and child custody.
- After filing the complaint, the other spouse (the respondent) must be served with a copy of the complaint and a summons, notifying them of the divorce action.
- Proper service is crucial, and it usually involves delivering the documents in person or through a legal process server.
- The respondent has a specific period to respond to the complaint. If they fail to respond, the court may proceed with the divorce without their input.
- Both spouses engage in the discovery process, where they gather information and evidence relevant to the case. This may involve exchanging financial documents, answering interrogatories, and more.
- Alabama courts often require divorcing couples to attend mediation to try to resolve disputes outside of court. A neutral third party assists the couple in reaching agreements on various issues.
- If mediation is unsuccessful, the case may proceed to trial. Each party presents evidence, witnesses, and arguments to support their case.
- The judge then makes decisions on unresolved issues, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support.
- Once the court issues a final decree of divorce, the marriage is legally terminated.
It's crucial to seek legal advice to navigate the complexities of a contested divorce in Alabama. Attorney Sam Dixon can help guide you through the process. Call Dixon Law today at (205) 616-8896 for a free consultation.