As an Alabama family law attorney, I understand that money can be an issue for couples facing divorce. As the individuals prepare to go their separate ways, they may be even more cognizant of the need to save money. Divorce need not break the bank, but you also should ensure that you have adequate representation to protect your rights.
In general, an uncontested divorce is less expensive than a contested divorce. To be eligible for an uncontested divorce in Alabama:
- You must have been an Alabama resident for at least 6 months if your spouse lives out of state.
- You and your spouse must come to an agreement regarding the division of property and debt, custody of any children, and child or spousal support.
- You and your spouse are NOT required to separate in order to file divorce. You may continue to reside together if you choose..
Sometimes, couples can work together and come to an agreement that is fair to both parties. In fact, it can be as simple as jotting details down on notebook paper. Once both parties are satisfied, either party can have an attorney draft the divorce documents.
In general, the attorney that composes the documents only represents the party that hired them. For example, if the husband hires an attorney to draft the uncontested divorce documents, that attorney represents the husband. In such a case, the wife could potentially proceed without representation. This, however, is incredibly risky. Even if both parties reach an agreement, each party should retain their own representation in the divorce. This ensures that the rights of each party are protected and that both individuals truly comprehend the agreement prior to proceeding.
I’ve seen that I can buy a divorce kit off the internet and do it myself for less money. Can’t I just do this?
Divorce involves nearly every aspect of your life. All of your property and debt will be at stake, as well as your children and their future. Even if you and your spouse can agree to everything, there are still things like court filings and deadlines that must be met in a timely manner. Remember, an Alabama family law attorney can represent you and make certain that your rights are protected.
My spouse and I cannot agree on everything- does this mean our divorce will be costly?
Sometimes, despite the best interests of both parties, you simply cannot find common ground with your spouse. Perhaps you can agree on most aspects of the divorce, but an issue or two have left you frustrated. Or, maybe you both genuinely want to work together but simply cannot seem to make ground. In these cases, one cost-effective solution is mediation. Mediators are trained, third-party providers who perform in a neutral capacity to help both partners come to a satisfactory arrangement.