Factors that Influence the Timeline of an Alabama Divorce
There are numerous things that can slow down the divorce process. In fact, a divorce could take anywhere from 30 days to a year or more to finalize. The following factors can have a major impact on the timeline of an Alabama divorce:
- Residency. In order to file for a divorce in Alabama, either the petitioner or the respondent must be a resident of the state. If the defendant is a non-resident, then the other party must have been a resident for at least six months before the divorce can proceed. Therefore, if you and your spouse are newcomers to the state of Alabama, you’ll need to wait at least six months before you can even file for divorce.
- Fault vs. no-fault grounds. Another factor that may influence the amount of time it takes your divorce to finalize is that of the grounds on which you file for divorce. Alabama permits both fault-based and no-fault divorces. Grounds for a fault-based divorce includes incapacity, habitual drunkenness, adultery, violence in the marriage, abandonment, mental illness leading to institutionalization, imprisonment for at least two years, a crime against nature, or unrevealed pregnancy at the time of marriage. A no-fault divorce, on the other hand, can be pursued based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or incompatibility. While there may be an advantage to filing for a fault-based divorce depending on your circumstances, typically, no-fault divorces are much faster as you will not have to go through the process of providing evidence of and proving fault.
- Contested issues. Regardless of whether you are pursuing a fault or no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must come to an agreement about certain issues before the divorce can be finalized. To be sure, the issues of property division, alimony, child support, and child custody must be settled before the court will finalize your divorce. If your divorce is uncontested–meaning that you and your spouse agree on all issues in the divorce–then the process will be quick. If the divorce is contested, though, reaching settlement could take multiple weeks or months. If your case goes to litigation, the process will be even longer.
- 30-day waiting period. Finally, note that even if you and your spouse agree to a no-fault divorce and you are in agreement about all issues in the divorce and you both maintain Alabama residency, there is a still a 30-day waiting period from the time that you file your petition for divorce and the time the divorce will be finalized.
If you need assistance with your divorce case we are here for you. Call us now at (334) 821-3892.