Frequently Asked Family Law Questions in Alabama
Providing the answers you need to make good decisions for yourself and your family
Family law is complex and requires specific actions to ensure that you meet the legal requirements associated with divorce, child custody orders and restraining orders. At Sree B. Ravi, P.C., Attorney at Law we have the information and resources you need to understand the legal system and develop a strategy that works for you and your family.
- How do I get a divorce in Alabama?
- How long does a divorce take in Alabama?
- How much does a divorce cost in Alabama?
Child custody and visitation
- How does the court decide who gets custody?
- Can I change my existing custody and visitation schedule?
- Am I guaranteed to get alimony if I get a divorce?
- How does the court calculate an appropriate amount of alimony?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
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To get a divorce in Alabama, you must file a petition in the county where either party lives or in the county where you lived at the time of separation. The defendant is required to file an answer in response to the allegations in the divorce petition. Other residency requirements may apply. Once the parties have come to an agreement about the terms of the divorce, the judge can enter the final divorce decree.
The court does not enter a final judgment of divorce until at least 30 days after the summons and complaint is filed. Divorces can take several months if the parties disagree about the division of marital property and other arrangements.
Filing fees vary by county, but are usually under $200. Contested divorces can be much more expensive.
Child Custody and visitation
The best interest of children is always the primary concern when creating custody and visitation arrangements. The court looks at several factors, including the character of each parent, the age and sex of the children, and any other factors regarding their future health and education.
If you experienced a substantial change in circumstances that affects your ability to comply with your custody or visitation arrangement, you can petition the court for a modification. The court always looks at what is in the best interests of the children before making any changes to existing orders.
No. The court only awards alimony if it determines that there is sufficient need to compensate one party. There are certain factors the court looks at to determine if one spouse requires support following a divorce.
The judge has full discretion to determine the amount of spousal support. Alimony is designed to allow both spouses to support themselves as close to their current standard of living as possible.
You must file a petition with the court identifying the perpetrator of abuse and detailing the type of domestic violence involved. The court holds a hearing within 15 days of the date of filing, and the plaintiff must prove the allegations by a preponderance of the evidence.
Orders of protection are designed to prevent further contact between the parties involved. The defendant will be required to maintain a certain distance from the plaintiff and will be prohibited from initiating further contact in most circumstances. If the defendant violates the terms of the restraining order, they may face significant jail time, depending on the number of violations.
Prenuptial & postnuptial agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between spouses that provides for the distribution of marital property and assets in the event of separation or divorce. Prenuptial agreements are entered into prior to a marriage, and postnuptial agreements are created after a marriage.
In Alabama, a valid prenup must be in writing and must be entered into voluntarily by each party. Full disclosure of property and assets is also required for a court to recognize a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.