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What Are the Grounds for Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Birmingham, AL?

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Enter the Next Chapter of Your Life With Confidence

Although divorce can be overwhelming at times, it can also signify a new beginning. With some information and proper planning, you can ensure you have the best outcome for the new chapter in your life.

You may have seen some friends or coworkers get divorced, and it felt like it happened overnight, while others seem to have been trying to finalize their divorce for years. One of the critical differences is whether or not the divorce is contested or uncontested.

Let’s review these options closer below.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree that dissolving the marriage is what’s best and also agree on the terms. Essential aspects such as child custody, division of assets, alimony, and more must be agreed for the divorce to be uncontested.

There are several appealing characteristics of an uncontested divorce, such as being quicker and, therefore, more cost-effective, but also allowing a fresh start for both parties that can set a precedent for how they handle conflicts or questions in the future.

Suppose you can agree on emotionally charged topics such as alimony or child custody. In that case, you have a great chance of working together in the future to resolve issues that may arise with children or other significant obstacles.

It can be challenging to agree on essential topics, but you can utilize tools such as mediation to help both parties reach an agreement they are satisfied with.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce typically takes longer to finalize, mainly because both parties aren’t in agreement regarding important issues, and the courts will need to help them determine what is best or fair.

One of the parties may contest the divorce in general, to aspects such as custody, alimony, asset distribution, and more. Your trusted and experienced divorce attorney can ensure that your expectations are well communicated and supported in courts, giving you the best opportunity to move forward following divorce with what’s most important to you.

Grounds for No-Fault Divorce

In some cases, there may be no fault implied on either party; this can be considered a no-fault divorce, one in which both parties agree that there are irreconcilable differences, that there is incompatibility beyond repair, or that one of the spouses has abandoned the marriage.

Both parties can then focus on mediation, as mentioned above, or working out the details of this new chapter in their lives together and filing for divorce.

Grounds for a Fault Divorce

If your spouse has significantly contributed to the end of your marriage and you wish to file with the courts stating this, there are several reasons that you can stipulate in your divorce.

If domestic violence was evident during the marriage, you may choose to list this as grounds for divorce.

If your wife was pregnant without your knowledge when you got married, this could be sufficient grounds for divorce.

If your spouse became addicted to drugs or alcohol or was convicted of a crime resulting in a sentence of seven years or more, these are typically sufficient grounds for divorce.

If you’re a wife who has lived separately from your husband for at least two years and without any support from your husband, you can typically list this as a viable reason for a fault divorce.

Finally, if your spouse has abandoned you for at least a year before filing for marriage, you can stipulate this as your reason for divorce.

Although there are exceptions and unique scenarios to consider, these are typically the most common reasons for a fault divorce. Speak with your experienced attorney to learn more about how your exact situation applies.

Marital Misconduct

Marital misconduct can be seen in several ways by the courts. Some may think that it applies only to domestic violence or adultery, but it goes beyond that. If your spouse becomes a habitual drug or alcohol user and it becomes an issue in the home, if they have abandoned you, or if another mistreatment is evident during the marriage, this can be enough grounds for a fault divorce. Courts may choose to award you more of the assets or alimony upon the finalization of the divorce.

It’s important to note, however, that if you are bringing evidence to the courts alleging misconduct, your spouse may wish to do the same, so it’s crucial to work with your attorney to establish with zero question the actions that you are alleging and ensure that actions you may have made in the past are well-defined or defended in the courts.

Our Commitment to Our Clients

It can feel overwhelming and frustrating when facing a divorce or other significant legal issues. Couple that with a law firm that doesn’t take the time to listen to your specific needs or treats you just like another case file, and you can quickly find yourself unnecessarily stressed. We respect the need to be heard and for the process to move along as efficiently as possible.

Deciding to take control of your life and filing for divorce doesn’t have to be the end of the world; in fact, it can be the first step in a new and exciting chapter in your life. We are here to listen to our clients truly, be completely transparent with them so they aren’t left in the dark, and work with them to formulate a reasonable strategy that allows the next chapter in their lives to be productive.

Contact our office at (205) 881-5641 to schedule your initial consultation and understand why our clients continue to feel respected and treated as family from the moment they step into our office.

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