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The first step in getting divorced in Alabama? Filing for one

You may finally be ready to get divorced and move on with your life apart from your spouse. The question is, how exactly do you go about getting divorced?

To kickstart the divorce process in Alabama, you will need to file a divorce petition in your family law court. Here is a look at what the process of filing for divorce entails and what your rights are during this process.

Filing for divorce

When you file a divorce petition, you are essentially expressing your desire to end your marriage, and initiating the process. After you file this legal document in court, one must serve it — or deliver it — to your future ex-spouse. This notifies the other party that your marital breakup has started.

What information must you include in your divorce petition?

A divorce petition usually features the following details:

  • Your and your spouse’s names and addresses
  • Your marriage date and location
  • Identification of any children you had during your marriage
  • Acknowledgement that either you or the other party have resided in Alabama for at least six months prior to your divorce filing
  • Grounds for your divorce

Your divorce petition may also feature a request or declaration concerning how you wish to settle divorce issues such as child custody and visitation, finances and property division.

Can you request temporary orders as well?

Yes, you can. You have the right to request that the court issue temporary orders regarding certain financial or family issues while your divorce proceeding takes place. These orders might pertain to the following issues:

  • Who will have primary custody of your child (with whom the child will reside)
  • A schedule for child visitation for the spouse who does not have custody of the child
  • Child support payments
  • Spousal support payments
  • Who will reside in the marital home
  • Who will pay which bills

If the court approves these temporary orders, you can generally expect them to remain in effect until you finalize your marital breakup.

The process of filing for divorce can understandably be overwhelming. After all, the decisions you make early on in the marital breakup can have a profound impact on the outcome of your proceeding. However, an attorney in Alabama can help you to make educated decisions from the start with the goal of protecting your rights and best interests long term.