Is There a Way to Prepare for a Smooth Divorce?
Getting divorced is rarely simple but with a bit of preparation and planning, it can go more easily than you could anticipate. In Alabama, and numerous other states, the most straightforward and smoothest choice for finishing a marriage is to petition for an uncontested divorce
To do an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must settle on all matters connected with the marriage, including custody, division of resources, etc.
So how do you get ready for a smooth divorce process? The first step is to speak to your spouse. If you and your spouse can talk and reach an agreement on all marital issues, then you have taken the first, and most important, step. Once you have reached an agreement on custody, child support, property division and all other such matters then you just contact a law firm to prepare your legal paperwork and get the uncontested divorce process started.
If you are unsure that your spouse will agree on everything, then you can prepare for having to file a divorce without an agreement, sometimes called a contested divorce. A contested divorce is much more expensive and is where you go to court and have a judge decide all issues. It starts with one party filing for divorce and requesting whatever they want. They serve the other spouse and that person gets an attorney and responds that they don’t want to give those things to their spouse and they counter with what they want.
For example, one spouse files a divorce asking for alimony and child support. The other spouse gets served, hires a lawyer, and responds that they are not paying any child support or alimony and that they want full custody and for the filing spouse to pay them child support. The two go to court eventually to let the judge decide who gets custody and the other will likely pay child support.
To prepare for a smooth process in a contested divorce, you just need to make sure you have access to enough money and capital to pay your attorney a large retainer to file your case. Also, you should not hide or liquidate marital assets since that would make you look bad in the eyes of the judge. Lastly, you should come up with a plan for where you are going to live.
Are you staying in the marital house and, if so, are you going to refinance it solely in your name and remove the other spouse? Or are you leaving the house and living with relatives? Just coming up with a plan for your living situation post divorce can be a daunting task itself. Other considerations like what a judge would do in a future hypothetical trial, can be considered with proper consultation with a local divorce attorney in Montgomery or wherever you live in the State of Alabama.