Divorces are known to be extremely time-consuming and mentally exhausting, and based on the circumstances of individual cases, they can drag on for some, making the process even more unbearable. The timeline for a divorce case is not the same for everyone, as it depends on various circumstances and facts of an individual situation. That means someone’s divorce could take longer than another’s and vice versa.
Consulting with experienced Birmingham divorce lawyers will help you get a general idea about the timeline of your divorce. You can, however, read on to learn about the circumstances that generally decide the longevity of a divorce.
Deciding factors of a divorce’s timeline
- Residency Requirement
According to Alabama laws for divorce, you need to be a state resident for at least six months before being eligible to file for a divorce. You need to establish residency to satisfy the residency requirement. Showing an Alabama driver’s license or state identification card can help you establish residency. Since you are not allowed to file for divorce without satisfying the residency requirement, it is often advised to establish residency as soon as possible.
- Waiting Period
In Alabama, you have a 30-day waiting period from filing for your divorce until you can be granted a divorce. However, most divorce cases take over 30 days to process and finalize. Uncontested divorce cases take less time to process than contested divorce cases. Most uncontested divorce proceedings were resolved within ten weeks, while contested divorces took much longer. The 30-day waiting period does not guarantee you will be granted a divorce in 30 days but rather ensures it will take the court a minimum of 30 days to issue your divorce.
- Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce Timeline
The timelines differ in uncontested and contested divorce cases because of how different they are. An uncontested divorce means the separating spouses have already agreed upon all the factors and matters for the divorce. This means the court does not have to decide anything on behalf of the spouses, & it can simply choose to accept or reject the divorce agreement after assessment. Since the load of making decisions for the spouses is lifted off the court, the divorce process settles in much less time than a contested divorce.
A contested divorce, on the other hand, means the separating couple cannot agree on the matters for the divorce, which leads to the court having to make appropriate decisions for the couple after assessing the situation based on the facts and circumstances. This takes a lot of time, sometimes even a few months.