A no-contest divorce is available if parties agree as to the issues regarding divorce such as who shall retain items bought during the marriage. An agreement is filed with the court and it takes about 30 days to get a signed judgment of divorce.
A contested divorce should be considered if parties cannot resolve their differences or it is in your interest to contest issues such as child custody, child support, or alimony.
The court has authority to order alimony. Alimony may be granted on a showing of need by one party together with the ability to pay by the other. Some facts that may be considered by the court in setting alimony include the party’s ability to pay, future financial prospects, the ages of the parties, health of the parties, conduct of the parties, and the length of the marriage.
A court may order a non-custodial parent to pay child support to the parent having custody until the child reaches nineteen or the child becomes self-sufficient. In Alabama there is a set of guidelines for determining child support where the income of the parties, health insurance costs for the child, and pre-existing child support and alimony obligations are used to set child support. However, a court may deviate from the guidelines and consider other factors.
Child custody orders from a court should be sought by parents of the child whether or not the parents were ever married. These orders give the parents instructions on who has authority to decide issues about the child such as medical care and where the child will attend school as well as who the child shall live with.