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Divorce is rarely easy and can end up being one of the most difficult things you will experience in your life. Even divorces that begin relatively free from animosity can quickly turn contentious. It is important that you have a champion in your corner during this difficult time—an advocate who will fight for you and your future. That advocate is attorney Shelbie Hankey. Hankey Law Firm offers experience, skill, compassion, and knowledge, helping you understand the process and answering all your questions in an easy-to-understand manner. While there are plenty of family law attorneys, we believe once you have spoken to Shelbie Hankey your choice of a Cullman divorce lawyer will be clear.

Types of Divorce in Alabama 

The type of divorce you will have depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your divorce. Perhaps your divorce is extremely simple. You and your spouse have been married only a short time, you have no children, and there are few assets to divide. Or, perhaps your divorce is sure to be extremely complex. You may have a business—or multiple businesses—a professional practice, you or your spouse (or both) have a high net worth, your divorce is going to include a contentious child custody issue, or you may even be going through a gray or senior divorce. No matter what type of divorce you are expecting, attorney Shelbie Hankey can help you through the process in the best way possible, with the best outcome possible.  

  • Contested vs. Uncontested—An uncontested divorce is one in which all the issues have been decided between the spouses, with no unresolved issues. Most divorces are more likely to be contested, at least in some areas. Divorcing parents with children are more likely to have a contested divorce as are those who own significant assets and/or a business or professional practice. Many divorces that begin as relatively uncontested can quickly become not only contested but hotly contested. For this reason, it’s extremely beneficial to have a Cullman divorce lawyer from Hankey Law Firm by your side, ready to handle whatever twists and turns your case may take.  
  • Fault vs. No-Fault—Every state in the United States now offers some version of no-fault divorces, although only 17 states are considered “true” no-fault states. This is due to the fact that couples are only allowed to file for divorce on no-fault grounds. The remainders of the states give those filing for divorce the option to file under no-fault or fault. In the state of Alabama, most divorces will be filed under no-fault. You can, however, file under one of the following faults: Adultery, an inability to maintain employment, lack of physical intimacy, emotional or physical abuse, imprisonment, drug or alcohol addiction, or abandonment are the faults you can file under. It is important to know that if you file for divorce under a fault, you will be required to prove those allegations. 

Requirements to File for Divorce in Cullman County

Ending your marriage through divorce begins with the filing of a divorce petition. You can file a petition seeking a divorce if your spouse resides in Alabama or if you have been a bona fide resident of the state for the previous six months.

Your case can be filed in the 32nd judicial circuit, which covers Cullman County, if that is where either you or your spouse resides.

Once a divorce case commences, the court will enter various orders that will culminate in the dissolution of your marriage. Some of the issues a court will decide on include:

  • Any temporary orders necessary to safeguard the parties, their children, and their assets
  • An equitable division of the parties’ assets and debts
  • Child custody and child support
  • Whether one party should receive spousal support from the other
  • If the court should grant the divorce and, if so, on what grounds

Entrust the preparation and filing of your divorce petition to Hankey Law Firm. Our attorney Shelbie Hankey has years of experience helping residents of Cullman, Blount, Winston, Walker, and Morgan counties file for divorce.

After reviewing your circumstances, we will help you determine the most appropriate court in Alabama to file your petition. We will seek temporary orders and permanent relief to which you are entitled that can help you navigate this difficult time in your life. Call our firm today for prompt, professional assistance.

See If You Qualify for An Annulment

About Hankey Law Firm 

When you choose Hankey Law Firm and attorney Shelbie Hankey, you have chosen a highly professional firm that brings experience, knowledge, and compassion to your particular situation. We believe strongly that clients should receive constant communication from our office, answers to their questions, and that they can find the documents they need in their client portal. We will make sure your rights are always protected while fighting for the outcome you want and need. Whether you are looking at a divorce, a child custody issue, an adoption, or another type of family law issue, Hankey Law Firm is the right firm for you.

How Do I File for Divorce in Alabama? 

When you choose Hankey Law Firm, you can count on our integrity and experience. While we will handle all the necessary paperwork, ensuring everything is filed correctly and on time, if you are interested in the actual process, it generally follows this trajectory:

  • You and your attorney will determine whether your divorce will be uncontested or contested.  
  • Your divorce paperwork must be filed in the correct circuit court.  
  • If you and your spouse are in agreement on every single issue, you can submit a marital settlement agreement to the court. If you have no minor children and there are no assets or debts for the court to divide, you will use a specific form.  
  • A contested divorce begins when one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce with the court.  
  • If you file, your spouse will be served with the Complaint. 
  • You may be ordered to undergo divorce mediation, or you may choose to do so. 
  • For both contested and uncontested divorces, the court will not enter your final divorce judgment until at least 30 days after you filed the initial divorce papers. 

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Alabama law requires you to wait 30 days after you file your petition before the court grants your divorce. This not only allows your spouse to answer your petition, but also allows you to consider whether you wish to proceed with the divorce.

Therefore, your divorce will take at least 30 days to complete. Your divorce can take longer, though, if you and your spouse cannot agree on resolving certain issues. Divorces tend to take longer when:

  • You and your spouse have young children in common
  • One spouse has significantly more personal assets or earning potential than the other
  • You cannot locate your spouse to serve them with divorce papers

Our experienced Cullman County family law attorney will work expeditiously to move your case through the court system. We will always strive for quality representation for speed, however. The outcome of your case is as important to us as achieving that outcome promptly.

Will My Divorce Records Become Public Information? 

Under the laws in the state of Alabama, the details of a divorce are considered unrestricted. This means they can be requested by anyone who can provide enough information to search for the record and submit the proper fees. This means that the details of your divorce are not necessarily private, although an individual would have to have the correct information to request the documents and be willing to pay the fees.  

How Much Could My Divorce Cost? 

While it is impossible to know exactly how much your divorce will cost until your attorney is apprised of the details, according to Forbes, as of 2022, the median cost of a divorce in the United States is about $7,000, while the average is between $15,000 and $20,000. This is hardly a “one-size-fits-all” price, and will depend on how long the divorce takes, how complex the divorce is, and how willing the parties are to negotiate in good faith. Filing fees for an uncontested divorce in Alabama are around $235, although this varies from county to county.  

Why Should I Hire an Experienced Cullman Divorce Lawyer? 

Virtually any divorce can benefit from having an experienced Cullman divorce lawyer from Hankey Law Firm, for the following reasons: 

  • Attorney Shelbie Hankey has the legal knowledge necessary to guide you through the process in the easiest, least stressful way possible. 
  • When you choose Hankey Law Firm, you will have constant, steady guidance when emotions are running high.  
  • Your attorney can tell you whether you and your spouse would benefit from an alternative divorce path like a collaborative divorce or a mediated divorce.  
  • Divorce is very much a financial matter. When a couple is transitioning from having a combined income to pay expenses to a single income, the reality of this can be discouraging. Older women, in particular, tend to have a much lower standard of living following a divorce. Many divorced people now face financial hardship because they simply wanted to get their divorce over, so they gave in to their spouse’s demands. Shelbie Hankey will ensure you are financially protected from start to finish.  
  • Your rights will always be protected once Hankey Law Firm is handling your divorce. You have the right to an equitable share of the marital assets, as well as the right to anything that belonged to you prior to your marriage (with a few exceptions).  

Hiring a Cullman Divorce Lawyer Near You

Having a Cullman divorce lawyer from Hankey Law Firm can help ensure that you are never taken advantage of during the divorce process. Shelbie Hankey will fight for you, always ensuring your divorce is comprehensively prepared so that no matter what unexpected issue crops up, we are not caught unaware. Contact Hankey Law Firm today for the assistance you need for your Cullman divorce.

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