When you get divorced, you and your partner have a lot of decisions to make, and the divorce process can be complicated. Whether you are looking for a fast divorce to cut down on costs or emotional stress, you can make decisions that will accelerate the divorce process.
What Is the Typical Timeline for a Divorce?
Every divorce case is different. No matter your circumstances or how you file, the fastest divorce in Alabama won’t be under 30 days. Alabama state law requires couples have a 30-day waiting period that begins the day you file for divorce.
Alabama also has residency requirements that may affect the timeline of your divorce (Ala. Code 1975 § 30-2-5). To file for divorce at any time, both parties need to be Alabama residents. If the defendant is an Alabama resident and the plaintiff (the party filing for divorce) lives in another state, you can also file at any time. However, if the defendant is a non-resident, then the plaintiff must have been a resident of Alabama for at least six months.
How Can You Speed up the Divorce Process?
If you want an easy and fast divorce, the fastest divorces are usually both uncontested and no-fault divorces. With both no-fault and uncontested divorces, you and your partner are agreeing that neither party is to blame and that you accept the terms of the divorce.
Fault-Based vs. No-Fault Grounds for Divorce
The grounds that you file for divorce also affect your divorce timeline as no-fault filing is the faster choice for dissolution of the marriage. When you file no-fault, you are agreeing that neither party is to blame for the end of the marriage. And unlike fault-based claims, you are not required to provide evidence or prove fault which streamlines the divorce process.
Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is typically faster than a contested divorce. A contested divorce case can take anywhere from a few months to years, while an uncontested divorce may be finalized anywhere from 1-3 months. A contested divorce happens when you and your partner cannot agree on the terms of your divorce. While most contested divorces don’t usually go to trial and are settled out of court, they are still lengthy.
With an uncontested divorce, both parties would have to agree on custody, visitation, child and spousal support, division of property and debt, life and health insurance. The sooner that you reach an agreement (contested or uncontested) the sooner the divorce can proceed.
Does Mediation Speed up Divorce?
Mediation can move faster than a divorce, but how quickly the mediation proceeds is determined by the cooperation of both parties. While mediation doesn’t involve a court and is more confidential, it does involve both you and your partner. Both parties must agree to participate in the mediation process, which will require and encourage more communication between you and your partner.
As stated, mediation requires the active participation of both parties to “keep the ball rolling,” and a mediator cannot force either party to do anything. Mediation may not be the faster solution for you if you believe that one party may try to delay the divorce.
What Can You Do If Your Spouse Is Delaying the Divorce Process?
Divorce is hard, and oftentimes, your spouse may feel a loss of control, power, or normalcy that causes them to act out and delay the divorce process. How can your spouse delay the divorce process? They might:
- Fail to respond to messages and calls or the divorce notice
- Change lawyers
- Cancel mediation without much notice
- File unnecessary motions
- Ask for continuances, or
- Renege on their word and your agreement
What can you do when your spouse uses delay tactics throughout the divorce process?
- If the defendant fails to respond after being notified/served within about 30 days, you can file for a default divorce, where a judge can grant what you requested. However, you will have to prove that you notified/served the defendant.
- If your spouse isn’t attending mediation or is constantly asking for extensions, you can file a formal motion and ask a judge to intervene. The judge will fine or punish your spouse in some way.
- If you are tired and out of counter tactics, you can trust our attorneys will help you communicate with your spouse and/or their counsel or investigate alternative options in your divorce process.
How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help?
If you need a divorce lawyer to help you quickly navigate your divorce case, trust the family law expertise of Shaw Family Law. With over 30-years of professional experience, we understand how taxing and complicated divorce can be. We, at Shaw Family Law, want to support you and help streamline this process. It’s always a good idea to have someone in your corner with your best interest in mind and the expertise to back it up.
For more information on how Shaw Family Law can help you “fast track” your divorce, reach out and call today at (205) 259-7650 or contact our firm online.