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William "Bill" H. Odum, Jr.
Attorney at Law
110 North Bell Street
Dothan, Alabama 36303

 

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Odum Law Firm
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frequently asked questions

 

Divorce Questions and Answers

 

The following are common questions about the divorce process, as well as helpful answers.  If you still have questions, please call us today at 877-699-6841 or send an email to bill@dothandivorce.com to set up a consultation.

 

Q: How long is the divorce process?


A: A divorce, if contested, frequently takes 6 months or longer from the time your spouse is served (legally notified) with the documents. The minimum time is 30 days.

Q: Do my spouse and I both have to hire attorneys?


A: No. You may certainly want to hire an attorney for a consultation, and to represent your each individual interests. In an uncontested divorce, both parties allow an attorney to draft the settlement agreement previously agreed to by the parties.

Q: Do we necessarily need to have an attorney at all?


A: Yes, it is recommended. After the initial consultation, you may need the attorney to handle your case, and to represent you on any issues not previously agree to.

Q: Am I required to go to court?


A: No, if you and your spouse can reach an amicable settlement agreement. Often times, when the parties have worked out their own settlement, the agreement is signed and notarized by each party and submitted to the court without a personal appearance.

 

If, on the other hand, you and your spouse cannot reach an amicable settlement through this process, you may need to appear in court where the judge will decide the contested issues.

Q: Should I move out of the marital residence?


A: Be sure to consult with an attorney before leaving the marital residence. Leaving the home is typically defined as actually taking personal items with you (clothing, automobile, sentimental possessions, etc.) and acting as though you are going to declare a new residence for a significant amount of time, and may be looked upon as abandonment.

Q: How do I obtain a divorce?


A: Before filing for divorce, you should decide if this is the right decision for you. It is important to realize that the road is sometimes very long and can be a difficult one to travel. Initially, a complaint is drafted.

 

This includes the reasons for the divorce and the relief the court is asked to grant. After the spouse is served with the complaint, he/she will normally have 30 days in which to file an answer.

Q: What if I do not want a divorce?


A: The law does not require spouses to remain married. Divorce is not a decision that needs to be reached overnight, especially where children are involved.

Q: Can child support be modified?


A: Making changes to an existing child support order is not uncommon. Alabama law allows a child support modification where there is a 10% differential in what is currently being paid by the noncustodial parent. In most cases, support is set as required in Alabama statutory guidelines.

Q: Can I deny my ex-spouse visitation?


A: Unless the court has denied visitation with the noncustodial parent, you can not and should not deny visitation! Denying visitation is one of the biggest mistakes made by most custodial parents. You may believe you have a justifiable reason for denying the visitation, but by law, you are not permitted to do so.

Q: How do I get custody of my child(ren)?


A: The first and most important step to getting custody of your child(ren) is to be a great parent and to be honest. Being a great parent is not always the easiest task during divorce, but it is important to acknowledge each and every action concerning the divorce and how it may or may not effect the child(ren).

 

Remember, even during the divorce process, put the children first. Under Alabama law, the mother and father are both presumed to possess equal parenting skills, and no priority is given to either parent in establishing physical custody of the minor children.

Q: What if I do not agree with the courtís decision?


A: The purpose of the settlement agreement is to establish what exactly should be stated in the Final Divorce Decree. Once the attorneys have drafted the Settlement Agreement and it has been approved by both parties, it will be presented to the judge to be incorporated into the Final Order.

 

Post-trial motions and appeal are always options where one party disagrees with the courtís equitable distribution of the marital assets.

Q: What is fair spousal support or alimony?


A: If you and your spouse can not reach an agreement on the amount of spousal support to be paid, the length of time, and the conditions of payment, the court may set the amount of alimony and include it in the final order. Alimony is monthly support meant to continue the standard of living a spouse is accustomed to since the marriage began. Alimony can be awarded in a marriage of only 3 years, and may include things other than monthly monetary support.

 

 

 

Material presented on the DothanDivorce.com website is intended for informational purposes only.  It is not intended as professional advice and should not be constructed as much. No representation is made that the quality of Legal services to be performed is greater than the Legal services to be performed by any other lawyer.

 

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