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Alabama Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Alabama divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
How does DivorceWriter work? 375
First, complete the basic pre-purchase portion of the online interview. Then, set up your... more
What happens after I receive my DivorceWriter documents? 1917
Just follow the step-by-step instructions included with your DivorceWriter package, which ... more
How do I make changes to my documents after I receive them? 1449
If you want to make changes to any of your documents after receiving them in the mail, you... more
Will DivorceWriter documents work in my state and/or in my situation? 1969
DivorceWriter provides self-help divorce documents and instructions. DivorceWriter is not ... more
I finished the online interview. How long will it take to receive my documents? 1981
Get your DivorceWriter documents immediately using the instant download option. You may al... more
I want to use DivorceWriter to prepare my own divorce documents. What do I do next? 1864
To get started, click on "Start the Process" above. You will be taken to our online inter... more
Can I use DivorceWriter in my state? 1979
DivorceWriter offers divorce documents for nearly every U.S. state and the District of Col... more
What if I need additional documents that were not included in my DivorceWriter package? 2000
Contact customer service at info@divorcewriter.com with the name or form number of the the... more
What is the online interview? 1863
In as little as 10-15 minutes, the online interview allows you to enter the information ne... more
Can you overnight my documents to me so that I can have them right away? 2586
Get your DivorceWriter documents immediately using the instant download option. You may a... more
How do I change my password? 1972
To change your password you must first log back into your account using the login section ... more
How do I make changes to my existing DivorceWriter account? 1973
If you already have a DivorceWriter account and need to make changes to your online interv... more
Are DivorceWriter documents legal? 1964
DivorceWriter's goal is to provide self-help divorce documents. However, DivorceWriter is ... more
Does DivorceWriter provide documents for annulments? 2165
No. DivorceWriter does not currently provide documents for annulments.
Will my documents be completed or will I have to fill them out myself when I receive them? 3121
For the most part, your DivorceWriter documents arrive completed with the information that... more
I encountered a security restriction error when trying to e-file a document notarized online. 3899
Some customers receive the following error when attempting to e-file a document they had n... more
Can I hand-write missing information on my documents or do they have to be typed? 3863
As long as the form itself does not specifically state that it must be typed, you may hand... more
Can I file for divorce by mail in or e-file my divorce papers if my courthouse is closed to the public? 3881
Yes. While courthouses are limiting access to the public to slow the spread of COVID-19, c... more
Who is my retirement plan administrator? 3866
The plan administrator is the person or company selected by your employer to manage the re... more
What is included? 3784
The DivorceWriter package includes all forms needed to complete your divorce. These state... more
I didn't list any property or debts in the online interview. Why do some of my documents ask the court to divide property and debts? 3360
Asking the Court for to divide property and debts fairly is standard language in the Divor... more
Do we need to notify the court of any address changes during the divorce? 3405
Any questions concerning the requirements for notifying the court about changes of address... more
Can I file for divorce during a bankruptcy or vice versa? 3865
Thank you for your inquiry. A divorce combined with a bankruptcy can be complicated and de... more
Can I just notarize one copy of my document, and then make copies of the page with the original signature? 3864
Yes. Since notaries charge a per document fee, you will save money by having one document ... more
Does it matter which spouse files for divorce? 3502
Generally speaking, both spouses should have the same rights in a divorce proceeding regar... more
What is DivorceWriter's fax number? 3419
DivorceWriter's fax number is (800) 344 9889.
How do I get documents notarized during quarantine? 3884
In many states, places that provided in-person notary services before the quarantine, like... more
What's the difference between an Acknowledgement and a Jurat? 3634
With an Acknowledgement, the notary is certifying that the signer appeared before the nota... more
How do I serve a spouse that lives in a different state or country? 3810
The process for serving a spouse that lives in another state or country depends on the sta... more
Do we include step-children in our divorce? 3861
No. Only include children to whom both spouses are the legal parent. If you're filing for... more
I need a form that is not available online or in the DivorceWriter's supplemental forms database. How can I find a sample form elsewhere? 3352
Divorce documents are public record, so it is usually possible to obtain a copy of one or ... more
Can I create another divorce in my account?  2712
Yes, you can purchase additional divorces from your Account Summary page. Login to your a... more
We were married in a foreign country. Can we divorce in the U.S.?  2635
As long as you meet the residency requirements for filing for divorce in the state where y... more
I didn't list any property or debts in the online interview. Why do some of my documents ask the court to divide our property and/or debts? 3361
The Divorce Petitions/Divorce Complaints in most states contain language asking the Court ... more
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How much is the filing fee in Alabama? 2320
The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The fee for filing for divorce in Alabama varies from county to county, but is typically $150.00-$300.00.
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2311
Yes. To obtain a divorce in Alabama, the spouse who files for divorce (the Plaintiff) must attend a brief divorce hearing.
Do any documents require notarization? 1982
The filing instructions included with your DivorceWriter package will provide additional i... more
What are the signature requirements for the documents I will receive? 899
The state-specific filing procedures included in the DivorceWriter package indicate which ... more
What documents are included in the self-prepared Alabama DivorceWriter package? 2321
Your self-prepared DivorceWriter package will include:
  • Alabama Divorce Filing Procedures
  • Divorce Complaint
  • Child Support Information Sheet(CS-47)
  • Answer and Waiver
  • Affidavit of Residency
  • Plaintiff's Testimony
  • Agreement for Taking Testimony
  • Settlement Agreement
  • Final Judgment of Divorce
  • Vital Statistics Form HS-16
Customers with children will also receive the following:
  • Custody Affidavit JU-23
  • Child Support Obligation Income Statement/Affidavit CS-41 Form (one for each spouse)
  • Child Support Guidelines CS-42 Form
  • Child Support Guidelines Notice of Compliance CS-43 Form
  • Order/Notice to Withhold Income
In which county do I file my divorce? 2308
If the Defendant (non-filing spouse) lives in Alabama, the divorce must be filed in either: (1) the county where the Defendant lives or (2) the county where the parties lived together when the separation occurred. If the Defendant is not an Alabama resident, then the divorce can be filed in the county where the Plaintiff lives. Alabama Code 30-2-4
What if my spouse and I don't live in the same state? 1856
As long as one spouse meets the residency requirements for the state where the divorce wil... more
Do we have to be live at different residences to get a divorce in Alabama? 2324
No. As long as the spouses consider the marriage over, do not intend to reconcile, and do not have a sexual relationship, they may seek a divorce even if they are living under the same roof.
Can I change my name in Alabama divorce proceedings? 2325
Upon request, the wife may resume the use of her maiden name or any previous surname. Alabama State Divorce Code - Chapter 2, Section 30-2-11
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Alabama? 2316
Alabama allows for no-fault divorce when there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and further attempts at reconciliation are impractical or futile and are not in the best interests of the parties or family Alabama Code 30-2-1(a)(9).
What are the Alabama residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2315
If the non-filing spouse (the Defendant) lives in Alabama, there is no required length of time to live in Alabama before filing for divorce. However, if the Defendant does not live in Alabama, the filing spouse (the Plaintiff) must live in Alabama for at least six (6) months before filing for divorce. Alabama Code - Chapter 2, Section 30-2-5
Do I have to divorce in the state where I was married? 1801
No. You can divorce in any state where you or your spouse meet the divorce residency requi... more
Where do I file my divorce papers in Alabama? 2309
Divorces are filed at the Circuit Court Clerk's office.
What is considered to be the date of separation in Alabama? 2313
The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living together under the same roof.
Can the wife change her name back during the divorce? 1807
Yes, the wife may restore her name to the name she had before the marriage took place. If ... more
Where can I find state-by-state information on how long it takes to get a divorce? 3834
Depending on the state where you live, it can take as little as two weeks and as much as s... more
Does my income fall below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines? 3528
To qualify for a divorce filing fee waiver, some states require the person filing to have ... more
Can my spouse have documents notarized in a different state? 2981
Yes. If your spouse is unable to have documents notarized by a Notary Public in the state... more
My documents ask for the "Cause Number" instead of a "Case Number." Is this correct? 3231
Yes. In a number of U.S. states, the Courts use the term "Cause Number" instead of "Case ... more
How do I fix, or "amend" an error in a document I've already filed with the Court? 2934
If there was an error on one or more of the documents that you have already filed with the... more
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What is the difference between child support and spousal support? 338
Spousal support is paid to one spouse by the other for the support and care of the receivi... more
We have agreed that one spouse will pay spousal support to the other. What are some options? 1585
Two common ways for one spouse to receive spousal support payments from the other are (1) ... more
What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2312
Reasons for deviating from the guidelines may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Shared physical custody or visitation rights providing for periods of physical custody or care of children by the obligor parent substantially in excess of those customarily approved or ordered by the court;
(b) Extraordinary costs of transportation for purposes of visitation borne substantially by one parent;
(c) Expenses of college education incurred prior to a child's reaching the age of majority;
(d) Assets of, or unearned income received by or on behalf of, a child or children; and
(e) Other facts or circumstances that the court finds contribute to the best interest of the child or children for whom child support is being determined.

The court may deviate from the guidelines for reasons other than those listed in a-e above.
What are the different types of custody in Alabama? 2317
  1. JOINT CUSTODY. Joint legal custody and joint physical custody.
  2. JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY. Both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child, including, but not limited to, the education of the child, health care, and religious training. The court may designate one parent to have sole power to make certain decisions while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.
  3. JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY. Physical custody is shared by the parents in a way that assures the child frequent and substantial contact with each parent. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean physical custody of equal durations of time.
  4. SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY. One parent has sole rights and responsibilities to make major decisions concerning the child, including, but not limited to, the education of the child, health care, and religious training.
  5. SOLE PHYSICAL CUSTODY. One parent has sole physical custody and the other parent has rights of visitation except as otherwise provided by the court.
How is child support calculated in Alabama? 2310
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing this online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet is created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package.

More information on Alabama child support is available at: Alabama Child Support

Note: Alabama law requires child support to be ordered until a child's nineteenth birthday or until the child becomes self-supporting, whichever occurs first. If a child is disabled, child support can be extended past 19.
Can we specify how we will claim our child(ren) for income tax purposes? 2086
The DivorceWriter online interview allows you to designate which spouse will claim your mi... more
We have received our documents, but have decided that we do not want any parenting time schedule. Is this possible? 2239
The DivorceWriter online interview, which you completed previously, was designed to accomm... more
We have children. Can I still use DivorceWriter? 1802
Yes, you can use DivorceWriter to create your divorce forms even if you have children. Th... more
Do I have to pay income tax on spousal support payments that I receive? 1984
For federal income tax purposes, spousal support is commonly considered taxable income for... more
We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2326
DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you must also attach a copy of already existing child support document(s) to your Settlement Agreement when you file it.
What if neither spouse has custody of the child(ren)? 3900
For mandatory sections like custody and parenting time, selections must be made to complet... more
What if my children live in another state and we already have a court order or informal arrangement concerning child support and child custody/parenting time? 3651
If you want to have the court issue an order as part of the divorce concerning child suppo... more
What if I'm unemployed? 3898
If you are unemployed, any unemployment compensation you receive is considered income. If... more
Do I include minor children if we don't have contact? 3862
Yes. If both spouses are the parents to the minor child, they are included in the divorce.... more
What is the home state of the children under UCCJEA? 3543
While you are entitled to file for divorce in any state where the residency requirements a... more
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Can I receive a portion of my spouse's retirement plan even though his/her retirement is several years away? 46
The most common way for one spouse to secure the right to a portion of the other spouse's ... more
Do we have to list the debts we have agreed to divide? 1989
About 30% of DivorceWriter customers list debts. The debts listed will appear on the sett... more
We want to transfer real estate into only one spouse's name. Do we need a Quit Claim Deed? 311
Generally, if you want to transfer jointly held real estate into the name of only one spou... more
Can we divide/list as many items of personal property as we want? 1764
Choose to list all, some, or no property. The customer decides which property, if any, to ... more
Do I need to list the legal description of my real estate? 757
It is generally sufficient to just list the physical address of the property (street, city... more
What is the "legal description" of a piece of real estate? 2780
The legal description is usually a one to two paragraph description of land that includes ... more
Why do my DivorceWriter documents say that we do not have life insurance or other property that we actually do have? 2726
Some states require divorcing spouses to provide information on several different types of... more
When can I record the quit claim deed my spouse signed? 3811
One spouse may choose to sign a quit claim deed transferring his or her interest in the ma... more
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I want to get married to someone else as soon as my divorce is finalized. Can I do this in Alabama? 2460
Under Alabama Code 30-2-10, even after the divorce is finalized, neither party can remarry, except to each other, until 60 days after the Judgment of the Divorce is signed by the judge. If you have additional questions concerning this law, you should contact an attorney licensed to practice law in Alabama.
I received my DivorceWriter package today, but I'm not sure I want to file for divorce right away. How how long are these papers good for? 2229
Unsigned divorce documents do not have an expiration date per se. Applicable time periods... more
I can't find my spouse. Can I still use DivorceWriter? 2452
DivorceWriter is designed for couples who have reached an agreement on all issues and who ... more
I am not sure my marriage was legal. Do I even need a divorce? 1970
DivorceWriter is for people who want to end their marriages. If you have any questions reg... more
What if I have an out of state driver's license or no license at all? 995
If the spouse who files for divorce does not have a valid in-state driver's license, it ma... more
My spouse is currently incarcerated. Can we still use DivorceWriter? 2234
Yes, as long as your spouse is capable of receiving documents and signing them in front of... more
How do we get documents notarized in a foreign country? 2449
The meaning of the term "notary" varies widely from country to country. To find a Notary ... more
What if one spouse is an active duty servicemember? 3873
A divorce can be filed in the state where either spouse meets the residency requirement. A... more
My spouse is currently incarcerated. What address do I use? 2745
You may use the address at the facility where your spouse is currently incarcerated. Divo... more
Can I use divorce forms even though they contain gender-specific terms? 3230
One thing that has lagged behind following the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwid... more
How do I end a civil union or domestic partnership? 3446
When recognized in the state, civil unions and/or domestic partnerships can be entered int... more
Which states allow same-sex divorce? 3530
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nati... more
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