Couples who decide to divorce need to prepare the necessary documents and submit them to the court. In this article, you will find a basic list of Tuscaloosa County divorce forms in PDF format and information about the stages of the marriage dissolution process.
Here are the common papers spouses will need to fill out when filing for divorce:
- Divorce Complaint. A plaintiff must submit this document to the court to start the divorce process. It contains information about the marriage, the parties involved, and the grounds for marriage dissolution.
- Plaintiff’s Testimony. This form is an affidavit confirming all the facts stated in the complaint.
- Answer and Waiver and Acceptance of Service. After a plaintiff has filed with the court, they must serve the other party with the complaint and summons. If the defendant signs the Answer and Waiver, it means they have accepted service, and a plaintiff will not have to hire a private process server or use another method for serving their spouse.
- Certificate of Divorce. This document certifies that the divorce was granted; it contains the personal data of spouses and information about their marriage.
- Final Judgement of Divorce. It specifies the terms of marriage dissolution and officially finalizes the divorce process.
How to File Divorce Papers in Tuscaloosa County?
To start an Alabama divorce, spouses should determine the grounds for divorce and meet the state residency requirements; they can submit documents to the local court only if at least one of them has lived in the state for 6 months or more.
The main steps to file for divorce in Tuscaloosa County are specified below.
Step 1. Preparation of documents.
Spouses should determine and prepare a set of necessary documents for their case. It will vary depending on whether a couple has children, joint property, and any disagreements over child custody, support, and division of assets and liabilities.
In addition to the original documents, a petitioner should prepare several copies; you can check the exact number of copies needed at the county clerk’s office. You must sign the divorce papers if required; some of them should be signed in the presence of a notary public.
Step 2. Submission of forms to the court.
The party filing the lawsuit is a plaintiff, while the other spouse is a defendant. It does not matter which spouse filed the complaint; typically, it does not affect the final decision. After the court clerk receives and checks the papers, the case will be assigned a number. When filing the forms, a petitioner needs to pay the court fees.
Step 3. Serving the spouse.
After filing a petition with the court, a plaintiff should serve its copy and some other documents on a defendant. If the case is uncontested and the other party is cooperative, they may sign an Answer and Waiver and Acceptance of Service. If not, a plaintiff should choose a different method of service, such as hiring a sheriff or a private process server or using service by publication if a defendant’s location is unknown.
Step 4. Filing a response or counterclaim.
After being served, a defendant needs to file a response or counterclaim to the complaint within 30 days. If they do not respond during this period, the court can grant a default judgment.
Step 5. Setting the hearing and finalizing the process.
After 30 days have passed, a hearing on the case can be scheduled. If the divorce is uncontested, one hearing is usually enough. The judge will check the documents and make a decision on the case. If the divorce is contested, several court hearings may be required until spouses can agree on marriage termination issues or the judge decides on child custody, support, and property division for them.
Where Do You File Divorce Papers in Tuscaloosa County?
If you meet the residency requirements, you can file your documents in any of the Tuscaloosa County divorce courts as specified below. You can also submit forms through the AlaFile system if e-filing will work in your case.
|Court Name||Court Address||Working Hours||Phone Number|
|Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court||714 Greensboro Avenue, Suite 204, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401||Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM||(205) 349-3870|
|Tuscaloosa County District Court||714 Greensboro Avenue, Suite 101, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401||Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM||(205) 349-3870|
How Much Does It Cost to File Divorce Papers in Tuscaloosa County?
Tuscaloosa County divorce filing fees are around $210. In addition, you may need to cover other court fees, such as paying for subpoenas, certified mail service, a default judgment proceeding, etc.
On average, the cost of an uncontested divorce without hiring a lawyer ranges from $500 to $1,000. The involvement of an attorney will lead to higher expenses from $3,000 to $5,000 or more. If the case is contested and other specialists should be involved, the final amount can be from $10,000 to $20,000.
How Long Does It Take to File Divorce Papers in Tuscaloosa County?
After a defendant has been served, spouses should wait 30 days before the divorce can be finalized. In other words, the minimum possible duration of divorce is 1 month, though it usually takes longer.
On average, divorce in Tuscaloosa County lasts 2-3 months if it is uncontested, depending on the workload of the court. For contested cases, the timelines increase to 6-12 months.
Can I File My Own Divorce Papers in Tuscaloosa County?
Filing for divorce in Tuscaloosa County independently and without hiring a lawyer is possible if you and your spouse have agreed on child custody, visitation, support, property division, etc. You should collect and complete all necessary documents and submit them to the court clerk’s office.
Who Can Help With Filling Out Tuscaloosa County Divorce Papers?
Using our document preparation service, you can complete Tuscaloosa County divorce papers online if your case is uncontested. You will need to fill out an online questionnaire on your divorce case, and the system will generate the required forms based on information provided. With us, you can get ready-made paperwork in a few days. We guarantee high data confidentiality, moderate flat fees, round-the-clock customer support, and only up-to-date forms.
Veronica Wuest is a full-time writer and a paralegal who specializes in subjects related to divorce. In her articles, Veronica explores the intricacies of married life, love, and relationships. In addition, she gives practical recommendations and offers guidance for couples who’ve been through the ups and downs of relationships or decided to end them. In her free time, Veronica enjoys yoga and pilates. She is also an avid cook and enjoys trying out new recipes.