How to File for a Divorce in Alabama

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In order to file for divorce in Alabama, you or your spouse must have lived in Alabama for at least six months. File for a divorce in the county where your spouse lives. If your spouse lives in another state, file for divorce in the county where you currently reside. There is a 30-day waiting period after you file for divorce before it can be officially granted.

Make a Marital Settlement Agreement with your spouse. This agreement should be signed and notarized by both of you. The document should settle the issues in your divorce such as child custody, child support, spousal support and the division of marital property and debts.

Go to the circuit court in the county where you wish to file for divorce. See the circuit court clerk for the forms you will need to complete.

File the Complaint for Divorce and the Summons. The Complaint form states who the parties are and that you are requesting a divorce. The Summons is a document that gives notice to your spouse that you are filing for divorce.

Fill out any additional forms as required by your particular court. Each circuit court may have different forms, in addition to your initial Complaint and Summons forms. If you have minor children with your spouse, you must fill out forms relating to child custody and support as detailed in your marital settlement agreement.

Pay the filing fee or apply for a fee waiver. Fees vary from court to court.

Serve your spouse with the divorce complaint and summons. Once your spouse has been served, your case is officially filed.


  • See an attorney to protect your rights.


About the Author

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Jackie Whalen has been writing since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a third-year law student.

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