Taking your problems to a court of law may seem like a necessary solution, but it is rarely a simple process without the right kind of help. As a Birmingham divorce lawyer and family law attorney, I've assisted many Alabama residents in areas such as child custody, child support and spousal support, or maintenance.
If you live in Montgomery County, Talladega County, Cullman County or any of the dozens of towns and cities throughout the state, you face the same court system that thousands of local people face every year when pursuing justice for themselves and their families. When it comes to divorce and other related marital cases found in family court, the path to a favorable resolution can be fraught with pitfalls and time-consuming hurdles.
Lawsuits in Alabama can take months or even years to make it to court. But if you're pursuing a divorce you can't wait to have that settlement over and done with. Most everyone I've counseled regarding divorce or legal separation has wanted a quick decision from the judge. That decision must include who gets custody of the children, the family vehicle, money held in multiple bank accounts, the couple's home, a whole range of items.
As a spouse with little or no means, a decision by the court also must address monies for child support and other payments. In short, you cannot wait months or years for your case to inch its way through the state's court system.
The good news here is that you do not have to wait. When couples become separated, important issues are often resolved via a short hearing before a judge, instead of requiring a full-blown trial. These hearings are usually held in a special court, referred to as family court in most states.
Regardless of the brevity that these sessions typically offer, because they are so quick you must be prepared and know exactly what you want to ask. You may have only a few minutes to state your side.
One helpful tool is the Temporary Order. This can be used by a spouse with little income of her own to help start some kind of support payment in order to feed and shelter the couple's children. For example, a wife who has been abandoned can go to court to request a temporary order from a judge, even though a formal divorce action has not yet been filed. Her request will be put on a fast track, and a hearing will be scheduled within days or weeks.
Similarly, one spouse can request of the court to temporarily restrain the other from coming close or contacting the other. It can also be used to expedite the moving out of one spouse from the couple's home prior to the finalization of the divorce.
In all cases, an experienced family law attorney can make things happen faster due to his or her knowledge of the law and familiarity with the local or state court system.