In Alabama, the divorce process or procedure dictates that every divorce must have a complaint just like all other civil actions. A complaint is filed in both contested and uncontested divorces. A divorce complaint should contain certain allegations and information to be valid. It usually contains:
The caption in a complaint contains the name of the court where the divorce is filed, the name of the parties and the case number.
Jurisdiction and Venue of the Parties
In order for the court to hear and rule on your divorce, the court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and and over the parties. Therefore, the complaint must allege both. Consequently, a divorce complaint will contain the age of the parties. If either the husband or wife is 17 or younger the court will typically appoint a guardian ad litem to protect their interests. There must be a statement providing that the parties are married. Typically, the attorney also sets out where the parties were married along with the separation date if applicable. Finally, it will provide in what counties where the husband and wife are residents. If one party is not am Alabama resident, the other party must be an Alabama resident for at least six months.
Grounds for Divorce
The complaint must set forth the grounds for the divorce. There are many different legal grounds for a divorce. If it is a no fault divorce then the grounds are either: (i)incompatibility of temperaments; or (ii) irretrievable breakdown.
If there are children of the marriage, the complaint will set out how many children along with a statement as to whether the wife is pregnant. The complaint will set forth a request for custody of the children along with child support. Who ever is to be the custodian parent, the complaint will assert that they are a fit and proper person to have the sole care, custody and control of said minor children. The complaint will assert whether the noncustodial parent is an able-bodied person and able to contribute child support.
Claims for Relief
Every Alabama divorce complaint must set forth a request for relief such as alimony, custody, property division and divorce. Every divorce will also have a general prayer for releif. This is to allow to the court to any other relief as the Court may deem appropriate based on the complaint filed.