familylawCALL AN EXPERIENCED BIRMINGHAM DIVORCE ATTORNEY TODAY (205) 980-1445

Our initial approach in almost every case is to help you resolve your divorce case through settlement negotiations or mediation. However, in some Alabama Divorce cases, divorcing couples are unable to resolve matters through settlement negotiations, mediation or collaborative law. Unfortunately, when divorcing couples are unable to reach an agreement, such matters must be litigated. Although litigation is the costliest and often the least efficient way of proceeding, it is sometimes the only option if your spouse is being unreasonable in negotiating an agreement. If you need to hire a Birmingham Divorce Attorney to litigate your case, call Harwell Law Firm LLC at (205) 980-1445 or contact us on line. 

Skillful, Experienced and Effective Birmingham and Shelby County Divorce Attorney

Any Alabama divorce attorney that you choose to represent you should possess the ability to clearly educate clients about the Alabama divorce process and what to expect at trial.  A divorce attorney should also have a thorough knowledge of the law, the rules of procedure and the rules of evidence. In complex cases with substantial assets, a divorce lawyer should also have an aptitude with numbers and the ability to unravel complex financial issues.  Finally, the divorce attorney should have the necessary experience and skill to authoritatively and convincingly present your case to the court. Harwell Law Firm LLC possesses all of these skills and has over 18 years of experience in Alabama Divorce trials. If you are considering a divorce or your spouse has filed for divorce, please call Harwell Law Firm today at (205) 980-1445 or online by completing our Contact Us form.  

Our Approach to Every Alabama Divorce

  • We understand that Divorce is stressful – divorce lawyers should not make it worse.
  • Although we understand that you have to deal with the situation at hand, our focus as your Alabama Divorce Attorney is to help you prepare for the future.
  • While going through a divorce, you need an experienced Alabama divorce attorney that understands and cares about you and your family, will provide you with wise legal counsel, and if necessary, will aggressively defend your rights to a fair property division and on issues regarding your children
  • Harwell Law Firm LLC appreciates how important your family is to you and will fight, when necessary, to insure that every client, family and child that hires our firm receives honest and objective advice and the best possible representation in their case.
  • If you hire Harwell Law Firm LLC as your Alabama divorce attorney, we work for you and you are our boss.
  • Our job as your divorce attorney is to listen to you, gather and review relevant financial documents, assess matters such as child custody and child visitation, and advise you of a course of action after we have a complete understanding of the facts of your case.
  • At all stages of your divorce case, our primary role as your divorce attorney is to provide wise legal counsel, explain and guide you through the divorce process and to aggressively advocate your case through tough negotiations and at trial if necessary.
  • After gathering facts, Harwell Law Firm LLC will advise a client accordingly and formulate a plan in preparing your case, negotiating a possible settlement and representing clients in hearings and trials.
  • Whether negotiating a settlement or advocating your interests in the Courtroom, we will do everything within the law to protect your rights and the rights of your family.
  • Harwell Law Firm LLC is known by clients and other local attorneys as being honest, straight forward and forthright in assessing the facts of a case and how these facts apply to the law.
  • The decisions you make on your case can have long lasting effects on your children and future finances and we will always recommend a course of action which is in your best interests.
  • Although we give advice throughout the entire process, you make all final decisions on your case and you can choose to not follow our advice.
  • Even though your decision may differ from our recommendations, once you have decided on a course of action, it is then our job to follow your chosen course of action and to use our knowledge and experience of divorce law to help you achieve your desired results.

Birmingham Divorce Attorney that Provides Solutions, Not Problems

  • Although many potential clients may initially believe they want the “meanest divorce attorney” in town,  Harwell Law Firm LLC strongly believes this approach in a family law setting is like throwing the proverbial “gas on a fire.”
  • Exceptions exist to every general rule and in cases of child abuse, drug addiction, severe mental health issues, alcoholism and false allegations of sexual abuse, it is absolutely necessary to “come out swinging” and to aggressively advocate and litigate a divorce case.
  • Except in rare cases, all too often, divorce attorneys can be the cause of a problem, rather than a solution, and exacerbate an already tense and potentially explosive family.
  • Rather than providing wise legal counsel, a Divorce attorney and child custody lawyer can be the cause of many problems by filing unnecessary motions, litigating issues which should be resolved, advising clients to use their children for leveraging financial settlements and fueling negative emotions.
  • A “scorched earth campaign” is an especially harmful approach when children are involved.
  • Although an equitable property division and other monetary issues such as alimony are an important aspect of an Alabama divorce, they pale in comparison to your children and the lasting effects that an acrimonious divorce can have on their life as well as yours.
  • When overzealous Alabama divorce attorneys employ “Rambo litigation” tactics, this leads to excessive and unnecessary legal fees and expenses in which only the divorce lawyers win and both clients can end of spending their life savings on divorce attorneys.

Our Divorce Attorneys Approach to Negotiations and Litigation 

  • Some divorce lawyers, for some inexplicable reason, treat every case as if it is will go to trial.
  • Although this tactic may necessary in a very small percentage of cases such as high asset cases and contentious child custody matters, most individuals cannot afford to spend $30,000 or more in legal fees, expert witness fees and other litigation costs.
  • Our approach as a divorce attorney is to immediately begin discussing settlement of your case from the very outset of your case after we have a full understanding of the facts and have verified all marital assets.
  • Negotiations can be done via the exchange of offers and counter-offers with your spouse’s divorce attorney or by utilizing a settlement conference in which the lawyers, you and your spouse meet at one of our offices or the opposing attorney’s office and try to resolve your case.
  • By utilizing a “negotiation first” approach, it can actually expedite the resolution of your case and save you time and money expended on legal fees by avoiding numerous edits to the divorce settlement agreement and a back and forth e-mail battle between the divorce attorneys.
  • If a settlement conference fails, the next course of action we usually recommend is to attempt a divorce mediation.
  • In Shelby County, our judges are actually requiring that all cases be set on a Court Order Mediation Docket prior to setting a case for trial.
  • In a divorce mediation, you and your spouse, as well as the attorneys, utilize the services of a Mediator who acts as a neutral third party to assist you and your spouse on reaching a settlement. If a settlement is reached on all issues, the Agreement is then submitted to the Court and the Judge signs a Final Decree of Divorce. 

Experienced Birmingham Divorce Trial Attorney

  • If all efforts to resolve your case are unsuccessful and you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, we then will then prepare your case for trial.
  • This can involve taking depositions, subpoenaing documents, deposing fact witnesses, hiring experts, preparing trial exhibits and preparing you and other your witnesses to testify at trial;
  • We can also hire the following experts, if necessary and at your expense, to assist us in preparing your case for trial:
  1. CPA’s and Accountants who can assist and advise you on tax matters;
  2. Forensic accountants to locate and discover assets your spouse may have attempted to hide or shield from you;
  3. Business valuation experts to assess a fair value of a business owned by you or your spouse;
  4. Christian divorce counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and other mental health professional if you are struggling emotionally and need help;
  5. Real estate agents to sale any real property;
  6. Real estate appraisers to value any real property;
  7. Financial planners to assist you moving forward;
  8. Private investigators;
  9. Retirement Counselors;
  10. Business Managers;
  11. Physicians and Medical Experts; and
  12. Other experts that can give you expert advice and assist our firm in preparing your case for trial.

 

The Process to Start an Alabama Divorce

An Alabama Divorce is started when one spouse, called the Plaintiff, files a Complaint for Divorce. The Complaint and a Summons are then served on the other spouse, who is called the Defendant.  The Defendant then has thirty (30) days to file an Answer to the Divorce Complaint and will usually also file a counterclaim for divorce.  

Alabama is a “No Fault” Divorce State

Although Alabama is a no-fault divorce state, a Complaint for Divorce must allege grounds for a divorce. Grounds for an Alabama divorce can range from adultery to abuse or can be as simple as the parties argue and fight over marital issues, that the marriage is irretrievably broken down and that reconciliation is no longer possible.

The Alabama Divorce Process

After the initial pleadings are filed, an Alabama Divorce will go through the process of litigation. On many occasions, the first step an Alabama Divorce Lawyer will take on your behalf will deal with Temporary Issues such as temporary Child Custody and Support, temporary alimony, temporary use and possession of the marital residence and other temporary issues such as payment of marital debts.  An experienced divorce attorney will also conduct discovery in your case and will also employ professionals when necessary to evaluate marital assets. After all discovery has been completed and all marital assets have been evaluated, your case is ready for trial.  

Temporary Issues in an Alabama Divorce

At the beginning of an Alabama Divorce case, there are usually issues relating to the custody of the children or support of one spouse and/or children during the lawsuit.  Temporary expenses such as medical insurance,  uninsured medical costs, child care, school expenses, and the like also have to be addressed. In addition, parenting time with children during the lawsuit must also be arranged. All of the above matters, as well as other matters such as abusive behavior, allegations of drug use, contested temporary occupancy and possession of the marital residences, must either be resolved by Agreement. If this fails, a Motion for Pendente Lite Relief is filed with the Court and the matter is set for a hearing.

Discovery in an Alabama Divorce

Discovery consists of Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents, Depositions and Subpoenaing documents from third parties.  Interrogatories are questions which are submitted on your behalf which your spouse is required to answer under oath. Requests for Production of Documents is where your spouse is required to produce documents such as deeds, tax returns, bank statements and other financial records and documents of all types. It can also involve hiring an investigator if one party suspects the other spouse is hiding assets or is failing to be truthful in their discovery responses.  Discovery can also include depositions where are oral examinations are conducted under oath of each party and sometimes of third-party witnesses.  Finally, documents can also be subpoenaed from banks, financial institutions and other third parties. In heavily litigated cases, discovery can be lengthy and costly.

Marital Property Evaluations / Child Custody Experts

Where there are real properties, businesses, professional practices or other tangible or intangible assets that are considered marital property, professional evaluators are often retained, at the parties’ expense, to do the necessary appraisals or valuations. In the case of contested custody matters, forensic psychological experts may be retained, also at the parties’ expense, to evaluate the family situation with an eye to a court decision on custody, visitation and other parental matters. In contested custody cases, a guardian ad litem may also be appointed to represent the interests of the children in the lawsuit.

Alabama Divorce Trials

Once discovery and evaluations are completed, if the case is not settled, it is set down for trial. Trial will take place before the judge assigned to the case and, depending on the complexity of the issues, trial can take days or even weeks to complete. 

Appeals in Alabama Divorce Cases

In rare cases, if a client is not satisfied with the trial court’s decision and believes that the trial judge made errors during the trial, a client may choose to file an appeal to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals or to the Alabama Supreme Court.     

Call Us Today at (205) 980-1445

Experienced Divorce Trial Attorney

Offices in Birmingham, Hoover, Chelsea and Homewood
Call Us Today at (205) 980-1445

Birmingham, Hoover, Chelsea and Homewood Divorce Attorney and Law Firm

Unlike most Family Law firms that market on the internet that they are a Birmingham Divorce Attorney, a Hoover  Divorce Lawyer, a Chelsea Divorce Attorney or a Shelby County  Divorce Attorney for search engine purposes, Harwell Law Firm LLC actually has four office locations in the Birmingham metro area with two offices located in Shelby County and two offices located in Jefferson County. We have an office in downtown Birmingham at The Wells Fargo Tower, an office off of Highway 280 near Chelsea, a Hoover office near the Riverchase Galleria and a Homewood office at Southbridge.

The Shelby County Divorce Law Firm and Birmingham Divorce Attorneys at the offices of Harwell Law Firm, LLC provides Legal Counsel from a Christian Attorney Perspective in Alabama Divorce cases, Domestic Relations law, Alabama Family Law, Alabama Divorce Law, Post-Divorce Child Custody Modifications, Alabama Paternity cases and Dependency Petitions. Harwell Law Firm LLC represents clients in Shelby County, Jefferson County, counties surrounding Birmingham and municipalities of Shelby County and Jefferson County, including, but not limited to: Birmingham, Chelsea, Hoover, Inverness, Greystone, Vincent, Columbiana, Alabaster, Pelham, Helena, Jemison, Montevallo, Calera, Harpersville, Wilsonville, Sterrett, Leeds, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Bessemer, Hueytown, Gardendale, Irondale, Fultondale, Graysville, Fairfield, Clay, Center Point, Brookside, Adamsville, Brighton, Argo, Pell City, Oneonta, Springville, Anniston, Jasper, Huntsville, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Blount County, Talladega County, Tuscaloosa County, Walker County, Cullman County, Madison County and more.