You can file for divorce in the county in which your spouse lives, or the county you lived in together at the time of separation. Once you obtain a divorce, the Court that granted the divorce will maintain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the provisions of the Order. This includes requests to modify child custody and visitation.
ALABAMA FAMILY LAW
Venue refers to the County in which the divorce is filed. If you are eligible to file for divorce in Alabama, you can file in any county you would like. However, if you file for divorce in a county in which neither party lives, the other spouse could petition the court to transfer the venue of the case to their home county. If both parties agree, a couple living in Birmingham in Jefferson County could file for divorce in Columbiana in Shelby County. Two children were born of the marriage.
The parties moved to the United States Territory of Guam in January and established a business there. The record reveals that in June , the husband and children came to Mobile, Alabama, for a purported vacation, and that on July 3, , the wife and husband each filed divorce complaints in Guam and Alabama respectively.
Record evidence reveals that the Superior Court of Guam granted an interlocutory divorce judgment in December , and a final decree of divorce in January , based upon the wife's complaint. It appears that the husband's complaint was dismissed for failure to comply with Alabama's residency requirement, and that he filed a second complaint in January The Guam decree awarded custody of the children and certain property to the wife. The husband contended that he attempted to set aside the Guam divorce decree. In March , the wife filed a plea to abate and dismiss the husband's Alabama divorce complaint, alleging that the Guam decree resolved all issues.
Following an ore tenus proceeding in April , the Alabama trial court entered an order holding all pending matters "in abeyance for a period of thirty 30 days or the final hearing and determination of the proceedings in the Superior Court of Guam, whichever is less. The wife also filed a motion for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that the husband refused to release the children and demanding that the husband return the children. On June 26, , the trial court dismissed the husband's complaint for divorce with prejudice, gave the Guam divorce judgment full faith and credit, and ordered the husband to deliver the children immediately.
Jurisdiction and Venue
The husband appeals. In reviewing the grant of a motion to dismiss, an appellate court is to take "the allegations of the complaint most strongly in favor of the pleader, to determine whether the plaintiff could prove any set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. When it appears beyond a doubt that there is no set of facts supporting a plaintiff's claim and entitling him to relief, a motion to dismiss is proper. We consider whether a plaintiff may possibly prevail, not whether he will ultimately prevail.
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University of Montevallo, So. In opposition to the dismissal, the husband argues that the trial court erred in granting full faith and credit to the Guam decree. He claims that the trial court had no evidence of a jurisdictional basis or the existence of a final judgment in the Guam proceedings.
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Pursuant to the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution, Alabama courts are generally required to give a foreign judgment at least the res judicata effect which would be accorded in the state which rendered it. Alston Electric Supply Co.
Get answers to general questions about divorce in Alabama.
Alabama Electrical Wholesalers, Inc. Before giving effect to a foreign judgment, Alabama courts are permitted to inquire into the jurisdiction of the foreign court rendering the judgment.
The scope of inquiry is limited to, " 1 whether the issue of jurisdiction was fully and fairly litigated by the foreign court and 2 whether the issue of jurisdiction was finally decided by the foreign court. Having determined that jurisdiction is not lacking, the court is required to give full faith and credit to the foreign judgment. Trillo v. Trillo, So. The Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act defines "foreign judgment" as "any judgment, decree, or order of a court of the United States or of any other court which is entitled to full faith and credit in this state.
When a sister state's court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and persons, its judgment is entitled to full faith and credit. Jeffers v.
Uncontested Divorce in Alabama | Alabama Divorce Court
Belmonte Hills Owners Association, Inc. When that judgment is authenticated and produced at trial, there is a presumption that the court rendering the judgment had jurisdiction to do so, placing the burden on "the challenger of the judgment to assert and produce evidence to challenge the judgment and to overcome the presumption. An individual's liberty interest is recognized and protected by the requirement of personal jurisdiction.
Long, So. In September , at a hearing following the husband's original divorce complaint, the husband testified that he and the children were in Mobile from August to December , but have lived in Guam ever since. The husband also testified that his Guam business license was issued in late , and that he and his wife had been operating the business since The husband acknowledged that he has a valid voter registration card for Guam, has voted in Guam elections, and has filed income tax returns in Guam. From the testimony, the trial court could have properly determined that the Superior Court of Guam had both subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the husband and the marriage.
Guam was ceded to the United States as a territory in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Peace with Spain, signed at Paris, December 10, , and proclaimed April 11, Extending full faith and credit to include court judgments of territories and possessions of the United States, through 28 U.