How to Get a Transfer of Venue in a Divorce in Alabama

By Teo Spengler

Divorce is always difficult, but especially so if you have to travel across the state to present your case. Many states, including Alabama, limit the counties in which a divorce can be filed. Counties in which the parties have had substantial contacts are said to have "venue." If your spouse files for divorce in an inconvenient or inappropriate county, you can ask the court to transfer the case to a county with venue.

Divorce is always difficult, but especially so if you have to travel across the state to present your case. Many states, including Alabama, limit the counties in which a divorce can be filed. Counties in which the parties have had substantial contacts are said to have "venue." If your spouse files for divorce in an inconvenient or inappropriate county, you can ask the court to transfer the case to a county with venue.

Step 1

Determine appropriate venue for the divorce action. If both you and your spouse live in Alabama, venue is appropriate in either the county where you now live or the county where the two of you last lived as a couple. If you live in another state, your spouse can file in the Alabama county in which he resides.

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Step 2

Obtain a form for filing an answer from the circuit court or an online legal provider. When you are served with your spouse's divorce complaint, fill out the form answer, adding "improper venue" as a defense to the complaint.

Step 3

Prepare a motion to change venue and a memorandum explaining the law and arguing your position. Review the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure or hire an attorney to assist you. Be sure your papers state why the court in which your spouse filed does not have venue. Support the facts in your motion with sworn affidavits.

Step 4

File your motion to change venue in the court in which your spouse filed the case. Do this promptly after the initial pleadings. Since rules for motion procedure vary among Alabama counties, check with the circuit court to determine the form of the motion, the number of copies and the fee. Present your motion in appropriate form to the court clerk and pay the filing fee. Mail a copy to your spouse.

Step 5

Wait and see if your spouse opposes the motion. If so, the court will hold a hearing on your motion. Appear at the time and place set for hearing. Tell the court why venue should be changed.

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