Alabama State Divorce Law

Alabama Divorce Laws

There are as many reasons for divorce as there are married couples in this country.  That means that there is neither one-size-fits-all divorce, nor can there by such laws for the entire country.  It is important to look at the specific laws for the state in which the couple lives and be sure they understand the best way to proceed in their unique situation.

Alabama Grounds for Divorce

A couple can proceed with an Alabama divorce by several processes. 

Uncontested Divorce in Alabama

An uncontested divorce can be obtained when the parties have discussed and agreed on a settlement in all the elements of their marriage.  Any disputes eliminate the possibility of obtaining an uncontested divorce. 

Contested Divorce in Alabama

When the parties in a divorce have any areas of dispute, they must proceed with a contested divorce, which, if it remains unsettled through the process, will be decided by a judge in court.  However, as the couples proceed, they may find that they can resolve these issues, come to an agreement, and settle the divorce out of court. 

Annulment in Alabama

An annulment is a court’s declaration that a marriage legally never actually took place.  In order to obtain such an order in Alabama, the grounds include:

  • Consanguinity, or the parties are found to be blood relatives
  • Bigamy
  • One partner is younger than 14 years of age
  • One or both partners were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Inability to physically consummate the marriage
  • Either partner participated in the marriage through fraud or duress

No Fault Divorce in Alabama

A no-fault divorce can be filed in Alabama for one of three reasons:

  • Incompatibility
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Abandonment by one year or more

Alabama Fault Divorce

There are a number of reasons why one party may want/need to file a Fault divorce in Alabama:

  • Inability to consummate the marriage
  • Adultery
  • Prison incarceration for at least two years out of a seven-year or more sentence
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse
  • Commitment to a mental institution for five or more years in succession and being diagnosed as incurably insane
  • A wife’s pregnancy, which was unknown by and un-attributable to the husband at the time of the marriage
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Separate and independent habitation by the wife for two years before and two years after the divorce complaint

Alabama Divorce and Child Custody

Child Custody Laws

Joint Custody, based on the ability of the parents to:

  • Agree about this option
  • Make decisions jointly
  • Encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Show there is no evidence of child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping
  • Be in geographic proximity

Child Alimony

Child support in Alabama is based on the Income Shares model, with the goal of providing the same support the child enjoyed before the divorce.

Alabama Divorce Spousal Support

Spousal support in Alabama is determined by the need of the parent requesting alimony and the ability of the other parent to pay.  It is solely determined by the court.  Misconduct by either party may influence the judge’s decision.  However, all property of either party that was obtained prior to the marriage cannot be a part of the division of property or the amount of spousal support.

Lump Sum Alimony

Determined at the discretion of the court.

Permanent Alimony

Determined at the discretion of the court

Temporary Spousal Support

Determined at the discretion of the court

Rehabilitative Alimony

Determined at the discretion of the court

Military Divorce in Alabama

Spouses in the military must be personally served with a summons and copy of the divorce processes taking place.  However, they are excused from being held in default for failing to respond to those orders.  In fact, at the discretion of the court, divorce actions can be postponed for the service person’s entire period of active duty and for as much as 60 days afterwards.  Those protections can be waived, however, by any serviceman or woman who wishes to proceed with the divorce.  The grounds for military divorces are the same as those for civilian divorces.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act provides that any spouse who was married to a military service man or women for 10 years or more be provided with direct payments of retirement benefits as determined by military standards.  Child and spousal support may not be 60% or more of the service person’s pay or allowances. 

Help From An Alabama Divorce Lawyer?

For those who are able to negotiate an agreement on every element of their divorce, division of property, spousal support, child custody, and child support, they may be able to accomplish an amicable and uncontested divorce.  Nevertheless, for anyone else, it is difficult to negotiate and investigate the necessary issues without an unbiased legal advisor.  There are experienced divorce attorneys who can provide the right amount of counsel for each parties’ needs and facilitate a divorce that will work for all those involved.

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