What you need to know about divorce in Alabama

Divorce can be emotional and complicated. If you are contemplating divorce in Alabama, you may have questions and concerns about Alabama divorce laws, child custody laws and alimony payments. Most couples want their Alabama divorce to be finalized as smoothly and quickly as possible. An affordable divorce attorney in Alabama can offer sound divorce advice and can help you determine the best divorce arrangement for you and your family.

Hiring a divorce lawyer

Hiring an Alabama divorce lawyer can insure that you protect the ones you love. Child custody issues, property distribution, alimony and child support can be complicated and can vary by state. Do not leave your future and the future of your family to chance. Find a divorce lawyer in Alabama who understands Alabama divorce laws. Alabama divorce attorneys can answer your divorce questions and can make sure you have the information you need to make a good decision about your future.

Children and Divorce

Alabama divorce law tries to allow the mother and father equal access to the children in an Alabama divorce. However, this is not always practical. Alabama courts generally favor joint custody for the children which allows for both parents to share in making the decisions. Alabama joint custody laws also allow for both parents to have meaningful time with the children, however, both parents may not have equal time. Parents also have access to information regarding the child.

When deciding whether or not a joint custody arrangement is best, the Alabama divorce courts will review several factors including: 1) the ability of the parents to make decisions together; 2) whether or not the parents agree on joint custody 3) the ability of the parents to encourage love and affection between the other parent and child 4) which parent is best able to care for the child; and 5) whether or not one of the parents has done something to place the child in danger. Ultimately the issues of child custody are decided by trying to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the children. While joint custody is preferred in an Alabama divorce, the divorce statute will not alter child custody decrees that are already in place.

Child custody issues are important and an Alabama divorce lawyer should be consulted prior to agreeing on a child custody arrangement. Divorce attorneys in Alabama understand divorce laws and can make sure you get sound child custody advice.

Alabama Child Support

Alabama divorce law establishes guidelines for Alabama child support which can be used if the parent’s can not agree on a specific amount. In most situations, parents are able to come to a child support amount which is in the best interest of the children.

Alabama Divorce Laws

Most Alabama divorces are granted on “no-fault” grounds which means a couple may divorce based simply on the grounds of incompatibility, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or voluntary separation for over one year.

Alabama divorce law also outlines certain grounds for at-fault divorce in Alabama’s divorce statutes such as:

  • Adultery
  • Alcoholism/Drug use
  • Physical abuse or reasonable fear of abuse
  • Living separate and apart without cohabitation for over 2 years without the husband supporting the wife (divorce must be filed by wife)
  • Imprisonment (for over 2 years if the total sentence is over 7 years)
  • Unnatural sexual behavior before or after the marriage
  • Confinement for incurable insanity for over 5 years
  • Wife pregnant by another at the time of the marriage without the husband’s knowledge
  • Inability to physically consummate the marriage

Although at-fault divorce is an option, most people avoid placing blame for the divorce and simply file on “no-fault grounds”. Alabama divorce laws also require couples to wait 30 days after the complaint for divorce is filed to finalize a divorce. Divorce complaints can also be filed while the couple negotiates the terms of their Alabama divorce.

Alabama Divorce Residency Requirements

Alabama residents who want a divorce must also meet the following jurisdiction and residency requirements.

  • One of the individuals involved in the divorce must have lived in Alabama for at least 6 months prior to filing divorce in Alabama.
  • Both individuals may also reside in Alabama.
  • Alabama divorces may be filed in the county where both individuals lived when they separated or where the defendant currently resides.
  • Individuals may also file in the county where they reside if their spouse no longer resides in Alabama.
  • Uncontested divorces in Alabama may be filed in any county in Alabama.

Alimony in Alabama

Alimony or spousal support can be awarded to either spouse and can help the receiving spouse maintain the type of life style in which they have become accustomed.  Alimony may be awarded in Alabama at the discretion of the judge. The judge may consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the income of each spouse, the couple’s standard of living and whether or not one spouse contributed to the divorce through adultery or spousal violence.

Alimony is not mandatory, and it may be unnecessary if it was a short-term marriage. Alimony may also be allocated for a short period of time or may not be needed at all if each party is able to work and maintain a comfortable living. Alimony payments in Alabama can be paid in a lump sum payment or through a payment plan.

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