Even under the most amicable of circumstances, Alabama’s strict legal requirements and court procedures can make the divorce process complicated. Thus, if you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, it’s important to consult a family law attorney before moving forward. They will help to make the experience go much smoother and ensure you are aware of your rights. In the meantime, here is a basic overview of what you can expect when getting divorced.
What to Know About Obtaining an Alabama Divorce
Residency & Filing Requirements
Before you can file for divorce in Alabama, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months. If you are the party asking to terminate your relationship, you should submit the summons and complaint to the circuit court in the county where your spouse lives. In the event they aren’t living in the state, you can file in the county where you reside. A 30-day waiting period is required before a divorce will become final.
Grounds for Filing
Alabama allows couples to file either a fault or no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces, also referred to as uncontested, can be granted for incompatibility or an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. If you choose to file based on fault, you must cite one of the state-approved reasons. These include adultery, imprisonment, drug addiction, insanity, cruelty or violence, and voluntary abandonment.
How Child Support Is Determined
If you have children, child support will be determined using the income shares guideline. This is the idea that both parents should continue to financially provide for their children as if they are still together. You and your spouse may agree on an amount yourselves, but if you are unable to do so, the family law court will take both of your gross monthly incomes into account and assign each of you a share of the child’s living expenses.
How Marital Property Is Divided
Alabama is an equitable distribution state, which means if you can’t reach agreeable terms on how to split your marital property, a family law judge will decide how to divide it in a fair manner. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your assets will be distributed equally. Some of the factors that will be considered are the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, the earning capacity of each party, and child custody orders.
Divorce is a major life transition that you shouldn’t attempt to navigate without the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. Ray T. Kennington, Attorney At Law has been representing the residents of Ozark and Enterprise, AL, for over 35 years. He will walk you through every step of the divorce process from beginning to end, offering support and sound legal advice along the way. With him advocating on your behalf, you can have peace of mind knowing someone is working tirelessly to get you the most favorable settlement possible. Call (334) 445-1200 to arrange a consultation, or visit him online for more information on the family law services he provides.