Filing for Divorce in Alabama
According to Alabama Code Section 30-2-5, in order to be eligible to file for divorce in Alabama, one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. Also, you will need to wait for at least 30 days after filing before the final judgment (or final court order) may be issued by the Alabama family court finalizing the divorce.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce
Under Alabama law, a divorce may be granted on either fault-based or no-fault grounds.
- No-Fault Divorce: In a no-fault divorce, an Alabama family court can grant the divorce based on simple residential requirements without going deeper into the issue that led to the breakdown of the marriage. The spouses may simply be completely incompatible and can't get along anymore.
- Fault Divorce: In a fault divorce, the behavior of one of the spouses caused the breakdown of the marriage. The marital conduct of the offending spouse hurt or damaged the filing spouse through bad actions such as infidelity, drug addiction, violence, or a criminal conviction.
What are the Grounds for Divorce in Alabama?
The court may grant a divorce in Alabama based on the following reasons:
- One or both parties lacked the legal ability to enter into marriage
- One or both parties committed adultery
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
- Complete incompatibility of temperament
- One party voluntarily abandoned the other spouse for up to a year
- One party committed actual violence against the other
- One party was imprisoned for two years, with a sentence of seven years or more
- One party committed a "crime against nature," either with an animal or human being
- One party became pregnant by someone outside the marriage
- One or both parties suffers from illegal narcotics or alcohol addiction
- One or both parties are confined to a mental hospital for five years during the marriage
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
In Alabama, divorce may be categorized as either uncontested or contested.
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses mutually agree on the key terms and conditions of the divorce settlement. These include asset division, spousal support, child custody and support, and parenting time. The agreed-upon terms will be filed with an Alabama court to be officially approved. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights, your best interests, and keep the conversation productive.
In a contested divorce, the spouses are not able to mutually agree upon one or more key terms of the divorce settlement. The intervention of the circuit court may be needed to settle divorce issues and relationship differences. At a hearing, the judge will issue a final court order and finalize the divorce. A knowledgeable attorney can help present your case diligently and improve your prospects of achieving a favorable outcome.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
Alabama has a 30-day waiting period. The circuit court will only issue the final judgment after 30 days from the date you filed the initial complaint.
Work with a Knowledgeable Attorney
Filing for divorce often involves a lot of complex procedures. Negotiating a divorce settlement with your estranged spouse, dividing marital property, establishing alimony, or child custody and support agreements can make the whole process even more stressful and overwhelming. When considering filing a divorce, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney for detailed guidance and to help simplify the entire process.
Attorney Paul Seckel has devoted his career to offering comprehensive guidance and advocacy in matters of family law, divorce, property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. As your legal counsel, he will review your unique situation and help you understand your available legal options.
Attorney Paul Seckel will work diligently with all parties involved to negotiate a fair divorce settlement and resolve any pending divorce issues and relationship differences quickly and peacefully. Using his extensive knowledge and experience, he will help navigate critical decisions in your divorce process and help make your transition as smooth as possible.