ALABAMA DIVORCE LAWS
The Residency Requirement: In order to file for a divorce in Alabama, the petitioner must have been a resident for six months before the filing of the complaint.
Grounds: The Complaint for Divorce must declare the appropriate Alabama grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. The appropriate lawful ground will be that which the parties agree upon and can substantiate, or that which the filing spouse desires to prove to the court. The divorce grounds are as follows:
No-Fault: Incompatibility; Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; Voluntary abandonment from bed and board for one year.
Fault: Physical and incurable incapacitation at time of marriage; adultery; imprisonment for two years; a crime against nature; drug or alcohol addiction; confinement to a mental hospital for five years with no hope of recovery; if the wife was pregnant at the time of the marriage, unbeknownst to the husband; physical abuse; living separate and apart for two years without support.
Property Division: Alabama is an equitable distribution, dual-classification state. That means property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Alimony can be awarded to a husband or wife, but only if that person can’t support himself or herself with assets and an appropriate job. There is no “right” to alimony, and Alabama has no guidelines for alimony.
Child Custody and Child Support: As in every state, custody is based on “the best interests of the child.” Legal and/or physical custody may be awarded to the father or the mother (click the following for further information and list of key articles on child custody and child support).
Alabama child support guidelines are based on an income-shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes.
For a combined adjusted gross monthly income of:
- $2,000, support for one child is $318; for two children, $495; for three children, $607.
- $5,000, support for one child is $655; for two children, $1,019; for three children, $1,268.
- $10,000, support for one child is $992; for two children, $1,542; for three children, $1,934.
The following site, Alabama Lawyers, has an on-line calculator for child support.
While support terminates when child graduates from high school, the court may require the parents to pay support for the child’s college education.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.