The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of Alabama divorce.
for more specific information regarding Alabama divorce laws.
Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.
|Residency Requirements ||6 months|
|Where to File ||The county in which the defendant resides.|
The county in which both spouses lived together prior to separation
The county in which the plaintiff resides if the defendant is a non-resident of Alabama
|Grounds for Divorce ||
- Voluntary abandonment from bed and board for one year next preceding the filing of the complaint.
- Imprisonment in the penitentiary of this or any other state for two years, the sentence being for seven years or longer.
- The commission of the crime against nature, whether with mankind or beast, either before or after marriage.
- For becoming addicted after marriage to habitual drunkenness or to habitual use of opium, morphine, cocaine or other like drug.
- Upon application of either the husband or wife, when the court is satisfied from all the testimony in the case that there exists such a complete incompatibility of temperament that the parties can no longer live together.
- In favor of either party, when the other, after marriage, shall have been confined in a mental hospital for a period of five successive years, if such party from whom a divorce is sought is hopelessly and incurably insane at the time of the filing of the complaint; provided, however, that the superintendent of the mental hospital in which such person is confined shall make a certified statement, under oath, that it is his opinion and belief, after a complete and full study and examination of such person, that such person is hopelessly and incurably insane.
- Upon application of either party, when the court finds there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and that further attempts at reconciliation are impractical or futile and not in the best interests of the parties or family.
- In favor of the husband, when the wife was pregnant at the time of marriage, without his knowledge or agency.
- In favor of either party to the marriage when the other has committed actual violence on his or her person, attended with danger to life or health, or when from his or her conduct there is reasonable apprehension of such violence.
- In favor of the wife when the wife has lived, or shall have lived separate and apart from the bed and board of the husband for two years and without support from him for two years next preceding the filing of the complaint, and she has bona fide resided in this state during said period.
|Voluntary or required mediation ||No|
|Voluntary or recommended Counseling||No|
|Property Distribution ||Under Case law, Alabama is an "equitable distribution" state. The judge has the full discretion to divide the real estate and other marital property, but does not have the authority to award the wife's separate property to the husband. The distribution of assets also does not necessarily have to be even, just fair. |
|Child Custody ||Upon granting a divorce, the court may give the custody and education of the children of the marriage to either father or mother, as may seem right and proper, having regard to the moral character and prudence of the parents and the age and sex of the children; and pending the action, may make such orders in respect to the custody of the children as their safety and well-being may require. But in cases of abandonment of the husband by the wife, he shall have the custody of the children after they are seven years of age, if he is a suitable person to have such charge.|
Uniform Child Custody Act: 1980
Is Joint Custody awarded? YES. The court shall in every case consider joint custody but may award any form of custody which is determined to be in the best interest of the child. In determining whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider the same factors considered in awarding sole legal and physical custody and all of the following factors:
Do Grandparents Have the Right to Visitation? YES
- The agreement or lack of agreement of the parents on joint custody.
- The past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly.
- The ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent.
- Any history of or potential for child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping.
- The geographic proximity of the parents to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of joint physical custody
Are Child's Wishes Considered? YES
|Child Support ||Either parent may be required to provide support. There are specific guidelines to be followed, unless when proven to be unjust. The parents can also come to their own agreement to be reviewed by the court.|
|Spousal Support ||The judge has complete control over the decision of whether to award an allowance or not. An allowance is typically issued if one spouse does not have sufficient property to cover living expenses. The allowance can not take any part of one's separate property (gifts, inheritance, etc.) Marital conduct is a consideration, and the division of property does not have to be equal, but it must be equitable|