Grounds for divorce in the state of Alabama may be tricky, but with a quality Huntsville divorce lawyer, you won’t need to tread these difficult times alone.
A plaintiff’s complaint about divorce must state the applicable Alabama grounds upon which a divorce is being pursued in Alabama. That ground can be one upon which the parties have agreed or can authenticate or one which the party who files for divorce can verify with the court.
Therefore, when choosing the grounds for your divorce, you should always remember that you must present adequate proof to the court that your marital state warrants a divorce by the grounds on which you are requesting the divorce to be granted.
General Information About Divorce in Alabama
In Alabama, the grounds for divorce fall into two basic categories—fault and no-fault. Alabama’s most common grounds for divorce fall into the “no-fault” category. The plaintiff in the divorce case must present enough evidence to the court to prove the alleged grounds. Because the “no-fault” grounds are easy to confirm, a “no-fault” divorce is much easier to attain.
However, the plaintiff may still be required to provide evidence of fault to assist an Alabama Court in deciding on custody issues, co-parenting, support, and property division. The Circuit Courts of Alabama have the power to divorce persons from the bonds of matrimony on the following grounds under Alabama Code § 30-2-1:
- Voluntary abandonment
- Crime against nature
- Irretrievable breakdown
- Separation for two years
- Domestic violence
- The wife’s pregnancy before the marriage without the husband’s knowledge or agency
Incompatibility and irretrievable breakdown are considered “no-fault” grounds and are used most often. An irretrievable breakdown refers to the marriage being broken beyond repair, while incompatibility means that the spouses no longer get along.
No-Fault Divorce in Alabama
All 50 states allow some type of no-fault divorce. Like some other no-fault states, Alabama does not require that spouses live separately before filing for divorce. Additionally, this type of divorce doesn’t require that either party submit evidence to prove liability. Either a claim of irretrievable breakdown or incompatibility is enough to be granted a divorce.
Fault-Based Divorce in Alabama
If you can file for a fault-based divorce if you want your divorce granted based on your spouse’s actions. Unlike a no-fault divorce, you will be required to provide substantial evidence to support your claim. Although this route may be more expensive and time-consuming, it can be advantageous if the spouse’s actions severely impacted you, like domestic violence or mental illness.
Once proven, this information can be considered when awarding custody, alimony, or divorce settlements.
In some cases, both spouses may seek a fault-based divorce, and both are able to prove fault. The court will rule on which party is least at fault and they will be granted the divorce. This is called comparative rectitude.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Along with deciding whether you will pursue a fault or no-fault-based divorce, you must determine whether you and your spouse can agree on settlement terms like property, debts, custody, etc. In an uncontested divorce, both parties and their attorneys agree on all terms.
However, in a contested divorce either party disagrees with one or more terms of the divorce or the divorce itself. In this case, you will have to attend hearings and/or mediations and potentially go to trial if the issue cannot be reconciled.
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Divorce Requirements in Alabama
To legally file for divorce in Alabama, at least one party must be a resident and have lived in the state six months before filing. The serving party must file a complaint and summons with the county’s circuit court where the defendant resides to initiate the divorce proceedings.
After the receiving spouse has been served, they have 30 days to file an answer to the complaint. If they do not respond, the divorce can proceed without them, and the filing spouse may be granted a default judgment. Alabama also requires a 30-day waiting period after filing the complaint for the divorce to be final.
How Can an Alabama Divorce Lawyer Help You?
When you’re faced with divorce, an attorney on your side to help you fight for a fair settlement can be helpful. Whether you’re pursuing a fault or no-fault-based divorce, the laws governing these cases are difficult to navigate alone.
Our Alabama divorce attorneys understand the laws in-depth and can assist you from filing to finalization. We can advise you on the best way to pursue your case, help you gather needed evidence, and prepare you for the legal process. Although fault-based cases are rare, you put yourself at an advantage by hiring a divorce attorney.
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Charlotte Christian Law: Hire a Divorce Attorney Who Makes Your Story be Front and Center
If you need help with a family law matter or have a question about the grounds for divorce in Alabama, reach out to Charlotte Christian Law. Our team is centered around goals that help you get through this difficult time. Contact us today.