When your marriage breaks up, a wide range of consequences can impact your life.
However, a consistent finding is that divorce has significant financial consequences for the parties involved. Alabama law affords each party certain rights during divorce proceedings.
It is crucial that those contemplating a divorce consult with an experienced Alabama divorce attorney to protect their rights, assets, and property.
Financial Implications of Divorce in Alabama
When you stop living with your spouse because divorce is on the horizon, your financial life will change dramatically and immediately. Suddenly, you only have one income instead of two. You also now have two rent payments and two sets of bills—like two electric bills, two water bills, etc.
To say this can be an enormous upheaval in the lives of the spouses is likely an understatement. If you are not prepared for what’s ahead, these changes can hit you hard. So let’s discuss the key areas of your life that divorce can have a significant impact on.
Alabama divorces can impact bank accounts, stocks, life insurance, health insurance, pensions, and other accounts. These implications could be significant even if both spouses were working before the split. However, the split may have scary consequences for a spouse who does not work outside the home during the marriage. Such an at-home spouse will likely require funds to cover basic living expenses while the divorce is pending.
Divorces can also affect the couple’s primary home, vacation properties, rental homes, and business properties. While courts can evaluate some objective factors when dividing real estate, issues often arise when dealing with the family home because there are often strong emotional attachments to the home. Dividing it up in any way usually involves navigating both financial and emotional hurdles.
Assigning and rearranging debt can create hardships for one or both parties. An experienced family law attorney can help individuals approach these financial discussions calmly and rationally. If everyone works together to get a good result for both parties, such cooperation can mitigate any adverse impact on your credit score.
There are various tax implications for divorcing in Alabama. Individuals should consult their attorneys to address childcare, healthcare, and insurance costs.
Individual properties include vehicles, boats, furniture, art, pets, and other personal property. To some people, these types of items hold little value. But for many, these types of items can have strong financial or emotional value.
Those considering a divorce should speak with an experienced attorney to address and reduce the financial impact and hardship that divorces can create.
Steps to Reduce Hardship Divorce
One can take certain steps to reduce the financial burden and anxiety that often comes with divorce.
A divorce attorney can work with you to take the following steps:
- Prepare a comprehensive balance sheet;
- Gather documents to verify assets, liabilities, and income;
- Address outstanding bills to protect credit scores; and
- Present a compelling case in front of a judge or jury.
Divorce can affect so many areas of your life, especially your health, well-being, and finances. Having professional guidance can save you a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety as you work to reorganize your life.
Examples of Hardship During Divorce
Courts understand the importance of ensuring the financial security of spouses after a divorce. While courts try to avoid creating hardships, unforeseen circumstances often occur.
- Job loss,
- Reduction in income,
- Increase in cost of living,
- Permanent disability,
- Significant changes to a child’s needs, and
- Unforeseen expenses.
When events like this happen and negatively impact your ability to support yourself, you can present evidence of this to the court and seek relief. You may also ask the court to award additional support because of these hardships.
Affidavit Of Substantial Hardship in Alabama
Alabama also permits you to submit an “Affidavit of Substantial Hardship and Order.” By attesting that you cannot pay certain docket and service fees, you can ask the court to modify your obligations by filing this petition. To succeed, you must attest that you cannot pay certain docket and service fees and present evidence to support your claim.
Evidence of hardship includes proof of the following:
- Receipt of government assistance benefits,
- Monthly expenses, and
- Liquid asset calculations.
The court will review the petition and evidence and find one of the following:
- You are not indigent,
- You are partially indigent and able to contribute a certain amount, or
- You are indigent.
The court will note whether it grants a waiver of docket fees.
Learn More About How to Avoid a Hardship Divorce in Alabama
If you are considering divorce but are worried about the potential financial hardship it may cause you and your family, you are not alone.
At Charlotte Christian Law, our Alabama divorce attorneys have extensive experience working with men and women from all walks of life and financial backgrounds. We take every possible step to ensure that you avoid financial hardship throughout the divorce process and beyond. We can help you pursue fair property distribution and protect your rights.