Alabama is a no-fault divorce state. In fact, these are the grounds used in most divorces in the state. While divorcing couples can file for a fault-based split, they must prove one of the grounds and ask a judge to grant the divorce. This can be much more challenging and expensive than the streamlined no-fault procedure.
If you are considering getting a divorce in Alabama, you may want to discuss your options with a divorce and child custody attorney who represents individuals in these cases. There are some circumstances where a no-fault divorce may not be the best option for you.
What Is a No-Fault Divorce in Alabama?
In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to prove your spouse damaged your marriage or is the reason the relationship cannot continue. You can simply agree that you both contributed to the issues that occurred and that a divorce is needed. This is the heart of a no-fault divorce.
Even in a no-fault divorce, you must have grounds for the legal division. Under Ala. Code § 30-2-1 (a)(7)(9), Alabama allows you to use one of two no-fault grounds to do this. They include:
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage: Further efforts to try to reconcile will not be effective in preserving the relationship.
- Incompatibility: The partners cannot get along to continue as a married couple.
Some states do not allow you to allege fault in a divorce case, but Alabama is not one of them. Petitioners have an option to file a no-fault or fault-based divorce in Alabama.
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Pros and Cons of No-Fault Divorce
Filing a no-fault divorce has some major benefits. It is usually less combative and cheaper, and it may move you through the process faster. There is no need to go through the difficult and painful process of gathering evidence and showing how your spouse caused your marriage to fail.
In some situations, though, you may want to pursue fault-based grounds. This can be important if your spouse’s bad behavior was shocking or dangerous or may be relevant when it comes to spousal support, custody, or other elements within the divorce. Some grounds for a fault-based divorce include:
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Cruelty or abuse
- Institutionalization or incarceration
- Committing a “crime against nature”
- A pregnancy unknown to the husband
When you file a fault-based divorce, you must be able to prove the allegations you make and show the court that your spouse did what you say they did. This may be important to your case, but it can also be extremely challenging emotionally as you uncover and share the necessary evidence.
Your attorney can offer advice on how proving fault may affect your case’s outcome based on the specific circumstances. For example, proving cruelty or abuse could affect child custody, and many of these factors could help you get spousal support.
No-Fault Divorce or Uncontested Divorce
If you are considering a no-fault divorce in Alabama, you may have additional options that could work for you and your partner to make the process easier. There is also an option for an uncontested divorce in Alabama. This is a quicker, easier, and cheaper process that requires working together to get the legal divorce granted.
An uncontested divorce may be possible when you agree on:
- Property division
- Spousal support
- Child custody and visitation
To get an uncontested divorce, you will file together and request the legal dissolution of your marriage together. This is often a good option for those who have not been married long and have little shared property, although longtime partners, parents, and others can also use the process.
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How Can an Alabama Divorce Attorney Help?
When a Huntsville divorce attorney helps you navigate getting a divorce, you can count on having someone to guide you through the process from beginning to end. You will have someone who knows the law and how to navigate the procedure by your side every step of the way.
They can explain how no-fault divorce works in the state and help you weigh the options to determine if it is the best thing for you. You will better understand the pros and cons of a no-fault divorce versus a fault divorce and have someone who can handle your case once you make the decision.
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Connect with Our Alabama Divorce Lawyers Today
At Charlotte Christian Law, we have offices in Huntsville, Athens, and Birmingham. We represent men and women seeking divorce and help them understand their rights and options. We will meet with you to determine your best options and discuss how we can help you get the best possible outcome during this difficult time. Call (256) 330-4931 to speak with a team member today.