Filing for divorce is one of the most challenging decisions a person can face. Questions regarding the division of marital assets, alimony agreements and child custody arrangements are complicated, time-consuming and emotionally taxing. Don’t wait to secure your future — consult an empathetic family law attorney today.
FORT PAYNE DIVORCE LAWYER
Seasoned Divorce Attorney Representing North Alabama Couples Facing Divorce
Residency & Grounds for Divorce
In the state of Alabama, you may file for divorce on “fault” or “no fault” grounds. Filing for no-fault divorce means that your marriage is ending due to an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” and you will not be required to list any other reasons for why you would like to dissolve the union. Conversely, a fault divorce is based on some action committed either by yourself or your partner, such as abandonment, infidelity, mental illness, drug/alcohol abuse and/or domestic violence. Regardless of why you’re filing for divorce, either you or your partner must have been an Alabama residents for at least six months (180 days) before you can proceed.
Alabama is an “equitable division” state, meaning that each spouse owns the income she or he earns throughout the marriage and retains the right to maintain any property that’s in her or his name. Regardless of who owns the marital assets in question, an Alabama judge will divide marital property in a fair, though not always “equal”, manner.
In the state of Alabama, most child support is provided through an income withholding order requiring the donor parent’s employer to withhold a portion of her or his paycheck to send to the other parent. It is important to note that Alabama’s Department of Human Resources enforces child support orders. Keep in mind that you may request a support modification if your circumstances have changed to the extent that the original terms are no longer tenable.
It’s not uncommon for one spouse to provide support (i.e. alimony) for the other following a divorce. When deciding the amount of alimony that will be required, an Alabama judge will consider only the income of the paying party. However, if the parties have been married more than a decade, retirement benefits may also be used to pay alimony. If the marriage failed to last ten years, the spouse who earned the retirement benefits will keep all of them.
Alabama has two types of alimony: “alimony in gross” (i.e. a lump sum payment) , and “periodic alimony” (i.e. an amount paid monthly on an ongoing basis until the recipient spouse remarries or moves in with someone of the opposite sex).