Some of the items that are typically exempt from division in the dissolution of marriage include:. The court has discretion in property division matters. If separate property has been used to benefit both spouses, the court might make an exception and divide such items. If spouses can agree on property division, rather than go to court on the issue, the process will be easier and parties will be in more control over the result. Some of the debts and assets typically allocated are:.
Alimony provides financial support to an individual after a divorce. Payments to a former spouse can be required on a temporary or permanent basis. The courts in Alabama will assess the factors of each case to rule on whether alimony should be paid. The criteria a judge will use when determining alimony are:.
For example, the court may consider vested retirement accounts as a source of income for alimony if the marriage lasted for a significant time period. A divorce can create financial instability.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements serve as planning tools in the event of death or divorce. Having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place can offer individuals the ability to protect intended beneficiaries and investments. Other benefits of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement include safeguarding a family business from allocation and giving spouses confidence over property matters.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be useful in any marriage, regardless of the amount of property involved in the union.
Changes in life can happen abruptly, making it necessary to amend the original divorce contracts. Some of the modifications may involve the amount of alimony or child support payments to which an individual is obligated. In the case that a couple has signed a written agreement declaring neither party will seek a modification in a specified area, amendments are possible. Some of the common reasons to alter a divorce settlement include:.
The issues of child custody, visitation and alimony can be impacted by any of these events and warrant an amendment to previously established contracts. If you would like more information about the divorce laws in Alabama or the process of filing for divorce, connect with an experienced local attorney today by filling out the contact form.
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A judge will grant a no-fault divorce when a couple can substantiate one of the following grounds: Incompatibility of temperament, making it impossible for parties to live together Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and reconciliation is unsuccessful Voluntary separation for at least one year prior to filing a divorce petition The grounds for fault divorce in Alabama are: Incapacitation from entering into the marriage state Adultery Imprisonment Deviant sexual behavior Abandonment for at least one year Habitual drunkenness or illegal drug use Incurable insanity for five consecutive years Pregnancy of the wife by a man not her husband Domestic abuse A lawyer can explain the reasons seeking a fault divorce could offer you an advantage in the contested areas of child custody, alimony and property division.
The Divorce Process In Alabama The person that files for divorce is called the plaintiff in Alabama, while the other spouse is named the defendant. Divorce Waiting Period There is a day waiting period from the time the divorce is filed to when a decree can be finalized. Legal Separation In order to file for legal separation in Alabama, one or both parties must be a resident of the state.
Annulment An annulment is a way to end a marriage that will treat the union as though it never legally occurred. In Alabama, a court will accept the following as eligible reasons to nullify a marriage: A person was forced into the marriage.
Vital records and statistics for Alabama are handled by the Center for Health By Alabama law, marriage and divorce records are not private and can be. The Alabama Center for Health Statistics began filing divorce certificates in for Full names before first marriage of both spouses; Date of divorce; County.
A person was underage. A person committed fraud when entering into the marriage. The parties are closely related. Other grounds for which divorce in Alabama may be granted include: adultery, desertion, imprisonment in the penitentiary for certain prolonged periods, addiction to alcohol or drugs, mental incapacity, cruelty, or conditions which existed at the time of the marriage without the knowledge of the other party such as pregnancy and incurable physical problems which keep one spouse from entering into the normal marriage state.
The court has power to order either party to give or convey his or her interests in stock, vehicles or real estate to the other spouse in exchange for the release of marital obligations. Because the parties are most familiar with their own property, the divorcing couple should work out an acceptable division of assets between themselves. Severe tax consequences can result without proper planning in the division of the property. Either a husband or wife may be entitled to alimony if the court determines he or she needs support and the other party is able to pay.
There are two types of alimony: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony is awarded the needy party during the time after a divorce suit is filed while awaiting trial or final court decision.
Permanent alimony is that which is awarded by the court in its final decree. The award of alimony is completely discretionary with the court which considers such factors as the length of the marriage and the age, earning capacity, health, conduct, education, and income of each of the parties.
Alimony is separate and apart from any property division between the parties. The court makes its determination based on the following factors: best interest and welfare of the children, fault of the parties, character and conduct of each parent, age and sex of the children, past care and custody of the children, economic conditions of the parents, preference of the children, and custody agreements between the parties. The parent who does not have custody of the children has the right to visit the children or have them visit him or her.
It is the responsibility of the court to determine the amount that the non-custodial parent is responsible to contribute for support of the minor children. The court must use the Child Support Guidelines adopted by the Alabama Supreme Court in setting the amount of child support, unless the court specifically finds that following the uidelines would be unjust and inappropriate. Child support is paid until the child reaches the age of majority, but can be extended beyond that time under certain circumstances, such as during post majority education college , or where the child is mentally or physically disabled.
Alabama Law — title 30 of the state statutes: Marital and Domestic Relations. Title 30, Chapter 2 covers divorce and alimony.
Title 30, Chapter 3 covers child custody and support. Alabama Legal Materials — contains a searchable Supreme and Appellate court decision database, state agency listings, and a variety of links relating to the Alabama courts from Legal Information Institute, Cornell. In addition, the covered spouse must be receiving benefits, or at least have a vested interest in the benefits, at the time the divorce is filed. The non-covered spouse cannot receive more than half of the benefits eligible for division and cannot begin receiving benefits until the covered spouse either begins receiving benefits or reaches the age of A couple making their own agreement can divide assets in whatever way they see fit.
That was the sixth-highest total in the state. Since the late s, divorce has become more prevalent. Get answers to general questions about divorce in Alabama. Sometimes the spouse wants to drag the divorce out to make the other party suffer. They get the opportunity to go first on most everything.
Some couples have a premarital agreement defining property as separate or marital; if there is a prenup, it can make dividing property much easier. Marital and separate property can become mixed together—sometimes called "commingling. Appraisals can help a couple determine the value of real property as well as items like antiques or artwork. Retirement assets can be very difficult to evaluate and may require the assistance of an actuary, C. Spouses can divide assets by assigning certain items to each spouse, or by selling property and dividing the proceeds.
Others may keep investment property in hopes it will increase in value. The couple must also assign all debt accrued during the marriage, including mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts, to one spouse or the other. There is no fixed formula for determining what is equitable; every case depends on the individual facts and circumstances. Examples of factors that an Alabama court will consider in dividing property are:.
A judge will look at different factors in each case. In general, the longer a couple has been married, the closer to equal a property division is likely to be. In a short marriage, the court may not consider the standard of living during the marriage to be very important and would be more likely to try to put the spouses more or less back into the circumstances they were in before the marriage.
Where one spouse owned a home separately prior to the marriage, a judge may award the original owner a higher percentage of the value even if the house is considered marital property.