Filing for divorce in Alabama lets a married couple legally terminate their marriage by filing in the clerk of the circuit court. It’s best to file a no-fault divorce, or “uncontested”, which means both spouses have come to an agreement over the division of property, alimony, and child support.
Table of Contents
- How to File for Divorce in Alabama
- How Long Does it Take?
- Filing Fee ($)
- Court Forms
- Division of Property
- Name Change
- State Laws
- Where to File?
- Requirements (residency and separation)
- Interim Alimony
- Child Support
- Grounds for Divorce
- Division of Property
Statutes – Title 30 (Marital and Domestic Relations)
Where to File – Clerk of the Circuit Court
Residency (§ 30-2-5) – Petitioner must be a resident for at least six (6) months.
Separation – There are no separation requirements in Alabama.
Alimony takes into account the following:
- Length of the marriage;
- Standard of living during the marriage that both became accustomed to living;
- Relative fault in the breakdown of the marriage;
- Age and health of the parties;
- Future employment prospects of each party;
- Contribution of one party to the education or earning ability of the other party;
- The extent by which one party reduced their income or career opportunities for the benefit of the marriage and family;
- Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of property;
- All actual damages and judgments from conduct resulting in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child of the marriage was a victim; and
- Any other factor the court deems equitable under the circumstance.
Interim alimony is money paid by one of the spouses to the other during the divorce process. This may be awarded under any of the following circumstances:
- A spouse maintains the validity of the marriage;
- The spouse needs interim alimony; or
- If the other spouse has the ability to pay interim alimony.
Child support is defined as “Any order, decree, or judgment for the support of a child, or in the case of an order being enforced pursuant to the requirements of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, a spouse or former spouse, issued by a court of this state or, where the context requires, a court or agency of another state or jurisdiction, whether interlocutory or final, including orders issued for any of the following purposes.”
The guidelines for child support are located in Rule 32 of the Judicial Admin. A spouse will have to make child support payments based on the number of children, the income of each spouse, and the custody arrangements.
Child Support Calculator
Grounds for Divorce
A divorce may be filed for any of the following reasons:
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (most common);
- Voluntary abandonment from bed and board for 1 year;
- Imprisonment in a penitentiary of at least 2 years (if the sentence is 7 years or longer);
- Crime against nature (before or during the marriage);
- Being addicted to drugs or alcohol;
- If a spouse has been confined to a mental hospital for at least 5 years;
- In favor of the husband, if the wife was pregnant at the time of marriage without his knowledge;
- In favor of either party if an act of violence has been performed with the intention to endanger someone’s life or health; and
- If the wife has lived separate or outside the bed and has been independent of the husband for 2 years.
Division of Property
Alabama is an follows equitable division