Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Alabama Divorce Court


The law in Alabama divorce court or in any other state includes four main issues:

  • Grounds for divorce
  • Child custody
  • Division of property and debts
  • Child support

Residency Requirements and Where to File:

  • When filing for a divorce in Alabama divorce court, the applicant must be a resident for at least six months prior to filing.
  • The court of common petitions has jurisdiction of all domestic relation matters, and all actions for divorce and annulment shall be brought in the proper county.
  • You can file in the county where your spouse resides, or in the county where the two of you lived when you separated.
  • Alabama needs a 30-day waiting period after the complaint for divorce is filed.

Grounds for Divorce in Alabama

There are some grounds for divorce set out in statute, but most of them need to find fault on the part of one of the parties like:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Habitual drinking of alcohol or drug use
  • Violence against the spouse.

Many divorces these days are granted on the ‘no fault’ grounds of permanent breakdown. If you want to get a no-fault divorce, you should simply state in the divorce papers that the marriage has become ‘insupportable’. This means you and your spouse have quarrels and there's no hope for reconciliation.

How Property gets Divided?

Alabama does not believe that all your property should be divided 50/50. Alabama is an equitable division state. This means that the division of assets and legal responsibility should be fair, but not necessarily equal.

In either case, there’s no inflexible formula. It’s more a sense of who added the property, coupled with who needs help the most, sometimes coupled with who’s done something bad, like adultery or violence. The Judge cautiously decides how to divide everything up.

Alabama Court Awards Child Custody based on the Following Points:

  • Fitness of parents
  • Nature and repute of parents
  • Wish of the parents and any agreements between them regarding this issue
  • Potential for maintaining natural family relations
  • First parental choice of the child, when child is of enough age and capacity to form a balanced judgment
  • Material opportunities affecting the future life of the child
  • Age, health and sex of the child
  • Residences of the parents and chance for visitation
  • Length of separation of the parents.

Here's the general idea of joint child custody statute in Alabama divorce court:

  • Joint custody indicates both joint legal custody and joint physical custody
  • Joint legal custody means sharing of decision-making authority
  • Joint physical custody means healthy contact with both the parents, but does not necessarily mean equal parenting time
  • In spite of the custody arrangement, unless there's a court order opposing it, both parents can access to all information about the child
  • The law doesn't change orders that were already entered.

Alabama divorce court uses guidelines to figure child support. The parent who doesn’t have custody will pay his share of the sum amount based on the percentage of his total income.


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