Rolling With Alabama Divorce Laws

Rolling With Alabama Divorce Laws

College football is the favorite pastime for many people in Alabama.

You will see many of them shouting “Roll Tide!” to cheer on their favorite team. The phrase supposedly came from the players’ jersey’s being stained red from paint on the field.

If you are seeing red in your marriage, divorce laws in Alabama might become important to you.

Divorce laws in Alabama – grounds for divorce

In Alabama, you can still get a divorce on so-called fault grounds.

A fault divorce requires proving that your spouse did something wrong, and it used to be the only way to get divorced. These fault-only divorce systems have fallen out of favor because they would trap people in bad marriages and couples would often fake abuse just to get a divorce.

Today, fault divorces have fallen out of favor and many states have abolished fault divorce.

Alabama still has fault options, but “no-fault” divorces are far more common. The no-fault ground for divorce in Alabama is “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” Even where fault grounds exist the couple will usually use no-fault grounds because they are easier and less divisive.

Divorce Laws in Alabama on adultery

Perhaps the most common fault ground for divorce is adultery.

Adultery is a married person having sexual intercourse with a person that is not their spouse. That is not always exactly what it means to a particular couple.

Many spouses might tell you that kissing another person is cheating, for example. Only intercourse is adultery in the eyes of the law, though.

Alabama divorce laws – abandonment

Another one of the fault grounds that you might still see being used is abandonment.

In Alabama, that typically means that one spouse lives away from the other for one year.

Alabama divorce laws use the term “bed and board” to basically mean the couple is not living together as husband and wife.

Alabama divorce laws – alimony and property division

When a couple gets divorced, the court will usually split up their assets and maybe order one spouse to make ongoing payments to the other.

Those ongoing payments are called alimony, or spousal support, and they are usually just to help one spouse get back on their feet. State of Alabama divorce laws actually allows judges to award alimony to punish one spouse for engaging in “misconduct” during the marriage.

Alabama divorce laws – child custody and support

During a marriage, the couple is jointly responsible for their children.

That changes in a divorce.

The parents will typically share physical custody, which means the child will spend time at each parent’s new home. The parents will also typically share legal custody, meaning the ability to make decisions about the child’s life.

The court has a free hand to order custody “as may seem right and proper,” though.

The court has to consider the child’s well being and can overrule the parents. One parent, usually the one that makes more money or spends less time with the child, will usually pay support to the other parent.

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