Alabama Divorce Laws

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A divorce is a process of ending a marriage in legal terms. It involves the many formalities and steps that are based on the legal provisions mentioned in the Family Laws of that particular state. As the state laws are different in each state of United States, it is necessary to have information about the basic requirements before applying for a separation. Here is a brief account of Alabama divorce laws.

Residency requirements in Alabama

The first requirement when applying for a divorce in Alabama is to meet the residency requirements. This needs to be fulfilled either by an applicant or the spouse. The applicant should be a certified resident of the state for six months prior to the application for it. Thus, an application will not be entertained by the court if the residency requirements are not met.

Alabama divorce laws regarding child support

The Income Shares Model is used in this state to determine child support. Out of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration, Rule 32 is applied by the court. The background of the theory is that the child ought to get support as if the parents were together even after the separation is granted. While deciding the child support amount, many factors are taken into consideration. The child support calculator can be used to have the exact amount to be paid. Before going for a decision of requesting a child support, a partner must have a fixed and suitable parenting plan. That will help to provide the accurate nature of expenses that are required throughout the development of a child.

Alabama divorce laws regarding child custody

As per the policy of this state, minor children should enjoy continuous and frequent contact with parents so that the best interest of the children is protected. It is also the policy of this state that after the parents are separated they should be inspired to share the responsibilities and rights of bringing up the children.

The Court awards that type of custody which is in the best interests of the child. If the court awards joint custody, this is not an indication of equal physical custody. The following factors are considered by the Court while making a decision regarding custody:

  • The geographical closeness of the parents to one another to assess the practicality of joint physical custody.
  • Any potential or history of kidnapping, spouse abuse and child abuse.
  • The capacity of one parent to inspire sharing of contact, affection and love amongst the other parent and the child.
  • The past and present capacity of the parents to make joint decisions and cooperate with one another.
  • Whether the parents agree or disagree for joint custody.

Child visitation is a form of parenting plan. It is a contribution made by the other parent to whom the custody is not awarded. Under child visitation, the parent is allowed to spend some quality time with the children according to the schedule.

Change in name of wife

The divorcing wife has to submit a request in order to begin using her previous surname or her maiden name. Chapter 2 Section 30-2-11 of the Alabama State Divorce Code is dedicated to this topic.

Spousal support

The Court awards alimony to one spouse depending on the need of this spouse and the capacity of the other spouse to pay. Any property that is obtained as a gift or an inheritance or before the marriage of the two parties is not considered while deciding the amount of spousal support. If one of the grounds of the divorce is fault, then the judge reserves the right to study the circumstances and accept or reject the allowance to one spouse from the estate of other. Spousal support is generally paid in lump-sum amount in advance. Otherwise, the spouse can request to the court to have spousal maintenance on a monthly basis.

Division of property

Alabama is an "equitable property" state. That is, if the couple is unable to produce any agreement on the property issue in front of the court, the judge shall divide the property equitably and justifiably between partners. Chapter 4 Section 30-4-1 and 30-4-5 of the Alabama State Divorce Code states that, when the parties do not mutually agree regarding the division of property, the Court distributes it, but not essentially equally. As per the laws of the state, the following types of property are separate property of the wife for which the husband is not responsible in any way:

  • Property held prior to the marriage
  • Property due to inheritance or descent
  • Property due to conveyance, contract, bequest, devise or gift
  • Property from husband as a contract or as a gift

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