General Idea about the Legal Separation in Alabamaa
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The legal separation in Alabama does not legally terminate the marital status of the couple. They remain technically married even after being legally separated. This provision is recognized by the statute and the parties have to prepare the documents accordingly to make the separation legal. The lay out and the definition of the legal separation in Alabama is defined by the statute and the provisions are made accordingly.
A separation is a legal way to experience being divorced by the partners. It acts as a trial separation where the couple sorts the marital issues and try to give a second chance to their marriage. One good thing about the legal separation in Alabama is that it can be dissolved. The couple has to file a joint petition saying that they have reconciled and the decree of separation is revoked.
Requirements for Legal Separation in Alabama:
There are few primary requirements for legal separation in Alabama. These requirements have to be met to get a legal separation according to the statute of Alabama. These requirements are as follows:
Separation Agreement in Alabama:
- The jurisdictional requirements such as the residency requirement has to be met. Either of the parties has to be the resident of the state at least 6 months before the date of filing. Besides, if both the partners live elsewhere, the marriage should at least have taken place in Alabama.
- The couple should state that they have irreconcilable differences that has caused an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, which has made it impossible for the couple to spend their life together. This can be used as the sole ground for legal separation.
- The couple has to sign a separation agreement that deals with all the marital issues such as child care, health care, financial issues, property settlement and other issues. This separation agreement acts as a guideline for the eventual divorce settlement.
As mentioned above, signing the separation agreement is an important requirement to get a legal separation in Alabama. This separation agreement deals with 5 important issues that arise due to separation. These issues are as follows:
Property Settlement – The property settlement in Alabama is done according to the principal of equitable distribution. This means that the property is divided in such a way that the distribution is fair for both the parties. The distribution is not 50 – 50, but all the assets and responsibilities are divided in a beneficial way for both the parties. The property distribution in the state of Alabama is as follows:
- Property acquired before marriage – defined as individual property and remains with the owner.
- Individual Property – is not divided and handed over to the partner who purchased it. In this case, buyer is the keeper.
- Rewards such as inheritance, gifts or other possessions - remain with the owner regardless of who bought them.
- Investment, pension and retirement plans before marriage – remain with the partner who invested and are not divided. However, if the amount is increased after the marriage, it is divided.
Spousal Support – The spousal support is also termed as alimony. There are two types of alimony and the parties can mutually choose the type of the payment of this amount. These types are as follows:
- Periodic Alimony – This type of spousal support is paid in installments at a specific time interval. It can be monthly, quarterly or after every six months.
- Gross Alimony – This type of spousal support is paid as a lump sum amount for only a single time when the court grants the separation to the couple.
Usually, the amount of spousal support is determined by the court as this is the area that is the most conflictive of all. While determining the amount, the court takes into account the earning capacity, the source of income, the lifestyle, the standard of life established during the marriage, other responsibilities on both the parties and other important factors that affect the financial position of the couple.
- Child Custody – The custody arrangement is supposed to be done by the parents who have their children's best interests always on their mind. As per the court's instructions, the minor child is supposed to have a regular contact with both the parents as it is his / her emotional need to have both the parents present in his / her life. The court usually encourage the parents to have a joint custody so that both the parents can actively participate in the child's life. However, while awarding the joint custody, the court examines whether the parents can cooperate with each other for the sake of their children. If they have a cordial relationship, they can make the joint custody work. Otherwise, it would be an entire different issue with lot of conflicts.
Child Support – The amount of child support is determined as per the number of the children a couple has. Each partner is supposed to pay a specific percentage of their net income as the child support amount. These percentages are as follows:
While determining the child support amount, the income of both the parents; combined and individual income, source of income, number of minor children and the number of children who have completed the high school also is considered.
- child – 20%
- children – 25%
- children – 30%
- children – 35%
- children – 40%
- children or more – 45%
- Parenting Plan – Parents are supposed to mutually prepare a parenting plan with complete visitation schedule that consists of the weekly visits, yearly visits, breaks, vacations, special days, birthdays etc. If the parents fail to prepare a plan, the court intervenes and imposes a plan that may not be convenient or fair for both the parties.