What are Grounds for Divorce in Alabama?

What are Grounds for Divorce in Alabama?

People who enter a marriage usually believe that it will last forever. However, this is not always the case and divorces are common. The process of divorce can be long and exhausting for spouses, as there are many steps to be taken before it is official. To begin, spouses are required to cite grounds for divorce. While many people believe there is always “fault” in a divorce, it is possible for fault to not be involved. Spouses in the state of Alabama can cite either fault or no-fault grounds to begin their divorce proceedings. If you are looking to file for divorce, contact an experienced Alabama divorce attorney for guidance with these matters. 

Fault Grounds

It is an unfortunate reality that not all marriages go as planned. In some cases, one partner may partake in actions that cause their spouse to want to end the relationship. When a spouse finds themselves in this situation, they may be able to cite fault grounds for their divorce. In doing so, they intend to hold their spouse responsible for the end of their marriage. Actions that can call for citing fault grounds in Alabama can include but are not limited to:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty/violence
  • Pregnancy unknown to the husband
  • Incarceration for two years with total jail time exceeding seven years
  • Substance abuse
  • Institutionalization 
  • Institutionalization in a mental hospital for at least five years

When considering filing for divorce, many spouses worry about whether or not they should cite fault grounds. This is usually because they do not want to participate in litigation or if they do not want to cause further problems, as the other spouse can respond to this claim. However, while this may be, it is important to know that citing fault grounds does not impact the outcome of divorce proceedings.

No-Fault Grounds

Divorces are not always the result of one spouse’s wrongdoings. Sometimes, there is no fault in a marriage, it just simply does not work. If a marriage has broken down and cannot be fixed, no-fault grounds can be cited for a divorce. This may be the case in the event of one of the following circumstances:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage of two years
  • Voluntary abandonment for one year
  • Incompatibility of temperament

Spouses who cite no-fault grounds must reach an agreement regarding their marital issues before going through an uncontested divorce. This means they are required to settle child custody, child support, alimony, the division of assets, and more. Once these decisions are made, they can participate in various methods of divorce. This does not always mean litigation but can include mediation, a collaborative divorce, or arbitration. 

Contact our Firm

Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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