3. Does the state have grounds for divorce?
Alabama does have grounds for divorce. They include:
- Your spouse was impotent at the time you were married and remains incurably so.
- Your spouse has committed adultery — had an affair.
- Your spouse moved out of your home at least a year ago.
- Your spouse has been in jail for at least two years and is sentenced to seven years or longer.
- Your spouse has committed “the crime against nature, whether with mankind or beast, either before or after marriage.” This could include sodomy or other sexual acts.
- Your spouse is habitually drunk or habitually uses drugs.
- You and your spouse testify that you are completely incompatible and cannot live together, and the court agrees.
- Your spouse has been in a mental hospital for at least five years since you’ve been married and the superintendent of that hospital certifies that he or she is incurably insane.
- The court finds that your marriage has broken down and that trying to reconcile is hopeless and not in your best interests.
- Your spouse has been violent toward you or behaves in such a way that you believe you are in danger.
- The wife was pregnant at the time of marriage without her husband’s knowledge.
- The wife has lived independent of her husband and in a different home for at least two years and has been a resident of Alabama during that time.
You cannot be granted a divorce if the court discovers that you or your spouse committed adultery for the purpose of getting a divorce; or if you both have committed adultery; or if one of you committed adultery, the other knew about it, and you continued your married relationship.
4. How does Alabama determine the division of property?
You and your spouse are encouraged to come up with a settlement on your own and present it to the court. If you can’t agree, the court will divide your property for you. Alabama is an equitable distribution state, meaning any marital property is divided as fairly as possible. Not all property is considered marital property. These types of property are separate:
- Property you acquired before you were married, as long as you kept that property separate from property you acquired while you were married.
- Any income your separate property generated, as long as you kept that income separate from property you acquired while you were married.
- Property you acquired via inheritance or a gift.
In deciding how to divide your marital property, the court will consider a number of factors, including:
- How long you were married.
- Whether you or your spouse was married previously.
- You and your spouse’s ages, health, incomes, skills, employability and needs.
- Whether you or your spouse contributed to education or training that increased the other’s earning power.
- You and your spouse’s future income-earning opportunities.
- You and your spouse’s sources of income, including medical, retirement and insurance benefits.
- You and your spouse’s contributions to your marriage in the home, in a career or as parents.
- The value of you and your spouse’s individual property.
- The standard of living you established during your marriage.
- How you and your spouse’s taxes will be affected by any division of property.
- Where your child will live most of the time.