What You Need to Know About Filing for Divorce in Alabama

A divorce legally ends a marriage. Divorce is a common legal proceeding in the United States. Divorce is often challenging and can have long term impacts on divorcing spouses, their family members, and their children. Alabama has multiple regulations and requirements for divorce, including residency requirements.

To file for divorce in Alabama, you must meet Alabama’s residency requirements. You must have sufficient grounds to file for divorce, such as adultery. In Alabama, there is a fee to file for divorce. Alimony and child custody are issues that are settled during the divorce process in Alabama.

Steps to the Alabama Divorce Process

To file for divorce in Alabama, you must be sure that you meet Alabama’s residency requirements. You also must have grounds for divorce in Alabama. A ground for divorce is the basis on which a court will grant a legal divorce. Afterwards, you must fill out divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse. You can access Alabama’s divorce complaint forms here.

At this point, the spouse will either agree or disagree to the conditions of the divorce papers. If they agree, this is an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces are the most common type of divorce. In an uncontested divorce, spouses will engage in a written marital agreement outlining divorce terms like child custody and alimony.

Related: Types of Divorce: What Are My Divorce Options?

If the spouse disagrees with the conditions of the divorce papers, they can contest the divorce in Alabama. If a spouse contests the divorce, both spouses must go to court to work out the terms and conditions of the divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in Alabama

There are various grounds for divorce in Alabama. Adultery is a ground for divorce in Alabama. Abandonment for at least one year is a ground for divorce in Alabama. If your spouse has been imprisoned for 2 years and their prison sentence is 7 years or longer, that is grounds for divorce in Alabama. If your spouse becomes addicted to alcohol, opium, morphine, or cocaine after your marriage, you are able to get a divorce in Alabama.

Other grounds for divorce in Alabama include:

  • Mental incapacity
  • Cruelty
  • Incurable physical problems that existed at time of marriage
  • Pregnancy where the paternity of the father is in question at time of marriage

Alabama Divorce Residency Requirements

Residency requirements determine how long a person must live in Alabama prior to filing for divorce in the state. There are various scenarios to note when understanding residency requirements for divorce in Alabama. If both spouses are residents of Alabama, they may file for divorce in Alabama at any time.

In divorce cases, the plaintiff is the spouse filing for divorce. If the plaintiff is a resident of Alabama but the defendant is not, the plaintiff must be a resident of Alabama for 6 months prior to filing for divorce. If the defendant is an Alabama resident but the plaintiff is not, they may file for divorce in Alabama at any time.

Related: 9 Divorce Options: Which is Right For Me?

FAQs about Filing for Divorce in Alabama

Am I able to receive temporary alimony during divorce proceedings in Alabama?

Yes, you are able to receive temporary alimony during divorce proceedings in Alabama. Alimony, or spousal support, is when one former spouse pays financial support to their former spouse. However, temporary alimony depends on factors such as:

  • Financial situation
  • Standard of living established during marriage
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Social position
  • Length of the marriage
  • Conduct of both parties

How much does a divorce cost in Alabama?

Depending on your county, there is a $200-$400 fee to file for divorce in Alabama. However you may be able to obtain a fee waiver depending on your economic circumstances. Be aware that it is likely that you will have to pay attorney fees over the course of the divorce proceedings.

Can a lawyer represent both spouses in a divorce case?

No. A lawyer cannot represent both divorcing spouses in Alabama.

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If you or a loved one would like to learn more about File for Divorce Alabama, get your free consultation with one of our Divorce Attorneys in Alabama today!