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Alabama Divorce Laws

Just as states have regulations on the marriage process, they also have legal requirements for divorce that define the procedures a person must go through in order to get divorced.

This is an introduction to the legal requirements for divorce in Alabama.

Alabama Divorce Laws: The Basics

Alabama has a six-month residency requirement to file for divorce, and a 30-day waiting period before a divorce can be final. Along with an “irretrievable breakdown" (i.e., no fault, which all 50 states permit) of the marriage, the standard grounds for divorce in Alabama include adultery, cruelty, incurable insanity, and “the commission of the crime against nature, whether with mankind or beast, either before or after marriage."

Divorce statutes in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

Code of Alabama § 30-2-1, et sq.,: Divorce and Alimony

Residency Requirements

At least one party must be a resident and must have resided 6 months prior to filing

Waiting Period

30 days from the date of the filing of the summons and complaint

'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Irretrievable breakdown

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Condonation (not if parties connived to commit adultery) and collusion (antiquated yet still on the books)

Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; cruelty or violence; voluntary abandonment from bed or board for 1 yr.; drug/alcohol addiction after marriage; insanity (in mental hosp. for 5 successive yrs.); pregnant at the time of marriage without husband's knowledge; imprisonment for 2 yrs. if the sentence is 7 yrs. or longer; crime against nature with mankind or beast before or after marriage; incompatible temperaments; wife lived apart for 2 years without husband's support while she's residing in the state; at time of marriage, incapacitated from entering married state.

No Fault Divorce Laws

Alabama, along with many states, offers what is referred to as a “no fault" divorce, wherein you do not have to prove or even allege any specific wrongdoing in order to get divorced. Instead, you only have to show the court that “there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and that further attempts at reconciliation are impractical or futile and not in the best interests of the parties or family." There are also legal alternatives to divorce, known as annulment and legal separation. Each has separate requirements and may only apply to certain circumstances.

You should also know that if you and your soon-to-be ex have any children together, Alabama child custody laws may apply to your case, as well as state laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement.

Getting Divorced in Alabama? An Attorney Can Help

Even in the best of circumstances, a divorce can be emotionally and legally challenging. An attorney will understand the process and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome.

You can get started today by speaking with an experienced Alabama divorce attorney, who can give you the best advice and represent you in court.

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