Alabama Divorce Laws Explained
Alabama Residency Requirements For Divorce
In order to file Alabama divorce forms, either spouse or both spouses must be a resident of the state for at least six months.
Grounds For Divorce In Alabama
Alabama recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce.
Alabama no-fault grounds for divorce include:
- irretrievable breakdown of the marriage;
- voluntary separation for over one year;
- complete incompatibility of temperament.
Alabama fault grounds for divorce include, but are not limited to:
- living separately without cohabitation for over two years without husband supporting wife (the wife must file under this fault ground);
- substance abuse;
- physical abuse, or fear that physical abuse may occur;
- confinement for incurable insanity for at least 3 years.
Alabama Child Custody
Custody may be granted to either parent or joint custody may be agreed upon by the parents, or awarded by the court. Joint child custody in an Alabama affords the parents equal decision making power, but not necessarily equal physical custody of the child.
Factors to consider in making child custody decisions for a divorce in Alabama include:
- age and sex of the child;
- safety and well being of the child;
- character and experience of the parents;
- desires of a mature child.
Alabama Child Support Guidelines
Unless special circumstances are present, the courts calculate child support based on the official child support guidelines.There are two forms required in every child support case: a standardized child support guidelines form, and child support income affidavit. Child support will continue until the child reaches adulthood, and may be extended through his or her secondary education.
Divorce petitions and Alabama divorce papers may be filed in: the petitioner’s county of residence, the county in which the couple resided when the separation occurred, or in the respondent’s county of residence if the petitioner is not an Alabama resident.
The mediation option is available in Alabama, but there is currently no legal provision concerning mediation in Alabama divorce law.