Popular conversation starters with me tend to lean towards, “Why do people get divorced?” I’ve been asked this question dozens of times over the course of my career. The reasons are varied. And in Alabama, you don’t have to espouse a reason. We are a no fault state, meaning in simple terms, you don’t have to prove fault. It’s very sad when I meet clients who ask me, “But why would they divorce me?” I have to tell them, they don’t have to have a why. Even though not knowing seems to be even more painful than the alternative. The clients are left questioning.
If it’s a contested divorce, you have two mechanisms to ferret out the answer. In the discovery process, you can have your lawyer ask why in the interrogatories (questions answered under oath that can be used against you) or can ask in deposition (questions asked in person under oath which can be used against you). Or you can have your lawyer ask them on the stand in trial. Even then though, they can be vague and say things like, “We don’t get along” or “We’ve grown apart”. The language for no fault divorce in Alabama is usually, “incompatibility of temperament”.
If you are still waiting for my opinion…
The Following Are the Reasons People Get Divorced
- Long term marriage and they’ve become different people
- Arguments over finances
- Arguments over family members interference
- Arguments over child raising
- Not spending enough time with the family
- Verbally abusive behavior
- Physical abuse
- Alcoholism and addiction
- Mental health issues
The reasons people get divorced are usually a derivation of the above. It’s heartbreaking to see parties divorce when one party is still in love with the other. I’ve seen clients become obsessed with finding out why their spouse is leaving them. In the end, most of the times it isn’t going to be of consequence to the Court except with the adultery, and issues with addiction or physical abuse.
My Perspective as a Family Law Attorney
It’s difficult to tell your client that we can present evidence until the cows come home that he or she was a terrible spouse and they are just going to want us to get to the assets and liabilities. The Court simply doesn’t have time to listen to the stories of why the marriage fell apart. I’ve seen thousands of dollars wasted in litigation merely to prove a point. Please don’t do that. I counsel my clients on what is important and don’t “stir the pot” just to engage in further litigation. It’s not benefitting the client to go to Court to show what a jerk their spouse was.
It’s rare that you can describe the intricacies of the marriage’s demise over the course of the trial. The better place to air your grievances is with a competent counselor who can help you deal with the aftermath of the divorce. We have a good relationship with therapists and counselors who are able to guide you through to the other side and to happier days. Most of the time, when I see clients after their divorce, they are always in a much better place than before.