Yes, Alabama is a no-fault divorce state. In a no-fault divorce, the party seeking a divorce does not have to prove that their spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.
What Is No-Fault Divorce?
Marriage is a legal contract. Accordingly, an Alabama court can only grant a divorce if the appropriate legal grounds exist. Under Alabama law, a spouse seeking a divorce can cite one of two no-fault grounds for divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or incompatibility.
- Incompatibility means the parties are so incompatible that they can no longer live together.
- Irretrievable breakdown means that any additional attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of the parties and would be futile. If one spouse alleges one of the no-fault grounds, the court may proceed with granting the divorce on this basis.
Pros and Cons of No-Fault Divorce
A no-fault divorce is perhaps the most common type of divorce in Alabama. It is typically quicker and less expensive than a fault-based divorce. It takes less time because you do not have to offer evidence to prove how your spouse’s conduct caused the marriage to fail.
If a couple shares children or significant assets, your divorce attorney may suggest you proceed with a fault-based divorce.
Grounds for a fault-based divorce in Alabama include adultery, incarceration of one spouse, drug or alcohol addiction, and abandonment, among others. In a fault-based divorce, the petitioning spouse must provide evidence to support the grounds they’re using to file for divorce.
At Leigh Daniel Family Law, a knowledgeable and compassionate divorce attorney can assess your circumstances and advise whether pursuing a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce best serves your interests.
Steps To File a No-Fault Divorce in Alabama
It is important to retain an experienced Alabama divorce lawyer to help you prepare and file your no-fault divorce. These are the steps in a no-fault divorce:
- Meet residency requirements – You or your spouse must be a resident of Alabama for six months before filing. The divorce pleadings must also be filed in the county of residence.
- Complete the necessary pleadings – Alabama offers a streamlined process for couples filing for divorce who have no children, no significant assets, no real estate, and no joint debts and who have already divided any personal property. By filing a Divorce Complaint, the couple can request a divorce with very little court intervention. If the couple has children, real estate, and joint assets and liabilities, their divorce will be initiated by one party filing a Petition for Divorce. Given the contentious nature of divorce proceedings, having a lawyer on your side to protect your legal rights is essential.
- File the pleadings – When you file the initial pleading, you will also pay a filing fee. This places the case on the court’s docket. Your attorney will keep track of important filing deadlines and requirements so you can focus on what comes next in your life.
Get in Touch with Our Experienced Madison County Divorce Attorneys
At Leigh Daniel Family Law, we strive to provide positive support for whatever difficult family law matter you may be facing. Our compassionate team of family lawyers looks forward to discussing how we can assist you with a no-fault divorce. Call today for a case consultation.