To file for a contested divorce in Alabama the case must be heard first, in the county where the defendant resides, second in the county of the couple prior to the separation and third in the county of the petitioner. Once the appropriate jurisdiction has been reached, the divorce petition is filed which includes the potential grounds for divorce. At least one of the spouses must be a resident of Alabama for six months before the court will agree to hear the divorce case. Proving these grounds for divorce is essential to a fault-based divorce and the loser of this legal action will bear a severe financial penalty assessed by the spouse.
No fault divorce
If the idea of a contested divorce in Alabama does not appeal to you, there is a provision to file a no-contest divorce with the spouse. There are no grounds to a no fault divorce, just martial incompatibility. No fault divorces do not focus on assigning blame for the failure of the marriage and instead focus on dividing the assets appropriately, determining custody of child and facilitating a quick and painless divorce. You may consider a no fault divorce if you are concerned about legal fees or having an extensive, fault base divorce, hurting children from the marriage.
Negotiating through a contested divorce
As is the case with all Alabama contested divorces, the two parties may negotiate their way to a settlement that will be certified and finalized in court. This minimizes potential legal fees and helps both sides to avoid lengthy court battles. The contested divorce can be made to be uncontested at any time through negotiation, but in the same vein, the uncontested divorce will become contested when the parties do not agree. In either situation, the position of the court does not change and both parties will move towards a judgment, based on the merits of their claims, on the final divorce agreement.
Grounds for divorce in Alabama
If you are pursuing a contested Alabama divorce, you need to know the ground for divorce so you may prove fault on the part of the spouse.
– Adultery: any sexual relations outside of the marriage are grounds for divorce
– Drug addiction or habitual drunkenness: if the spouse has undergone treatment or has criminal penalties for this behavior, it will be easier to prove fault. This includes opium, morphine, cocaine and other “like” drugs
– Bestiality: the Alabama statute also implies that homosexuality is a crime against nature by stating “The commission of the crime against nature, whether with mankind or beast.” This is applied to relations before and after the marriage.
– Imprisonment: Sentences to a seven year imprisonment, with two of those years already served.
– Confinement to a mental hospital for five successive years with no hope in the improving condition of the spouse
– Pregnancy: if the wife was pregnant without the knowledge of the husband
– Domestic violence: actual violence against spouse or reasonable apprehension of violence.