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What those considering a divorce should know about Alabama law

There is at least one family law statistic with which everyone is familiar: 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. While this number has varied over the years, the simple reality is that there is a very real chance that a couple will not remain together "till death do them part" despite their best efforts.

When a spouse or couple does arrive at the difficult decision to end their marriage, it's important for them to understand that there are certain legal requirements set forth by the state of Alabama that must be satisfied in order to make this happen.

What are these legal requirements?   

The baseline requirement for securing a divorce is that at least one of the spouses must be a resident of the Yellowhammer State and have lived here for at least six months prior to the filing.

Furthermore, the law dictates that a divorce can't be finalized until 30 days have passed from the filing of the summons and complaint, meaning no quickie divorces.

Do I need to have grounds for the divorce?

While an individual seeking a divorce will technically have to cite grounds for the divorce, meaning a legal reason, it's important to understand that Alabama is a no-fault divorce state.

This means that a person need only declare 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." In other words, they don’t have to allege or demonstrate any specific transgression.

This isn't to say that a person can't cite specific grounds for a divorce. Indeed, state law recognizes multiple grounds for divorce, including adultery, voluntary abandonment and imprisonment, to name only a few.

What about remarriage?

As anxious as a person might be the move on from their marriage, state law provides that neither spouse can remarry, except to each another, until 60 days have passed since the entrance of the final divorce order. Furthermore, if an appeal is filed by either spouse during this 60-day window, remarriage is prohibited, except to each another, until the matter is resolved.  

Here's hoping the foregoing information has proven helpful. If you have questions or are ready to proceed with a divorce, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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