Grounds for Divorce in Alabama
Filing for divorce in Alabama is something that no couple enters their marriage planning to do. However, when a marriage dissolves to the point that love and cooperation are irretrievable, filing for divorce may be the only option that a couple has.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Alabama, understanding the grounds for divorce (i.e., the reasons for which you are legally able to seek divorce) is essential. Consider the following grounds for divorce in Alabama, and be sure to contact our experienced Alabama divorce attorneys at Smith & McGhee for help in navigating the family law courts:
Fault-based Grounds for Divorce in Alabama
Most divorces in Alabama are filed on a no-fault basis, which will be discussed in more detail below. However, there are also a handful of fault-based grounds for divorce in Alabama. These grounds for divorce include:
- If your spouse commits adultery, and if you have proof of the adultery, you may seek a divorce based on this ground.
- Abandonment, or desertion, is another ground for divorce in Alabama. You must be able to prove that your spouse left without your consent, that your spouse left without a justifiable reason for doing so, and that you do not know where your spouse is living. You may also claim constructive abandonment, which is when your spouse is still living with you, but has abandoned the married.
- If your spouse is charged with a felony crime or/and imprisoned, you may file for divorce based on imprisonment when your spouse has already been imprisoned for at least two years.
- Living with a spouse who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can be a very difficult thing to do. If your spouse is classified as a habitual drunk or drug addict, you can file for divorce.
- Mental incapacity, or incurable sanity, is a ground for divorce when the mentally incapable spouse has been held in a mental hospital, and when a medical professional has deemed the party incurably ill.
- If a spouse is violent, or if there is the reasonable apprehension of violence, a spouse may file for divorce based on cruelty.
- Existence of problems at time of marriage of which the other party was unaware. A spouse may also file for divorce if, at the time of marriage, the other spouse had certain issues or health complications of which the divorce-seeking party was not aware. For example, if the party was pregnant at the time of marriage, divorce may be sought.
Each of the grounds for divorce listed above can only be sought when certain criteria are fulfilled. Working with an experienced Alabama divorce attorney when you are seeking a fault-based divorce is highly recommended.
No-Fault Grounds for Divorce in Alabama
In addition to each of the fault-based grounds listed above, a party can also file for a no-fault divorce. In most divorce cases in Alabama, divorce is sought on the no-fault ground of “incompatibility,” which simply means that the couple is too incompatible for the marriage to continue existing.
Should I Seek a Fault-Based or No-Fault Divorce in Alabama?
If you want to get a divorce, the court will almost surely grant your divorce regardless of the grounds upon you seek to file your divorce. To be sure, whether you claim your spouse has an addiction or incompatibility probably won’t make much of a difference in terms of dissolving the marriage.
Where fault may make a difference, however, is in how certain issues in a divorce are resolved. For example, fault in a divorce often becomes an important factor for the court to consider when making determinations about things like spousal support, child custody, and division of property.
Contact Our Alabama Divorce Lawyers Today for Counsel You Can Count On
If you are considering divorce in Alabama, our experienced Alabama family law and divorce attorneys at the offices of Smith & McGhee can help you to understand the different grounds for divorce, and which ground is most appropriate for your case. If filing a fault-based ground is best, we can help you to gather the evidence necessary to prove fault, and will advocate for your best interests throughout the entire process. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call us today at (334) 702-1744 or send us a message online.