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Grounds for Divorce in Alabama

Grounds for Divorce in Alabama

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Getting divorced involves following legal requirements, including citing specific grounds for the divorce. Always seek guidance from a Huntsville, AL divorce attorney before you begin your case. An attorney can help you decide between no-fault and fault divorce. 

You went into your marriage believing it will last forever, but the reality of marriage in the U.S. today is that more than 22 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce within five years, and 53 percent of marriages dissolve by the 20-year mark. If you have reached that point where divorce is the right choice for you, an experienced Huntsville, Alabama divorce attorney can help guide you through the process of obtaining a divorce.

In Alabama, anyone seeking divorce must cite specific grounds. However, the spouse filing the petition has the option to obtain a divorce under the state’s no-fault grounds or fault-based grounds, and there are pros and cons to each one.

What Are No-Fault Grounds for Divorce in Alabama?

A marital relationship is no different from any ordinary contract entered into between two individuals who intend to be bound by the terms and conditions of that contract. To get out of the marriage contract, the one seeking to get out must have legally acceptable grounds or reasons to break the marriage agreement and end it. 

In Alabama, it is not necessary to prove that the other spouse is responsible for the marriage’s breakdown. Rather, the state allows a spouse to allege one of two no-fault grounds as a reason for the divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or incompatibility.

Irretrievable breakdown simply means that the marriage is hopelessly broken beyond repair, and incompatibility simply means that the spouses can no longer get along. Both these two prongs of no-fault grounds tell a judge hearing the case that at least one spouse in the marriage wants to end it, and this is an acceptable reason for a judge to grant your divorce.

Fault-Based Divorce in Alabama

If your spouse has engaged in misconduct in your marriage, and you wish to use that as the basis to legally end the marriage, then you will be seeking what is known as fault-based divorce. Fault-based divorces require you to prove the misconduct occurred, which can be a messy task. Even if there was misconduct, there is no requirement to file a fault-based divorce, and this is a decision you should weigh carefully with the help of your divorce attorney. 

 There are several grounds for a fault-based divorce acceptable in Alabama, and these include:

  1. Adultery
  2. Domestic violence
  3. Habitual drunkenness
  4. Abandonment for a period of at least 12 months
  5. Pre-marital deceit such as a wife being pregnant at the time of marriage but keeping this a secret from the husband
  6. A mental illness which that a spouse to be institutionalized for at least five consecutive years, and the spouse is incurably insane at the time of divorce is sought
  7. Physically and incurably incapacitated spouse at the time of the marriage 
  8. A crime against nature before, during, or after the marriage

Call a Huntsville, Alabama Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, contact our law office, and we will help you get through the process with peace of mind as you embark on your new life. The team at Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC is ready to help.

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