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Legal Separation in Alabama

Legal Separation in Alabama

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Many couples choose legal separation over divorce. There are requirements as well as benefits regarding legal separation in Alabama. To ensure you are going through this process the right way, and get all of your questions answered, hire an experienced attorney.

Divorce is not the only way to take action regarding your marriage. A couple can choose to become legally separated before or instead of divorcing. There are pros and cons to each choice. If you are pursuing separation from your spouse, a knowledgeable Huntsville family lawyer from Cloud, Ryan & Rouse can help you as you enter this new chapter of life. 

Separation versus Divorce in Alabama

Although sometimes interchanged with each other, the legal status of divorce in comparison to separation is legally different. In a divorce, the couple must go through a legal process to:

  • Divide marital assets 
  • Determine custody and child support obligations
  • Ascertain if alimony is necessary for either spouse

At the end of the process, the marriage is legally dissolved. Either party is now free to remarry.

In a legal separation, the couple must decide or have a judge decide on the same legal issues as those who are getting divorced. Once this is done, the couple is still legally married. Even though the marriage seems over in some ways, with the spouses living separate and apart, they are not free to remarry. If they decide they want to remarry another party, they are required to petition the court for a divorce. Whether you intend to remain separated or file for divorce in the future, an experienced Huntsville family attorney can assist you throughout this process. 

Legal Separation Under Alabama Statute

Under Alabama statute, specific requirements must be met for a legal separation. A court order is necessary for a legal separation, and one spouse will need to file a request with the court to begin the process. The filing spouse will need to indicate on the application that at least one spouse:

  • Meets the six-month residency requirement
  • Desires to live separate from the other

The court also requires a legal reason, known as grounds, for your separation petition. Many couples use no-fault grounds, meaning that their marriage has sustained an irretrievable breakdown or that they are incompatible. 

Benefits of a Legal Separation

Couples have their own personal reasons for seeking a separation instead of a divorce. There are many reasons why separation can be beneficial, including:

  • The potential for reconciliation 
  • Avoiding the possible stigma of being divorced
  • One or both spouses has religious, social, or other personal objections to divorce
  • Wanting to live separate and apart, but also desiring a written agreement regarding custody and child support
  • One spouse will be left without medical insurance if they are legally divorced 

Turn to an Experienced Huntsville Family Attorney for Help Today

Relationship issues are always tricky. When they involve the courts, a legal process, and many important life decisions, they can become beyond difficult. However, you do not have to travel this road alone and uninformed. Turn to an experienced Huntsville family attorney to help you as you pursue a legal separation and begin your life anew.

Schedule your consultation with a compassionate Huntsville family attorney today by calling Cloud, Ryan & Rouse at 256-801-1000, or by using our convenient online contact form.

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