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So, you want a DIVORCE… Can you get one in Alabama?

I'll bet that when you got married you didn’t go into your ceremony contemplating divorce. Some people do… Some people go into a marriage with their eyes wide open by drafting prenuptial agreements and the like. However, a vast majority of people do not. Whether you are one of those people or not, you’ve reached the point in your life where you are considering a divorce. In Alabama, state law prescribed specific circumstances in which you may get divorce including the following:

  • If your spouse commits adultery

  • If “at the time of the marriage [your spouse is] physically and incurably incapacitated from entering into the marriage state.”

  • If your spouse voluntarily abandons the marital bed for at least one year

  • If your spouse is serving time in a penitentiary for two years on a sentence of seven or more years.

  • If your spouse commits a “crime against nature.”

  • If your spouse becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs after you’re married.

  • If there is a “complete incompatibility of temperament that [you] can no longer live together.”

  • If your spouse is confined to a mental institution for five successive years

  • If there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and that further attempts at reconciliation are impractical or futile and not in the best interests”

  • If the wife is pregnant at the time of the marriage and fails to inform the husband before entering into the marriage.

  • If the wife has lived separately from the husband without his support for at least 2 years.

If you have grounds for divorce in your marriage, you must then establish jurisdiction with the court before you are able to commence divorce proceedings. The circuit court of the county where the defending spouse resides will have jurisdiction. Additionally, the circuit court where you and your spouse resided at separation. If the defending spouse is not a resident, then the circuit court of the county in which you reside has jurisdiction. In Alabama. If the defending spouse is not a resident, the filing spouse (plaintiff) must have been a resident of this state for at least six months preceding the divorce proceedings.

Before making a decision to divorce, it is also wise to consider alternatives to getting a divorce. Some alternative options include marital counseling, mediation, and legal separation. If you do decide that getting a divorce is the right decision for you, you should make an informed decision. These (above) are just the basics of starting divorce proceedings in Alabama. The laws regarding marriage and divorce can be found in Title 30 of the Code of Alabama. When assessing these laws in regard to your individual situation, it is always best to consult an attorney. There are many aspects to divorce and an experienced divorce attorney will understand how to best handle your case.