Alabama Divorce Law

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

The end of a marriage is never easy. The experienced family lawyers at Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates can provide you with compassionate guidance throughout your Alabama divorce case.

If you’re considering divorce, or your spouse recently filed, please call Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates today at 205-545-7475 today to schedule your free personal consultation. Our office is located in Birmingham, and we serve clients throughout the state of Alabama.

Filing for Divorce in Alabama

For an Alabama circuit court to hear a divorce case, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing. Once the court has received the complaint, at least 30 days must elapse before a divorce can be final.

Divorces in Alabama can be filed on both a no-fault and fault basis. A no-fault divorce simply means that you’ve chosen to end your union because of “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”

In the case of a fault divorce, the complaining spouse must specify grounds for ending the marriage. Alabama recognizes 12 statutory grounds for divorce. These include:

  • Separation for two or more years
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Adultery
  • Confinement to a prison or mental hospital – time periods will vary
  • Incapacity at the time of marriage

Once you’ve filed for divorce, or you’ve received a copy of your spouse’s divorce complaint, our Alabama family lawyers can assist you with each step of the process.

Children in Alabama Divorce Cases

The pain and anxiety of separation can be even harder if you and your spouse have children together. Alabama courts are required to act in the best interests of the child when deciding parental rights and responsibilities such as:

Alabama has established a formula for calculating the amount of child support one or both parents might have to contribute to the care of the child. While the courts generally favor a parenting arrangement that allows both parents meaningful time with their child, a number of factors can affect a judge’s decision on matters like custody and support.

Before the court makes these decisions, our divorce lawyers will build a strong case on your behalf to protect your rights as a parent.

Asset Division and Spousal Support

In many cases, divorcing spouses find it difficult to communicate openly and resolve issues accompanying the end of their marriage. When the parties can’t come to an agreement, the court will divide property according to an “equitable division” standard.

“Equitable” division of property means that assets and debts the parties acquired while married are divided between the spouses, while individual property acquired before or during the marriage is generally allocated solely to that spouse. It’s important to note that “equitable” doesn’t necessarily mean “equal.”

The court might also determine whether one or both spouses are required to pay alimony, known in Alabama as “spousal maintenance.” No formula exists for the awarding of alimony, so the determination of spousal support can vary from case to case.

If you live in Alabama and you’re in the midst of divorce, please contact Jonathan W. Gathings or call 205-545-7475 today to schedule a free review of your case. Our experienced lawyers represent clients in Birmingham and communities throughout the state.