The term “no-fault” divorce is often overused and misused. For those who are considering getting divorced in Birmingham, AL, it is important to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer who can offer realistic and accurate advice on the options available. Remember, just because something is available does not always mean it is your best choice. Contact Five Points Law Group to get help with your divorce today.
Alabama Grounds for Divorce
Traditionally, one party to a marriage had to bring ‘allegations’ against the other party, claiming that they did something to violate the marriage in order to get a divorce. These were called “grounds” for dissolution of the marriage. Many feel these are antiquated concepts that no longer have a purpose in our society, yet most states still maintain some variation of grounds in their statutes.
In Alabama, the basic grounds for divorcing are:
- Incapacity of one spouse (mental or physical)
- Wife was pregnant at the time of marriage and did not tell the husband
- One person gets sentenced to jail for seven or more years. (grounds after two years in prison)
- Crimes against nature
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Insanity (mental disability for more than five years)
- Domestic Abuse
Divorce Without Grounds
If none of the above grounds exist or you do not wish to bring public allegations against your spouse, you can also plead either of the following:
- Irretrievable breakdown
In general, Alabama courts have a mandatory 30-day waiting period before any order can be granted. Assuming there is no dispute as to the allegations in the petition for dissolution of marriage, you might be able to get divorced in just a little over a month. Of course, in reality, there are generally a number of factors that keep that from happening. For instance, here are a few things that can delay getting your divorce granted:
- Your spouse needs time to consult with an attorney
- There are contested issues, like custody of children or property division
- You require time to resolve debts or sell assets in order to determine the marital estate
- You have difficulty finding or ‘serving’ your spouse with the petition
Making Divorce Simpler
Many people think hiring a lawyer will drag things out and make a divorce more complicated, but this is not true. In fact, people who have been struggling to handle their own divorce for months are often quite surprised at how efficiently and quickly a divorce can be handled once an experienced attorney gets involved. Sometimes simple misunderstandings of a court procedure or a failure to put things into the correct format for a judge can result in documents not being reviewed in a timely fashion or a judge not understanding what you are trying to communicate.
Attorneys who regularly deal with divorce cases can generally navigate the system better to get results. Whatever you do, never try to handle a highly contested divorce involving child custody without consulting an attorney. Even a small mistake could cost you dearly. For a help with all of your divorce and custody questions, call Five Points Law Group today.