However, parties could enter into an agreement to split retirement accounts, even if they had been married for less than 10 years. This will ask basic identification information as well as the grounds for divorce such as irrevocable relationship breakdown or spousal abandonment. Dagney Johnson is a lawyer who represents clients in family, criminal defense, and personal injury matters in Alabama. Instead, abandonment is part of the state’s law relating to divorce. One of the most significant impacts of abandonment on your divorce is that you may struggle to negotiate any terms with your spouse. It’s important to review your state’s residency requirements, which often require you or your spouse to live in the state for a specific period of time before you file. Marital and Domestic Relations Section 30-2-1. According to Alabama law, you can divorce your spouse for their “voluntary abandonment … It should be noted that any premarital debt acquired by one spouse is their debt exclusively, unless the other spouse added to that particular account (such … In addition, if one spouse flees from an abusive partner, that is also not abandonment. from Birmingham School of Law and was admitted to practice law in 2003. There are not separate abandonment laws in Alabama. If you’re filing the paperwork for divorce, you will need to prove to the court that you’re a resident of Alabama and you have been for at least 6 months before you file. Your Guide to Alabama Abandonment Law Voluntary Abandonment. Voluntary abandonment for a period of at least one year may serve as a ground for divorce. To really get the ball rolling on an uncontested divorce Alabama, one party needs to file the form entitled the Complaint for Divorce. According to Alabama law, you can divorce your spouse for their “voluntary abandonment of bed and board” for one year or more as of the time you file for divorce. We are providing this Alabama divorce information as a reference guide to help you through the process. Alabama offers no-fault divorces based on incompatibility, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and voluntary abandonment, and fault divorces based on physical incapability, adultery, imprisonment, drunkenness and addiction, insanity, wife's pregnancy by another man, domestic violence, and living separate and apart from the bed and board of the husband for two years. Disclaimer: Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. You will also have to present evidence that your spouse left with the intent to end the marriage. In Alabama, abandonment is one of the fault grounds for divorce. What Constitutes Abandonment? Hopefully this will clear things up. Alabama Code 1975, 30-2-1(a)(3) states: The circuit court has power to divorce persons from the bonds of matrimony, upon… Read the code on FindLaw This situation must be voluntary, so you cannot claim abandonment if you kicked your spouse out. Additional payment options are available in the divorce portal. If you are filing an abandonment divorce, it can impact other issues in your divorce. Like most other states, Alabama may grant a no-fault divorce based on the grounds: the marriage is irretrievably broken; spousal incompatibility; voluntary abandonment Filing a divorce using abandonment as the ground for your request, you’ll first need to file a petition for divorce with your local court. Don’t assume what your spouse will do or want. In fact, it is my opinion that hiring an uncontested attorney can have the opposite effect if your spouse hires an experienced contested Alabama divorce attorney. Alabama Code Title 30. Under Ala. Code 30-2-1(a)(7), either husband or wife can sue for divorce based solely upon incompatibility. However, your spouse’s desertion will have no effect on property distribution or potential spousal support you might receive, … If you file and don’t meet all the requirements, the judge may deny your divorce, and … Abandonment in the state of Alabama can also greatly influence how custody issues are decided. A spouse can claim abandonment if the other spouse has left without discussion or any plans for support and payments for mortgages and other necessities. This page provides all of the forms you need to initiate your do-it-yourself divorce in Alabama. However, it is possible to file your own divorce in Alabama for no more than the state divorce form filing fees. There are no continued marital relations, including companionship and sexual relations, in an abandonment. Hiring an uncontested Alabama divorce lawyer does not give your spouse a reason to settle. Child custody, however, is always based on what is best for the children. Instead, abandonment is part of the state’s law relating to divorce. Abandonment. In many situations, custody that is granted temporarily because the other spouse has left the marital home eventually turns into permanent custody of the children. Individuals also frequently benefit from understanding the impact and role that abandonment claims play during a Birmingham divorce. It seems that everyone "knows" the laws regarding abandonment in Alabama, and hardly anyone actually does. Abandonment can also be the cause of termination of parental rights. To add insult to injury, divorce proceedings can take years and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. Because all U.S. states have adopted no-fault divorce laws, it is not necessary to prove fault in order to divorce. When one spouse abandons the other, there may be no opportunity to discuss these things until a claim has been filed and the court is involved. Alabama has two abandonment grounds for divorce: one is fault-based and the other is no-fault. In Alabama, abandonment is one of many grounds for divorce. Men and women are treated equally by the court. As a result of the influential nature of abandonment, individuals who abandon a spouse must understand that this decision can have several negative long term consequences. To satisfy Alabama’s abandonment requirements, individuals must demonstrate that a spouse was absent from both the marital home and relationship for at least one year prior to the initiation of the divorce. The Alabama State Bar requires the following statement: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. In other words, Alabama law recognizes a "no-fault" divorce. If you want to learn more about Alabama divorce laws and abandonment claims, contact our law office today at (205) 937-6564. The parent who shows that he or she has been the day-to-day caretaker will generally … Customized divorces and complex cases can range from $5,000 to more than $100,000, depending on a variety of factors, such as case complexity, assets, and child custody. If an abandoned spouse decides to file for divorce, he or she can file on one of two grounds: voluntary or involuntary abandonment. Under longstanding Alabama law, a divorce court could not allow one party a share of the other’s retirement account unless the couple had been married for at least 10 years. Here, we will discuss what you need to know about Alabama divorce laws and marital abandonment. Your spouse can be considered to have abandoned the marriage if they moved out and you have little to no contact with them. If you do this, you only have to wait a year before filing for divorce. For example, if one spouse abandons the other and stops contributing financially, a court may award the abandoned spouse an increased alimony award to make up for the lack of financial assistance. Abandonment and Desertion in Divorce Information Provided by: Divorce Source, Inc. What is Abandonment? State law defines voluntary abandonment as a continuous absence from the marriage "bed and board." The parent who is left behind with children often automatically has custody over the couple’s children. Judges are allowed to make decisions that take into consideration an individual’s abandonment or other types of misconduct. Our personal style of representation will help you move forward during this confusing time while making sure you are comfortable with every step of the process. Additionally, you need to file the paperwork in the county where your spouse lives, or where you were both living when you separated. In an uncontested divorce, you may file in any Alabama county as long as you or your spouse has resided in the state for at least six months. A divorce based on abandonment cannot be filed immediately following the act of desertion. If you file on fault grounds, you are claiming that the marriage failed because of the other spouse’s actions. Abandonment means that one spouse has left the other spouse without consent. At the Dagney Johnson Law Group, our Birmingham divorce attorneys are ready to discuss the details of your case. Abandonment means that one spouse has left the other spouse without consent. Couples often agree on many aspects of property division, child visitation, and other divorce issues. This means that they will be divided fairly and equitably, although not necessarily on a 50/50 basis. In the event that the other spouse’s address cannot be found, individuals initiating a divorce are required to provide a court of law with a sworn statement regarding the situation. Residency Requirement: To file for divorce in Alabama, one of the spouses must have been a bona fide resident of the state for six months prior to the filing of the Complaint. In Alabama, a continuous absence from the marriage “bed and board” is considered voluntary abandonment. If an absent spouse does not reply within a specific time period, the divorce process may also still continue. If you’re ready to hire a family attorney, there are many ways of getting in touch: Alabama law establishes certain regulations governing how divorce occurs within the state. For example, Jennifer files for divorce claiming that her husband, James, abandoned her just over a year ago. Uncontested Alabama divorce attorneys are usually not trial attorneys. Alabama Code - Section 13A-13-5: ABANDONMENT OF CHILD (a) A man or woman commits the crime of abandonment of a child when, being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than 18 years old, he or she deserts such child in any place with intent wholly to abandon it. The abandonment must also continue for a year or more before you can claim it as grounds for divorce. Individuals who seek to claim abandonment as a grounds for a divorce often require the assistance of experienced Birmingham divorce attorney who can help in a variety of situations including making sure that individuals present ample evidence to a court of law that abandonment occurred. If you file on fault grounds, you are claiming that the marriage failed because of the other spouse’s actions. In Alabama, marital abandonment is grounds for an at-fault divorce, and the absent spouse may face consequences when the time comes for asset division, alimony, child custody, and child support. Alabama Misconduct During Marriage While Alabama’s no-fault divorce law allows couples to file for and receive a divorce absent a finding of wrong-doing by either party, there may be good reason to pursue a fault-based divorce when the other spouse engaged in marital misconduct. Grounds for Divorce in Alabama. Residency Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Alabama, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. For example, if your spouse has stopped contributing to your household financially or has ceased to perform childcare duties in addition to moving out, this is considered abandonment. Debts in Alabama are treated just like assets in a divorce. The no-fault ground requires that the abandonment must be voluntary. One of the fault grounds for divorce is abandonment. In Alabama, you can file a divorce based on fault grounds, or you can file a no-fault divorce. Not all abandoned spouses get full custody. When abandonment occurs, the abandoning spouse has no intention of returning. Alabama divorce laws include several grounds for legally ending a marriage. Alabama law protects some abandoned spouse rights. No-fault grounds are the circumstances in which neither spouse is to blame for the breakup. Copyright © 2021 Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, Types of Divorce Cases Alabama Divorce & Family Law Handles, Drug or Alcohol Addiction as Grounds for Divorce, Homemaker Contributions in Alabama Divorces, Proof of Cohabitation and Terminating Support. Alabama divorce laws about abandonment require more than just the fact that a couple lives apart. Updated February 17, 2018 To file for a divorce in Alabama, one party must be a bona fide resident (which must be alleged in the complaint and proven) of the state for six months before the filing of the complaint. Some specific examples of abandonment include when: one spouse physically leaves the other spouse, an individual that has moved fails to support the other spouse, or the individual who moved out of the marital home refuses to have intercourse without justifiable reason with the other spouse. It can be used as grounds for a divorce. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Abandonment in Alabama can affect a court’s determinations of how a couple’s property should be divided. Alabama Divorce Laws The state of Alabama has unique divorce laws for people who wish to terminate their marriage. In an at-fault divorce state, abandonment may be considered grounds for divorce. Abandonment in divorce cases is one of the most misunderstood aspects of divorce law. The Definition of Abandonment In Alabama. Alabama Mandatory Online Parenting Class Easy and convenient - complete at your own pace online. One of the fault grounds for divorce is abandonment. Abandonment and desertion both refer to a spouse who has moved out with no intention of coming back. The state of Alabama recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Still, marital abandonment may potentially lead to an unfavorable outcome for the spouse who leaves. 2170 Highland Avenue, Suite #250Birmingham, AL 35205. This must be alleged in the Complaint and proven. So, you don't have to show abandonment, and it will have no effect on the divorce proceedings. Divorce in Alabama is conducted as a civil action, with one party, plaintiff, filing a complaint for divorce, and the other party being named as a defendant. If your spouse left over a year ago, you may be able to file a divorce based on abandonment. When one spouse not only moves out but also stops performing all family obligations and responsibilities, it is considered abandonment. In order to prove abandonment to satisfy the grounds for divorce, individuals are able to use direct or constructive evidence to demonstrate this claim. If a spouse moves out of the home but the individuals continue a relationship then a divorce based on the grounds of abandonment … To satisfy Alabama’s abandonment requirements, individuals must demonstrate that a spouse was absent from both the marital home and relationship for at least one year prior to the initiation of the divorce. This person has left their spouse and severed all ties and responsibility – including related financial obligations – without good reason. [Based on Alabama State Divorce Code - … Accordingly, the spouse claiming abandonment must establish that the couple kept separate homes and did not engage in intimate … No-fault grounds include Incompatibility of the spouses, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and Voluntary alienation. If one spouse refuses to relocate due to the other spouse’s job, that is not abandonment. Among the potential grounds for divorce is abandonment. If a spouse moves out of the home but the individuals continue a relationship then a divorce based on the grounds of abandonment will not stand. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. You will also need to prove that you were not the reason why the abandoning spouse left, such as due to abuse or adultery. Aug 8, 2012 by admin. This means that one spouse leaves without the intent of returning. Many divorces can be completed in this time. Plus complimentary access to the divorce portal forum, and support groups. There are currently at least 17 states that do not recognize fault-based divorce; therefore abandonment is not a relevant allegation in divorce proceedings. As the plaintiff, you’ll need to show that the defendant left and has not met their financial obligations for the specified period required in your state. Despite being abandoned by a spouse, the laws of the state Alabama require that the individual who initiates the divorce makes a reasonable attempt to serve the other spouse with divorce papers. In these states, the spouse claiming abandonment must prove certain things to the court. *Visit our Terms of Use page to learn more, 13521 Old Highway 280 The Narrows, Suite 117, Email: advice@alabamadivorceandfamilylaw.com. Voluntary abandonment for one year immediately before the filing of the complaint – Under Alabama law, this requires a final leaving for a year or more, without the consent of the other party, without satisfactory reason therefor, and without the intention to return. Dagney holds a J.D. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors. Discount Divorce Bookstore Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody. When one spouse just up and leaves the marriage, the other may have a fault ground for divorce -- abandonment, which is also known as desertion, a term with very unfavorable connotation. Filing an Abandonment Divorce. If your spouse has moved out, you may not know how to proceed. Homepage » Birmingham Divorce Lawyer » Abandonment as Grounds for Divorce. In Alabama, you can file a divorce based on fault grounds, or you can file a no-fault divorce. If you are interested in claiming abandonment the grounds for divorce or have a spouse who is in the process of filing an abandonment claim against you, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Birmingham divorce attorney. A spouse leaving the shared home is emotional and difficult, and a divorce can help you move on. Other forms should also be filed at this time. Voluntary abandonment occurs when one spouse leaves the marital home continuously for one year or more with consent from the other. How to file for Divorce in Alabama: It is one of the rare instances where you can be granted a divorce without the consent of your spouse. When using abandonment as a ground for divorce, you’ll need to provide proof to the court that the abandonment actually took place. This means you consented to your spouse leaving. This type of abandonment occurs if you are able to prove in a court that your spouse makes life unbearable and that your only option was to leave the marriage. However, spousal abandonment is the second leading cause of fault divorce. Alabama Divorce Products, Services and Solutions Alabama Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process. As of January 1, 2018, the 10-year requirement has been eliminated, giving courts greater discretion over apportionment of retirement accounts. In other words, you would need to have “ just cause ” to leave the marriage for reasons like domestic abuse, infidelity , withholding sex, or refusing financial support. In addition, if your spouse has stopped caring for your children, the court may be more likely to award you sole custody. One of these divorce statutes cites the various grounds upon which an individual in the state of Alabama may file for a divorce. When at-fault divorce laws existed, marital abandonment was one of the possible marital misconduct issues that would be grounds for divorce. 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