Alabama Divorce Laws

To obtain a dissolution of marriage, spouses must follow the requirements and steps to divorce in Alabama. Since the dissolutionment of marriage can be expensive, complicated, and stressful, you need to learn more about the basic Alabama divorce laws before starting the process. To file for an uncontested dissolution of marriage, you may try to agree with the other party on all issues regarding child custody, support, and property division.

In this article, we will focus on the main divorce laws in Alabama and the specifics of the procedure. If, after reading it, you still feel confused, you can contact us for assistance in preparing dissolution of marriage forms. Our service will provide you with all the necessary documents for your case within the timeframe you choose to help you effectively prepare for your divorce.

Alabama Divorce Requirements

Alabama divorce requirements apply to all stages of the process, from the list of forms to prepare to the mandatory waiting period. If spouses do not comply with them, the judge will not be able to grant the dissolutionment of marriage. Here are the basic Alabama divorce rules that couples must follow to obtain a divorce decree:

Along with the requirements, spouses must follow Alabama divorce laws to terminate their marital relations.

Before starting the dissolution of marriage process, parties should analyze whether they have disagreements regarding child custody, support, visitation, division of assets and liabilities, etc. It would determine whether they have a contested or uncontested dissolution of marriage. If the divorce is agreed-upon, it may not require the involvement of a lawyer, while for a contested сase, spouses will most likely have to hire attorneys, evaluators, and other specialists.

To file for divorce with the court, couples need to prepare the necessary set of dissolution of marriage forms. Their list will depend on many factors, including whether they have minor children.

If parties cannot agree on the division of assets, liabilities, and debts, the court will distribute them equitably. It will not mean a 50/50 split, though. The judge may use a different proportion, taking into account various factors.

In case of dissolution of marriage in Alabama with minor children, the court gives preference to joint custody but may award sole custody to only one parent. To determine child support, the judge will use the Income Shares Model.

If one of the spouses cannot provide for themselves, the court may grant spousal support during the divorce or after it, considering the duration of the marriage, age, financial status, etc.

What Are the Divorce Laws in Alabama?

The answer to the question “What are the divorce laws in Alabama?” can be found in Title 30 of the Alabama Code. Its nine sections present the main Alabama divorce laws that regulate the dissolution of marriage process and determine the issues of child custody, maintenance, property division, etc., during a divorce.

The following divorce laws in Alabama are mandatory in cases of contested and uncontested dissolution of marriage:

  1. If the defendant or both spouses live within the state, they may file for divorce at any time; if only the plaintiff is a resident, they must reside in Alabama for at least six months before submitting the petition to the court ( Code § 30-2-5).
  2. The legal grounds for dissolutionment of marriage may be based on the other spouse’s fault or not. No-fault reasons include complete incompatibility of spouses and an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Among the fault-based grounds are adultery, impotence, abandonment for one year or more, addiction to alcohol or drugs, etc. The full list of at-fault legal grounds for divorce is provided in Alabama divorce laws ( Code § 30-2-1).
  3. Parties can file dissolution of marriage forms with the court in the county where the defendant resides, where the couple previously lived together, or where the plaintiff lives if the respondent is not a resident of the state ( Code § 30-2-4).
  4. The court may issue a final decision on divorce no earlier than 30 days after filing the petition with the clerk’s office ( Code § 30-2-8.1).
  5. Spouses cannot marry another person before 60 days expire after the judge issues a divorce decree. If either party files an appeal during this time, none of them can remarry, except each other, until it is heard ( Code § 30-2-10).

Divorce Laws in Alabama for Infidelity

According to divorce laws in Alabama, adultery can be one of the grounds for dissolution of marriage based on fault (Ala. Code § 30-2-1(a)(2)).

Divorce laws in Alabama for infidelity provide for a specific review of marital issues by the court:

  1. A judge may consider the fact of adultery when dividing marital property during the dissolutionment of marriage, especially if one of the parties spent joint assets to finance the affair ( Code § 30-2-52).
  2. When appointing child custody, a judge will consider the best interests of children, the moral qualities of parents, and other factors. If parties divorce due to adultery, it may affect the court’s decision since one of the parents acts recklessly.
  3. The court assigns spousal support in cases when parties cannot provide for themselves. Adultery may influence the judge’s decision, but most often, it will not be the crucial factor.

As under Alabama divorce laws, adultery is a fault-based ground, you may need an extended list of dissolution of marriage forms to prepare for it. Unlike uncontested dissolution of marriage, these cases are more complicated and take longer to be resolved by the court.


The primary state laws regarding divorce, child custody, support, and property division are stipulated in the Alabama Code.

Yes, in Alabama, you can get a divorce based on fault grounds. These include imprisonment, adultery, an act of violence, committing a crime against nature, addiction to alcohol or drugs, etc.

An uncontested divorce usually lasts for 2.5-3 months, while a contested process can

If parties cannot agree on property division on their own, the judge will divide it on the basis of equitable distribution in accordance with Alabama divorce laws. However, this will not always mean a 50/50 split after the court considers the duration of a marriage, the age of spouses, their financial status, needs, etc.

easily take a year or more, depending on the number of disputed issues in the case.

Divorce laws in Alabama do not determine any mandatory separation period for couples who decide to divorce. However, there is a 30-day waiting period from the moment the plaintiff files the petition till the day the divorce decree may be signed.

You can get an annulment in Alabama instead of a divorce only in specific situations that prove that your marital relations were illegal from the beginning, for example, if one of the spouses married the other under duress.