Does Adultery Impact Alimony and Divorce in Alabama?

It’s simple to assign blame when a marriage fails. A marriage’s demise is usually the result of a series of minor offences committed by both partners. That isn’t always the case, though. If a divorce is the result of one spouse’s behaviour alone, the other spouse may ask if they have any legal options. A wronged spouse may have legal recourse under Alabama law.

Do you feel lost and confused about what to do now that you’ve decided to divorce? Discuss your case with Birmingham divorce attorney.

Answering the Question, “What Is Infidelity in a Marriage?”

When people talk about marital misconduct, they’re referring to a narrow set of behaviours that can result in a divorce based on blame. Only a handful of jurisdictions still allow divorce based on blame, but the vast majority have adopted a no-fault system that uses “irreconcilable differences” as the grounds for dissolution. There are multiple grounds for filing a fault-based divorce in the state of Alabama.

  • Adultery
  • leaving for at least a year without looking back
  • Dependence on drugs and alcohol
  • Brutal mistreatment
  • Mandatory two-year minimum sentence with a maximum of seven years
  • Acts of violence against nature
  • Long-term confinement at an institution (at least five years)

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Spousal support and property partition can both be affected by whether or not one spouse is found at blame for the breakdown of the marriage.

Views on Spousal Abuse in Alabama

It stands to reason that those who participate in marital misconduct should face consequences in Alabama’s family courts, given that the state’s legislature has passed statutes protecting victims of such behaviour. A party seeking a fault-based divorce has an advantage if that party can persuade the court that the reasons for the divorce are valid.

Splitting Assets and Spousal Support

The family court could use the issue of infidelity to determine who should pay for the other’s living expenses. The court may increase the amount of alimony awarded if, for instance, the higher-earning spouse was unfaithful to the lower-earning spouse. On the other hand, alimony may be threatened if the lower-earning spouse proves unfaithful. The court would have wide latitude if both parties were disloyal.

The asset distribution is subject to the same rules. In cases of divorce or separation, the property is divided fairly under Alabama’s rule of equitable distribution. Not all assets should be divided equally.

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