Marriage in Birmingham, Alabama: Before and After Divorce

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Oct 01, 2009 | 0 Comments

Marriage is a sacred institution which sometimes becomes a trial for those ill-suited to the needs of another, or the sacrifices which a marital partnership requires. As a Birmingham divorce lawyer and family law attorney, I have helped many couples through their individual rough patches. Unfortunately, even the best of counseling cannot hold together a relationship that has fallen apart. That is when legal separation or actual divorce become the only alternative, sad to say.

To begin, in Alabama a valid marriage is marked by a number of conditions. Each of these, and as a group, helps to define what is or is not a legal marriage in the state of Alabama. They include the following:

  • Nobody under 14 years of age has the capacity to contract marriage
  • For all persons under the age of 18, the consent of a parent or guardian is absolutely required
  • Both parties to the marriage must be of sound mind
  • Each must be able to contract marriage, and
  • The parties cannot be related, at least within a prohibited degree as defined by the state

The Alabama Marriage Protection Act, which was made into law in 1998, specifies that marriage is an inherently unique relationship between a man and a women. A marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex is invalid in Alabama. ALA. CODE 30-1-19(b) (1975). Furthermore, the act also holds that the State of Alabama shall not recognize the marriage of parties of the same sex from other states.

Finally, a marriage cannot exist without the mutual consent of both parties. Since consent is lacking if a previous marriage existed, or when consent is procured by duress, a marriage is not valid when obtained under either circumstance. This is when my work as a divorce lawyer must inevietably come into play. Divorce legally separates and divides a family's assets, and in some cases it actually divides the family. But this is a discussion for another time.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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Birmingham, Jefferson County including Bessemer, Homewood, Hoover, Irondale, Leeds, Mountain Brook, Trussville, and Vestavia Hills, Shelby County (including Pelham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Calera), Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville, Calhoun County including Anniston, Etowah County including Boaz and Gadsden, Cullman County including Arab and Cullman, Madison County including Huntsville and Madison, Montgomery County including Montgomery, and all of Alabama.

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