Schwarzenegger/Shriver Split Illustrates Property Splits in Alabama Divorce Cases

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | May 09, 2011 | 0 Comments

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver have split after 25 years of marriage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The announcement underscores the importance of hiring an experienced Birmingham divorce attorney, who can take the emotion out of divorce and fight for what's right. Divorces can be messy and if you're contemplating divorce, contact an attorney who can make sure your rights are represented outside of court as well as in front of a judge. Thus far, it looks like the Schwarzenegger/Shriver split will be about as amicable as they come. But just because you and your partner agree — or think you agree — on a fair division of assets doesn't mean you each don't need an attorney to protect your rights.

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California is a "community property" state, meaning that assets and debts acquired during marriage are divided equally. But In Alabama, the law doesn't automatically assume property needs to be split evenly in a divorce. In fact, there isn't a set formula for splitting a couple's assets. The property can be divided by who is at fault more, who needs more money and by who contributed more financially to the marriage.

In the case of Schwarzenegger and Shriver, the couple has been split for weeks, the newspaper reports. Over the years, the couple has come under scrutiny, especially in 2003, when The Times reported that the actor-turned-politician had a history of groping women. But Shriver defended her husband and propelled him to victory. The couple, married in 1986, have four children, ages 14, 18, 20 and 21.

Divorces with children can be especially difficult. Alabama law allows for spouses to make decisions about the custody of their children in collaborative divorce or divorce mediation proceedings. Otherwise, the children may be considered wards of the court until the divorce is finalized.

If you need to speak with a divorce attorney in Birmingham, contact Eversole Law at 205-981-2450 for a free consultation.

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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