Alabama Divorce Update: Important Legal Definitions for Divorce and Legal Separation — Part 1

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Nov 12, 2009 | 0 Comments

Going through a divorce can be a stressful time for most people. When a marital relationship fails, all parties, not just the husband and wife are affected; dependant children, relatives and friends all feel the pain of separation and ultimately legal divorce. As a Birmingham, Alabama, divorce lawyer and family law attorney, my job is two-fold: First, to provide my client with a strong and well-planned approach to the legal aspects of the separation, and second, to offer compassionate and informed counsel in a time of emotional upheaval.

Having an experienced attorney by one's side is paramount when working through the various steps of legal separation and divorce. I have the training to make the process as smooth as can possibly be expected under the circumstances. The many legal terms and conditions can be confusing for some people, which is why I always recommend finding a competent divorce lawyer right off the bat.

Here are some of the legal terms you may run across when facing a divorce or separation in the state of Alabama.

Legal Separation
Here in Alabama, the state recognizes legal separation. Courts will typically enter a decree of legal separation if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

  1. The court determines that the jurisdictional requirements for the dissolution of a marriage have been met
  2. The court determines the marriage is irretrievably broken or there exists a complete incompatibility of temperament or one or both of the parties desires to live separate and apart
  3. To the extent that it has jurisdiction to do so, the court has considered, approved, or provided for child custody, and has entered an order for child support in compliance with the law

Property Division
Alabama is an equitable distribution state, which means that if the parties can't agree, the property will be distributed in an equitable fashion, not necessarily equally. All property of the wife, held by her previous to the marriage or to which she may become entitled after the marriage in any manner, is the separate property of the wife and is not subject to the liabilities of the husband. All property of the wife, whether acquired by descent or inheritance, or gift, devise or bequest, or by contract or conveyance, or by gift from or contract with the husband, is the separate property of the wife within the meaning of, and is subject to all the provisions of, this chapter, saving and excepting only such property as may be conveyed to an active trustee for her benefit.

Additional information will be included next week in part two of this discussion.

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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