A new report by FindTheData.org reveals that Alabama has the second-highest divorce rate in the country, coming in at 13 divorces for every 1,000 people. It falls just behind Alaska, which has a rate of 14 divorces per 1,000 people.
Our Birmingham divorce lawyers understand the numbers were gleaned from data provided by the American Bar Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the 2011 Census Bureau counts.
Even coming in second, there were still ways that Alabama ranked worse than Alaska. For example, while Alaska was given an "ease of filing" score of 100 percent, Alabama's was just 50 percent. And while the total minimum processing time in Alaska was just 30 days, here in Alabama, it was 210.
Several other Southern states fared equally poorly. For example, Arkansas, which also had a divorce rate of 13 per 1,000, was given a 20 percent ease of filing, with the total minimum processing time sitting at an arduous 540 days – the highest in the country.
And then there was South Carolina. While the divorce rate was 8 per 1,000, its ease-of-filing score was just 20 percent and minimum processing time was 410 days. West Virginia had a divorce rate of 11 per 1,000, with an ease-of-filing score of 31 and total minimum processing time of 360 days.
Meanwhile, the state with the lowest divorce rate was New Jersey, coming in at 6 per 1,000 people. But even there, the ease-of-filing was only at 23 percent., the waiting period was 360 days and the filing fee was among the highest in the country.
Other relevant information regarding Alabama is that the state requires at least one or both spouses have been residents of the state for at least six months. The filing fee is about average at $154, but you can expect to pay more throughout the process as you consider court costs and other factors.
In many other regards, Alabama is pretty much on par with other states. We are among 42 total that allow for the equitable distribution of property. Child custody guideline favor joint custody, though domestic violence is considered, as are the wishes of the child. Additions to child support are routinely applied for expenses such as child care, college tuition and emergency medical care.
Because laws vary so greatly from state-to-state, we can't stress enough the importance of hiring a divorce attorney with extensive experience in your home state. Making this investment will give you an advantage. This is important, as so many divorce cases are moving through the Alabama pipeline. You want to make sure you aren't being treated like just another number.
Considerations from child support and custody to alimony to asset division can have both profound and long-lasting consequences to your life, livelihood and future. Choosing an effective advocate will be key to giving you the opportunity to start the next chapter on solid footing – emotionally and financially.
Even the terms of amicable separations and uncontested divorces should be at least carefully reviewed by a reputable lawyer.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
Divorce Rate By State: How Does Your State Stack Up? Sept. 5, 2013, Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Blog