Divorce is the process by which a family legally separates itself and divides its assets.
Although historically viewed as a contemptuous proceeding leading to the emotional and/or financial ruin of those involved, that is no longer the outcome in the vast majority of cases.
Birmingham Divorce Lawyer Steven Eversole of Eversole Law, LLC believes in a multi-pronged approach to these cases, which can involve fragile emotions, the well-being of children, and complex financial considerations.
We believe where amicable solutions are possible, that should be the goal. This helps not only to preserve important relational bonds, but seeks to protect the family's assets, necessary for the future well-being of those involved.
That said, when the situation calls for it, we will not hesitate to use our extensive knowledge, experience and skill to fight vigorously for the rights and best interests of our clients.
Some aspects of divorce we find it helpful for our clients to review include:
- Alabama Divorce Proceedings
- General Requirements – Alabama Divorce Laws
- Alabama Misconduct During Marriage
- Alabama Divorce Mediation
- Alabama Divorce Litigation – Contested Divorce
- Divorce and Taxes
We also work to resolve issues of:
- Custody and Visitation
- Child Support & Alimony
- Asset Division
- Debt Allocation
Each of these situations requires careful consideration of short and long-term consequences. We provide guidance from our informed legal team with the experience and resources necessary to secure favorable outcomes.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce
Divorces in Alabama can either be assigned fault or may be considered no-fault. There are advantages to both, so determining which is advantageous in your case will require thorough review of your circumstances by your Birmingham divorce lawyer.
Ala. Code 30-2-1 provides the basis for fault-based divorce grounds in Alabama. Those are:
- Incapacitation at the time of marriage that rendered either party from legally entering the union
- Voluntary abandonment one year before filing
- Imprisonment (At least years prior to filing, when the sentence is for at least seven years)
- The commission of a crime, either before or during marriage
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Long-term mental illness
- If wife was pregnant at the time of marriage, without the husband's agency or knowledge
- Domestic violence
- Wife has lived separate and apart from husband for two years without support and she resided in Alabama during that time
Similarly, the statute provides the following basis for a no-fault divorce:
- Incompatibility of temperament such that the pair can no longer live together
- Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
- Voluntary abandonment of bed and board for at least one year prior to filing
The primary benefit of seeking a fault-based divorce is to secure an advantage in terms of child custody, spousal support or alimony and/or a larger share of marital assets. Proving one of these elements can be a challenge, and there is no absolute guarantee the outcome will be favorable. However, in some cases, it may be worth presenting a case for a fault-based divorce.
Still, most Alabama divorces are no-fault. This avenue is often preferred, as it allows the couple to avoid a contentious, drawn-out airing of marital business necessary in proving fault. It does not allege wrong-doing by either spouse, and is rather a statement on the poor condition of the union. It tends to be less expensive also because it reduces legal battles, and in turn, creates a more civil environment for resolving differences on everything from child custody to property division.
The right avenue for your case will depend on the underlying circumstances of your divorce.
Contested vs. Uncontested
A contested divorce is one in which the parties involved cannot agree. It could stem from disagreements about the decision to get a divorce in the first place. Other disputes center on certain terms of the divorce, such as child custody, child support, alimony, allocation of debts or division of assets.
Contested divorces tend to take longer and be more complex. However, there is sometimes a strong case for pursuing a contested divorce when there is much at stake. It is imperative in these situations to seek legal counsel as early possible in the process because of the need for extensive research and investment of time.
There is often still a need for legal counsel in uncontested divorce. The reason is even when couples agree on everything, there may be certain elements they have overlooked. A couple may agree for the wife to take the house while the husband keeps all of his retirement benefits, but this may not in fact be a fair split. Having a lawyer review your agreement will at least help to ensure you aren't getting a raw deal and that you haven't overlooked anything of critical importance.
Whether we are dealing with the interests of young children or division of assets it took many decades to acquire, even the most amicable separations should involve a Birmingham divorce lawyer to ensure both parties walk away confident in their decisions.