Have you ever heard the term “grounds” for divorce? These are the reasons you believe the court should allow you and your spouse to legally end your marriage contract.
Once upon a time, the court required at least one spouse to be “at fault” for the end of the marriage and would only grant a divorce for certain reasons. These days, Alabama couples have more options.
What are the no-fault grounds for divorce?
A “no-fault” divorce essentially means that neither spouse has to prove that the other is guilty of any specific flaw or fault that led to the decline of the marriage. In Alabama, couples can allege two different reasons that avoid casting blame on each other:
● Incompatibility: This basically means the couple have discovered that they simply do not get along very well.
● Irretrievable breakdown: This generally means that the marriage is simply broken beyond repair, for any number of reasons (big or small).
Typically, no-fault divorces are quicker and easier to obtain, and there is often no advantage to pursuing a “fault-based” divorce instead.
What are the grounds for a fault-based divorce?
“Often” doesn’t mean “never,” so what happens if you decide that there is a good reason to pursue a fault-based divorce? In that case, you have to allege (and prove) to the court that your spouse:
● Was physically and incurably incapacitated at the start of the union
● Was secretly pregnant with someone else’s child when you married
● Committed adultery
● Committed a crime against nature, human or animal, either before or during the marriage
● Abandoned you at least 12 months ago
● Is a habitual drunk or drug addict
● Is incurably insane and institutionalized for at least five straight years
● Your spouse is imprisoned for at least two years (with a sentence of confinement for seven or longer)
● Has been physically violent or has given you reason to fear such violence
Ultimately, making a decision about how to proceed with your divorce requires weighing a lot of different factors. Legal guidance can help you determine what’s right for you.