If you’re ready to hire a family attorney, there are many ways of getting in touch: Alabama law establishes certain regulations governing how divorce occurs within the state. Alabama Divorce Laws The state of Alabama has unique divorce laws for people who wish to terminate their marriage. To be considered child abandonment in Alabama, a parent or legal guardian must leave a minor child with no money, clothing, shelter, food, or communication for over 3 months. In general, the court must award custody to the parent who can best protect the child's safety, well-being and morals. If a spouse leaves a husband or wife without adequate financial support, the deserted spouse may file a complaint for criminal desertion as a misdemeanor in the state court. Here are some answers to common questions about handling a tenant’s abandoned property in Alabama. However, spousal abandonment is the second leading cause of fault divorce. Abandonment Divorce - Understand Abandonment Divorce, Divorce, its processes, and crucial Divorce information needed. No credit card is needed to start. CompleteCase.com – Offers an affordable way to file for uncontested divorces online. If an absent spouse does not reply within a specific time period, the divorce process may also still continue. Residency Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Alabama, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. In Alabama, you can file a divorce based on fault grounds, or you can file a no-fault divorce. The state has divorce residency requirements that require the spouse filing for the divorce to have lived in Alabama for a minimum of six months. Abandonment in Alabama can affect a court’s determinations of how a couple’s property should be divided. States like Alabama and Maryland allow spouses the option of filing a fault divorce using abandonment as a ground for their request. The person that moves out may still have a right to the marital home during a divorce or even in separation. (a) The circuit court has power to divorce persons from the bonds of matrimony, upon a complaint filed by one of the parties, entitled “In re the marriage of ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․ and ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․,” for the causes following: Abandonment means that one spouse has left the other spouse without consent. If the wife is the parent who abandoned the family, the Alabama court generally must award custody of children older than seven years of age to the children's father unless he is not suitable or fit to parent. Cindy Chung is a California-based professional writer. Dividing up the marital estate in a divorce based on abandonment As you probably know Texas is a community property state. Alabama Code - Section 13A-13-5: ABANDONMENT OF CHILD (a) A man or woman commits the crime of abandonment of a child when, being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than 18 years old, he or she deserts such child in any place with intent wholly to abandon it. Read More: The Difficulty of Claiming Abandonment as Divorce Grounds in Alabama. Learn about this and more at FindLaw's Family Law … Alabama state laws establish spousal rights in marriage and divorce after abandonment. If a spouse moves out of the home but the individuals continue a relationship then a divorce based on the grounds of abandonment will not stand. If a spouse leaves a marriage because the other spouse has made conditions intolerable to stay, the person leaving the marriage can claim constructive abandonment. Debts in Alabama are treated just like assets in a divorce. As of January 1, 2018, the 10-year requirement has been eliminated, giving courts greater discretion over apportionment of retirement accounts. As a result of the influential nature of abandonment, individuals who abandon a spouse must understand that this decision can have several negative long term consequences. Accordingly, the spouse claiming abandonment must establish that the couple kept separate homes and did not engage in intimate relations during the required period of time. This is a sampling of child abuse laws by state. Alabama Divorce Laws Residency and Filing Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Alabama, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. Once divorce is eminent, there are some requirements in the state of Alabama that need to be met before filing. Judges are allowed to make decisions that take into consideration an individual’s abandonment or other types of misconduct. Individuals who seek to claim abandonment as a grounds for a divorce often require the assistance of experienced Birmingham divorce attorney who can help in a variety of situations including making sure that individuals present ample evidence to a court of law that abandonment occurred. *Visit our Terms of Use page to learn more, 13521 Old Highway 280 The Narrows, Suite 117, Email: advice@alabamadivorceandfamilylaw.com. This is known as voluntary termination of parental rights. One of these divorce statutes cites the various grounds upon which an individual in the state of Alabama may file for a divorce. • Requirement 1: Plaintiff must be a bona fide resident of the state of Alabama for at least six months before filing (if Defendant is a non-resident). Updated February 17, 2018 To file for a divorce in Alabama, one party must be a bona fide resident (which must be alleged in the complaint and proven) of the state for six months before the filing of the complaint. Spousal abandonment is a fault ground for divorce with potential consequences in property division, alimony and child custody. These laws may control matters such as how long you must wait before dealing with the property and what kind of notice, if any, you have to give the tenant before taking action. Alabama state laws allow a judge to review either party's misconduct and make an allowance to the abandoned spouse in consideration of the misconduct. To satisfy Alabama’s abandonment requirements, individuals must demonstrate that a spouse was absent from both the marital home and relationship for at least one year prior to the initiation of the divorce. You can contact an Alabama divorce attorney if you would like legal assistance with a divorce or marital property matter. Under longstanding Alabama law, a divorce court could not allow one party a share of the other’s retirement account unless the couple had been married for at least 10 years. In addition, fault-based divorce can also affect a judge's ruling on alimony. In a default divorce, the court might disregard the absent spouse's wishes or defer to the abandoned spouse's requests. in education and a Juris Doctor. Copyright © 2021 Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, Types of Divorce Cases Alabama Divorce & Family Law Handles, Drug or Alcohol Addiction as Grounds for Divorce, Homemaker Contributions in Alabama Divorces, Proof of Cohabitation and Terminating Support. Under Alabama law, abandonment is a parent’s intentional, voluntary relinquishment of the custody of a minor child. If you file on fault grounds, you are claiming that the marriage failed because of the other spouse’s actions. In many situations, custody that is granted temporarily because the other spouse has left the marital home eventually turns into permanent custody of the children. [Based on Alabama State Divorce Code - … Instead, abandonment is part of the state’s law relating to divorce. A divorce based on abandonment cannot be filed immediately following the act of desertion. Abandonment used as the grounds for divorce may affect the division of the couple's property. Additional payment options are available in the divorce portal. The Alabama State Bar requires the following statement: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. To satisfy Alabama’s abandonment requirements, individuals must demonstrate that a spouse was absent from both the marital home and relationship for at least one year prior to the initiation of the divorce. If you are interested in claiming abandonment the grounds for divorce or have a spouse who is in the process of filing an abandonment claim against you, do not hesitate to contact a skilled Birmingham divorce attorney. Abandonment means that one spouse has left the other without consent, but like adultery proving desertion means more than that a person left home without the consent of the other spouse. Abandonment can also be the cause of termination of parental rights. The severing of ties with the family by a spouse who forsakes his responsibilities to the family. If the absent spouse does not file a reply within the period of time allowed by state law, the divorce may continue by default. This means that they will be divided fairly and equitably, although not necessarily on a 50/50 basis. Homepage » Birmingham Divorce Lawyer » Abandonment as Grounds for Divorce. Plus complimentary access to the divorce portal forum, and support groups. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! In some circumstances, a parent can relinquish parental rights. After a guilty plea or conviction, the court may require probation, suspend the sentence and issue a court order for ongoing, regular payments of financial support to the abandoned spouse. Alabama marriage laws specifically prohibit spousal desertion and nonsupport. Some specific examples of abandonment include when: one spouse physically leaves the other spouse, an individual that has moved fails to support the other spouse, or the individual who moved out of the marital home refuses to have intercourse without justifiable reason with the other spouse. Individuals also frequently benefit from understanding the impact and role that abandonment claims play during a Birmingham divorce. 100% Guaranteed. When one spouse just up and leaves the marriage, the other may have a fault ground for divorce -- abandonment, which is also known as desertion, a term with very unfavorable connotation. You are free to walk away from a sick spouse but the courts will view that spouse financially dependent upon you and will hold you financially responsible for helping maintain the care needed via a court order. No-fault divorce laws are in place to make sure anyone who wants a divorce is able to get a divorce. However, parties could enter into an agreement to split retirement accounts, even if they had been married for less than 10 years. She holds a B.A. Customized divorces and complex cases can range from $5,000 to more than $100,000, depending on a variety of factors, such as case complexity, assets, and child custody. This person has left their spouse and severed all ties and responsibility – including related financial obligations – without good reason. Constructive Abandonment. In Alabama, a divorce can be completed on average in a minimum of 210 days, with court fees of $154.00. Suppose your spouse is abusive to you, has committed adultery, or has a chronic substance addiction problem. The plaintiff must state the grounds claimed for the divorce in the complaint. Many divorces can be completed in this time. Alabama Divorce Laws: The Basics Alabama has a six-month residency requirement to file for divorce, and a 30-day waiting period before a divorce can be final. In some states, filing a no-fault divorce may require that you and your spouse live separate and apart for a specific period of time. A parent may abandon a child by withholding their presence, love, care, maintenance, protection or the opportunity to receive family affection. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. State law defines voluntary abandonment as a continuous absence from the marriage "bed and board." Despite being abandoned by a spouse, the laws of the state Alabama require that the individual who initiates the divorce makes a reasonable attempt to serve the other spouse with divorce papers. However, since you can get a divorce with or without your spouse's permission in no-fault states, filing on the grounds of abandonment doesn't hold much legal water these days. Abandonment and Leaving the Home It is possible that the other spouse will have a higher chance of keeping the marital home if the individual leaves the property without consent, without communicating the matter and with the intent of leaving the marriage. An abandoned spouse may decide to file for divorce if the spouses cannot repair their relationship. In order to prove abandonment to satisfy the grounds for divorce, individuals are able to use direct or constructive evidence to demonstrate this claim. Alabama Divorce Laws: Alabama Online Divorce Services: LegalZoom.com – An online documentation service that helps users file for divorce. The Difficulty of Claiming Abandonment as Divorce Grounds in Alabama, Alabama State Bar: Legal Aspects of Divorce, DivorceSource.com: Alabama: State Divorce Laws, DivorceSupport.com: Alabama Property Division Factors. Alabama Laws State vs. Federal Law Restraining Orders Custody Child Support Parental Kidnapping Divorce Crimes State Gun Laws Suing an Abuser for Money Selected Alabama Statutes Preparing for Court - By Yourself We are providing this Alabama divorce information as a reference guide to help you through the process. A spouse can claim abandonment if the other spouse has left without discussion or any plans for support and payments for mortgages and other necessities. Although the judge might make an allowance from the couple's marital property, the judge cannot include property earned or acquired before marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. Spousal abandonment is a fault ground for divorce with potential consequences in property division, alimony and child custody. This means that (with some exceptions) any income or property that you or your spouse come into during the marriage is considered to be jointly owned by both of you. Grounds For Divorce In Alabama In Alabama, the grounds for divorce can be divided into two basic categories, fault and no fault. She writes for various websites on legal topics and other areas of interest. Among the potential grounds for divorce is abandonment. When a fault-based divorce is granted, Alabama law allows the judge to “make an allowance to either spouse out of the estate of either spouse, or not make an allowance as the circumstances of the case may justify, and if an allowance is made, the misconduct of the spouse may be considered in determining the amount.” Alabama divorce forms with detailed filing instructions, Alabama divorce laws, and total customer support to guide you through a no-fault divorce in Alabama. Abandonment means that one spouse has left the other spouse without consent. It should be noted that any premarital debt acquired by one spouse is their debt exclusively, unless the other spouse added to that particular account (such … Alabama Marital Property Laws: Related Resources Sorting out marital property issues during a divorce can be complex, emotionally and legally. In the event that the other spouse’s address cannot be found, individuals initiating a divorce are required to provide a court of law with a sworn statement regarding the situation. Under Alabama law, a parent also commits abandonment if he or she fails to claim their parental rights or fails to fulfill their parental … Law for Families provides all the legal information that you and your family need. Termination of Parental Rights in Alabama Under Alabama law, there are several situations in which a court may order the termination of parental rights for one or both parents. The parent who is left behind with children often automatically has custody over the couple’s children. In particular, Alabama law establishes an abandoned spouse's right to support and penalizes an absent spouse for desertion. In Alabama, a continuous absence from the marriage “bed and board” is considered voluntary abandonment. Voluntary abandonment for a period of at least one year may serve as a ground for divorce. Try Before You Buy! 2. When a husband and wife have children together, abandonment of the family by one of the spouses might affect an Alabama court's rulings on child custody in the future. In particular, Alabama law establishes an abandoned spouse's right to support and penalizes an absent spouse for desertion. Alabama divorce laws include several grounds for legally ending a marriage. However, if one parent abandoned the family, the court might take the parent's decision into consideration during custody proceedings. You will, however, pay for your desire to no longer be your sick spouse’s caretaker. Abandonment in the state of Alabama can also greatly influence how custody issues are decided. In other words, the courts can't force you or your spouse to stay in a marriage. There are not separate abandonment laws in Alabama. 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