Fault vs. No-Fault Divorces in Alabama

There are many reasons why a couple can make the difficult decision to end their marriage by divorce. Sometimes there was a specific event or series of events that made a spouse reconsider their choices, and sometimes a relationship breaks down over time. Sometimes two spouses come to realize that they’re simply incompatible. In Alabama, divorce can be filed on one of two grounds: fault and no fault.

In the eyes of the law, those categories are separate and distinct. A no-fault divorce doesn’t require proof to proceed with the divorce, just consent from both parties. You don’t have to show why your marriage was damaged and can no longer continue. A fault-based divorce requires proof to support your claim or argument for divorce. While no-fault divorces are less combative, quicker, and cheaper, there are benefits in pursuing fault-based grounds for divorce. This can affect the outcomes of decisions on alimony, custody, and child support.

No-Fault Divorces

Most couples choose the route of no-fault divorce. Under Alabama law, you can have a no-fault divorce for one of two reasons. One is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage, where time simply takes the toll on the marriage and the couple grows apart. This reason requires that “further attempts at reconciliation are impractical or futile and not in the best interests of the parties or family.” Secondly, there is the reason of incompatibility. The law states that “there exists such a complete incompatibility of temperament that the parties can no longer live together.”

Grounds For Fault-Based Divorces

There are certain and specific legal reasons that serve as grounds for a fault-based divorce. They include:

  • Incapacitation at the time of the marriage.
  • Adultery.
  • Voluntary abandonment for one year or more.
  • Imprisonment for two years with a sentence of at least seven years.
  • Commission of a crime against nature before or during the marriage.
  • Substance abuse problems.
  • Mental health issues that require confinement to a mental health institution for a period of five or more years.
  • The existence of an unrevealed pregnancy at the time of the marriage.
  • Violence in the marriage.

Skilled Cullman County Divorce Attorney

The decision to end a marriage and divorce can be one of the most difficult choices a person faces. After vowing to spend a lifetime together, ending that marriage can be difficult, stressful, and time-consuming. That’s why the experienced team at the Hankey Law Firm are dedicated to putting clients first, guiding them through the divorce process with compassion, and fighting tenaciously for our clients’ best interests when necessary. With over 55 years of combined experience in Alabama family law, we serve the people of Cullman County, Blount County, Winston County, Madison County, Morgan County, and beyond. Our practice is almost entirely dedicated to family law, and we are prepared to deliver quality, timely representation with sensitivity, expertise, and dedication. We will fight for you, your rights, and your family. Whether you’re choosing to base a divorce on fault or otherwise, we are here to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us today so we can learn about you, your circumstances, and your goals, so we can tailor our services to best represent you at this trying time.