Alabama divorce laws and house

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For a contested divorce, you will need to call and speak with one of our attorneys for a quote. However, we usually work with you to structure a low, flat fee instead of expensive retainers that are billed out of at an expensive hourly rate. There is also a filing fee that every county charges when you file in and has to be paid to the court at the time the divorce is filed. As long as you or hour spouse is a resident of Alabama, then you can file here.

To be a resident, you have to have resided in the State for at least six months prior to filing a case. If you both are residents of Alabama, then you can technically file in whichever county either of you live in.

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For example, if you live in Shelby County and your spouse lives in Madison County, then you can technically file your divorce in either county. However, some counties like to discourage any filings when neither party is a resident and it is ultimately up to the particular judges in the county you are filing in to allow non-residents to file in their courts. Therefore, you can usually file in any county you want if both of you are residents of the State of Alabama , but some counties do discourage such filings.

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If you are interested in filing in a county that neither of you reside in, then feel free to call us today to find out if the county you are wanting to file in discourages such filings or not. To file in Alabama, at least one of you has to be a resident. So if you live in Jefferson County and your spouse lives in California, then you have to file in either Jefferson County or California.

Abandonment Laws in Alabama Regarding Marriage

An uncontested divorce is where both you and your spouse have reached an agreement about all of your marital issues such as custody, child support, division of property, and all other issues. If you have reached such an agreement prior to filing for divorce, then you can file your settlement agreement signed by both spouses at the time your divorce is filed. Since an agreement has been filed at the time the divorce is filed, then the divorce begins as an uncontested divorce, meaning that there are no contested matters since everything has been agreed upon and put down in a contract or settlement agreement.

You typically hire an attorney to type up all of your divorce documents that are required by your particular county most counties have their own local requirements and you get them signed and your attorney files them with the court. Since an agreement is filed at the time the divorce is filed, a judge will usually sign your divorce decree as long as they approve your agreement, which they usually do unless you are agreeing to something that might be unfair, unlawful, or otherwise meet with the disapproval of the judge in your case without the need for any hearings since there are no issues to be resolved at a potential hearing.

This means each spouse has rights to the value of the marital home. There are several ways to grant spouses their share of the marital home, such as:. Deferred distributions are also common in cases where the housing market is soft and divorcing couples want to hold on to their home until the market picks up.

As part of a deferred distribution award, a court will usually require one or both spouses to cover maintenance fees, taxes, mortgage payments, and home owner's insurance. In most cases, a judge will assign a certain real estate agent or you and your spouse can pick your own. Most couples are on the same page when it comes to selling a home because both spouses want to maximize their profits.

A listing agent can recommend any updates or strategies for selling. A divorce order will typically require couples to split the costs of updates to the residence. Once a home is under contract and sold, any proceeds must be split in accordance with the divorce order. Skip to Main Content. By Kristina Otterstrom , Attorney. Find out when you might need to say goodbye to your marital home.

Who Gets the House? The following information will help you better understand who owns what with respect to marital property. Most states are common law property states. So, what does it mean to live in a common law property state and who owns what after a divorce? The term "common law" is simply a term used to determine the ownership of marital property property acquired during marriage. The common law system provides that property acquired by one member of a married couple is owned completely and solely by that person.

Of course, if the title or deed to a piece of property is put in the names of both spouses, however, then that property would belong to both spouses.

Alabama Divorce: Dividing Property | DivorceNet

If both spouses' names are on the title, each owns a one-half interest. Example : If George buys a car and puts it only in his name, that car belongs only to George.


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If George buys a car and puts it in both he and his husband Bob's name, then the car belongs to both of them. Property distribution upon death or separation : When one spouse passes away, their separate property is distributed according to their will, or according to probate in the absence of a will. The distribution of the marital property depends on how the spouses share ownership. If they own property in " joint tenancy with the right of survivorship " or "tenancy by the entirety," the property goes to the surviving spouse.

This right is independent of what the deceased spouse's will says. However, if the property was owned as " tenancy in common ," then the property can go to someone other than the surviving spouse, per the deceased spouse's will.


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Not all property has a title or deed. In this case, generally, whoever paid for the property or received it as a gift owns it. If the couple divorces or obtains a legal separation , the court will decide how the marital property will be divided. Of course, the couple can enter into an agreement before the marriage, explaining how to distribute the marital property upon divorce. Community property states follow the rule that all assets acquired during the marriage are considered "community property.

This marital property includes earnings, all property bought with those earnings, and all debts accrued during the marriage.