Not all marriages last forever. Fortunately, many spouses find that ending their marriages and beginning life anew is an effective strategy for living happily ever after. If you have become accustomed to a certain quality of life, though, you may worry about your post-divorce financial situation. Regardless, if you live in the Yellowhammer State, you must know what Alabama law says about dividing property after a divorce.
Every state in the country has its own approach to handling divorces. Like about half of the other states, Alabama uses an equitable distribution standard. That is, while you may not receive exactly 50% of marital wealth, you can plan on walking away with your fair share of it.
Factors in equitable distribution
Judges do not like to make arbitrary decisions. On the contrary, they prefer to have both law and facts to support their orders. When determining what is equitable in a divorce matter, judges typically consider a few factors:
- The marriage’s duration
- Each spouse’s fault in causing the divorce
- Each spouse’s financial contributions
- Each spouse’s post-divorce earnings potential
You should realize the above list is not exhaustive. Rather, it should give you some idea of how judges decide what is fair. If there is other relevant information, you can expect the judge in your case to consider it.
The nature of property
Remember, judges in Alabama divide marital property based upon what is equitable to each spouse. Separate property, though, is likely to go exclusively to the spouse who owns it. Typically, anything a spouse owned before he or she walked down the aisle is separate property. Other assets may also constitute separate property, nevertheless.
If you are going through a divorce, you are apt to have a great deal on your mind. Among other things, financial matters may consume some of your mental energy. Luckily, understanding what Alabama law says about dividing property after a divorce may put your mind at ease.