The topic of divorce is often a very tough one to discuss. It’s a legal process that often leaves many confused and frustrated, all while they’re trying to sort out the highly emotional process of leaving a married relationship. Often there are high stakes to a divorce being performed properly, such as in the case of child custody, or contested assets. It can be messy, and improper filing can lead to a series of issues that directly affect one or both parties in getting their fair share. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on filing a divorce in the state of Alabama.

First, you have to prove that at least one of you has lived in the state of Alabama for at least 6 months prior to filing. From there, you have to present a legally acceptable reason for you and your spouse to separate. Alabama recognizes 12 reasons that can legally allow for a divorce to be filed:

Divorce settlements generally focus on 3 things: joint property division, alimony and support, and child custody and support. Alabama is an equitable distribution state, meaning that assets are divided based on what is “fair and equitable,” which is to say that not all assets are split equally. Alimony is often awarded in the case of a long term marriage. If fault is decided upon, the judge may determine them to be required to pay alimony support to their divorced spouse, especially if that spouse was economically dependent on the other.

Judges have a lot of discretion in decisions regarding alimony. The terms for issues involving child custody are more clear. Children are determined to live with one parent or the other depending on factors such as home environment, interpersonal relationships, and the emotional needs of the child. Child support is often determined very concretely under an Income Shares Model, which will determine how much the parent without custody will pay the other to support the child.

Emotions can be high during a divorce proceeding. With the grief and stress of ending a relationship, all the above can seem like a nightmare. That’s why the best option when dealing with a divorce proceeding is to hire an attorney. Herlihy Family Law is an experienced family law firm that can help you navigate the murky waters of divorce. Call today to find out about how Herlihy Family Law can help you!