When a marital relationship is broken beyond repair and a couple decides to divorce, they will have to discuss a number of difficult subjects, like child custody and visitation (if applicable), child support as well as spousal support. If you are facing divorce, one of the most difficult subjects you’ll need to navigate is the division of marital property.
Like other states, Alabama has laws that define how marital property should be split in the event of divorce. It is important that you understand how these laws work if you are going through divorce.
What is marital property?
If your marriage ends in divorce, all your money, assets and debts will fall into two categories: marital property and separate property. With a few exceptions, separate property is typically anything each party earned before the marriage. Marital property, on the other hand, is any asset or debt that either party generated or obtained during the marriage.
Splitting marital property in Alabama
Alabama is an equitable distribution state. Basically, this means that any asset or debt incurred during the marriage is subjected to equitable distribution unless stipulated otherwise. However, equitable division does not necessarily mean 50-50 division. Rather, the court uses its discretion to determine what is fair and equitable when dividing marital property in the event that a couple cannot reach a resolution on their own.
Some of the factors the court will consider when dividing marital property include:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each party’s current and potential income
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
The court may also consider other relevant factors like each party’s age and health.
Protecting your interests
Divorce can be an emotionally draining process. Learning more about Alabama property division laws can help you protect your interests and receive your fair share of marital property during divorce.