A divorce is a serious, life changing event that can cause the parties involved to act strangely. Some divorces even end with disastrous or criminal results because of the tension between the two spouses. Once it becomes obvious that a marriage cannot be saved, it can be beneficial to contact an attorney and formally end the marriage sooner rather than later to avoid problems.

A news story in Mobile Alabama recounted the murder and gruesome end to one couple’s short marriage.

Wife is murdered by husband before their divorce is finalized

When local police found the badly burned body of a female and her car in western Mobile County, they did not know that they would be investigating more than just a murder. The victim and suspect had been going through divorce proceedings in nearby Washington County, and their court filings revealed some crucial information about what led to the murder.

The divorce paperwork spoke of physical and verbal abuse, as well as the fact that the husband was illegally raising and selling roosters on the property for the purpose of cock fighting. There was constant tension between the two due to the fact that the wife was always afraid of losing her house if he was ever caught by police. She even filed a lawsuit at a previous time to try to get total ownership rights to the property. All of this happened during their short marriage that only lasted about one year.

There were also some questions as to how much violence had occurred between the couple. Each listed allegations of assault against the other in their divorce papers, but such violence had mostly gone unreported. There was only one previous domestic violence incident where police actually responded to their residence.

The divorce was not finalized, and will not need to be, now that investigators suspect that the husband of this couple has killed his wife. The husband and one of his female relatives were charged with first degree murder and kidnapping.

Divorces, violence, and crime

The stress associated with a divorce can always cause people to do strange things and even commit crimes. However, it is best to start the legal process and get advice from an attorney as soon as possible to avoid catastrophes like the news story above. One member of a couple can potentially get a protective order or take other legal action before the divorce is finalized to ensure that they will remain safe. Making separate living arrangements as soon as it becomes clear that a divorce will happen can also be beneficial. Lawyers who provide divorces and related services can offer further guidance regarding how to minimize the possibility of violence or other serious problems.

Grounds for a legal divorce

While some divorce stories are sensational, all states in the U.S. now have some version of no fault divorce laws in place. This means that a couple can divorce for essentially any reason as long as at least one spouse believes the marriage has broken down. They just need to contact an attorney who deals with family law issues and file the proper paperwork in the local courts. All states have some kind of residency requirement, but depending on where they couple has lived most recently it should be easy to determine the appropriate venue for filing.

Other requirements for divorce in Alabama

Alabama has some state laws on the books that detail specific procedural requirements before a judge can sign off on a final order to dissolve the marriage. When someone is seeking a no fault divorce, they can merely state that the marriage has suffered an “irretrievable breakdown” without any specifics, or they can use standard fault based grounds such as adultery, imprisonment, incapacity, or insanity. There is a waiting period of at least thirty days once the initial complaint has been filed in the proper venue. The venue is important, as the case should be filed in the county where the defendant spouse lives. The spouse who initially files the divorce paperwork will be considered the plaintiff in the case.

For the couple to be legally divorced in the state, at least one of the spouses must have resided in Alabama for at least six months prior. If this is not possible, it may be worth looking into the laws of the state where the couple lived previously. Couples may also elect to legally separate for a certain period of time before the marriage is completely dissolved. This is often done as an intermediary process while all of the couple’s affairs and child custody issues are squared away.

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