Your husband has left you and your kids to start a new life but has yet to file for divorce. He hasn’t provided you with any type of support and has even cut financial ties between the two of you. How are you expected to survive if you and your kids were dependent upon him for financial support or you were a stay at home mom and had him handling all the finances?
It isn’t uncommon nowadays for one parent to stay at home with their children while the other goes off to work. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, more than 11 million parents in the U.S. were not working outside of their home in 2016, the year in which the most recent data has been made available. In many cases, when a parent chooses to stay at home and tend to their kids, they must either give up their schooling to do so or even their career. Unfortunately, this can put them at somewhat of a disadvantage in the event their marriage doesn’t work out as they might have trouble earning a decent income.
If these are the circumstances you are currently facing, now might be a good time to contact an Alabama divorce lawyer. If your spouse hasn’t filed for divorce, he/she isn’t obligated to pay you anything as there is no court order that requires him to do so. Therefore, if you are in need of financial support and cannot get your spouse to comply, you might want to consider filing for divorce and hiring an experienced divorce lawyer such as those at Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C. to help you.
Filing for Divorce in Alabama
When you file for divorce in Alabama, a number of issues are going to be addressed including the division of assets, child support, alimony, etc. all of which might help you to gain some sort of financial stability. In order to file for divorce, you either need to establish which ground you are filing on (i.e. abandonment, adultery, etc.) or that there was an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. Aside from this, at least one party must have been a resident of the state of Alabama for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
What happens once I file for divorce?
Your case can either go one of two ways. Either you and your spouse can come to an agreement on the issues mentioned above (i.e. child support, child custody, alimony, etc.) which would eliminate the court from having to make a decision on them or a judge will intervene and decide on the matters. Given that your spouse has left you and cut financial ties, it may be difficult for the two of you to come to any sort of agreement on the matters. Therefore, the court may make the final ruling on all issues.
How will the court divide our assets?
Although your spouse may have decided to cut you off financially, Alabama law governs who gets what in a divorce. All assets acquired in the marriage (i.e. marital property) are subject to division and shall be equally divided among both parties. Essentially, what this means is that bank accounts, retirement accounts, property, etc. shall all be divided up between you and your spouse. So, although you may not have access to certain financial accounts now, this will likely change once your divorce is finalized.
Am I entitled to alimony?
When one party in a marriage was financially dependent upon the other, they may be entitled to collect alimony from their spouse once their divorce is finalized. For example, if two spouses decided that one would give up their career to stay at home with their kids while the other went to work to earn a steady income, the spouse who stayed at home would likely be entitled to alimony in the event of a divorce.
Alabama Code §3-2-52 also says that “if the divorce is in favor of either spouse for the misconduct of the other spouse, the judge trying the case shall have the right to make an allowance to either spouse out of the estate of either spouse.” The form of misconduct shall play a role in the judge determining how much the other party should receive. It is important to note “that any property acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by inheritance or gift may not be considered in determining the amount.” Therefore, if your spouse up and left you and your children and failed to provide you all with any type of support, the judge could use this as reasonable grounds to award you an allowance.
Now, if you would like to learn more about filing for divorce in Alabama and what a divorce lawyer can do to help you get the financial support you and your children need, contact Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C. to speak with a legal expert.
Disclaimer: No representation is made that quality of legal services provided is greater than the quality of legal services provided by other attorneys.
Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C. can be reached at:
2603 Moody Parkway, Suite 200
Moody, Alabama 35004
Phone: (205) 640-2000
7900 Parkway Drive
Leeds, AL 35094
Phone: (205) 699-5500
6441 U.S. Highway 11
Springville, Alabama 35146
Phone: (205) 467-2225