Division of property laws vary from state to state. In Alabama, the courts divide marital property between the spouses (along with debts and obligations owed) in accordance with a system of equitable division of property. A shared marital property is often referred to as “community property”. Unlike many other states where marital property laws require the courts to evenly split the shared community property between the spouses, Alabama marital property laws give the courts substantial discretion in determining how to divide the property to ensure that such distribution is equitable, fair, and just.
Litigating a divorce (and dividing property between spouses) can be overwhelming in the state of Alabama, particularly because so much discretion is given to the courts in making a division of property determination. There are no clear-cut rules or easy ways to predict how a court will respond to the unique circumstances of your case. As such, you’ll want to work with an experienced divorce attorney who will help you to successfully navigate the difficulties of Alabama divorce and division of property.
In Alabama, as in most other states, divorcing spouses are usually not entitled to the separate property of the other spouse — division of property usually only involves shared, marital (community) property. As such, the court must first identify which assets are separate, and which are marital. Following such identification, the assets will be appraised and an equitable distribution will be determined.
Separate property includes assets that belonged to the spouse before marriage, or that were gifted to the spouse as an individual (during marriage) and where the assets were not commingled with marital assets. Marital property, by contrast, encompasses a wide variety of assets, including income earned by each spouse (career income, investment income, rent, etc.) and assets belonging to a marital business. Further, any separate assets that become commingled with marital assets (i.e., separate funds deposited in a shared bank account) will generally be considered marital assets.
Equitable distribution of marital property is up to the discretion of the judge, who will make a holistic decision based on circumstances of your particular case. A number of factors can and will influence the judge’s decision, including but not limited to:
How much weight a judge gives each factor will depend on the facts of the marriage, the nature of the property at issue, and the unique circumstances surrounding the divorce. For example, the court may choose to distribute the second home to the wife if the facts show that it is in a location that is very close to her family — the court might then distribute other assets to the husband to ensure that the division of property is equitable.
Attorney Daniel Chambers has dedicated his career to helping clients successfully resolve their complex property division issues. He understands that division of property in a divorce proceeding can be complicated and is personally available to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process. To discuss your division of property issues with a skilled Hoover, Alabama divorce lawyer, contact Daniel H. Chambers, Attorney-at-Law, PC, by calling 205-913-4057. You can also schedule your initial consultation by contacting Attorney Chambers online.
We have used Daniel Chambers for legal services on several occasions since 2007 with excellent results. He has assisted our family in each matter with a professional yet tenacious manner. He has always been upfront about possible outcomes and honest about how to appropriately deal with challenging situations. I have recommended him several times over and will continue to do so. He has been an incredible asset to have on our legal team and we have always been satisfied with the results.
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