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New Year – New Status. Divorce Advice for 2016.

Whether you have been in a troubled marriage or currently separated, 2016 can be the year you get to change your status.  With the upcoming elections, changes are in the air.  Individuals normally do not like change and it is difficult to embrace changes in your marital status.  However with the feel of change in the air, it could be a good time to take that first step forward to changing your personal status. Change has been happening all around us and we comtemplate more changes to come.  

In the previous year, The Supreme Court of the United States made it clear that all states have to recognize same-sex marriages giving civil rights and liberties to every individual. I have personally seen individuals who, for the first time, have had their marriages recognized in the state of Alabama.  It's been an exciting past year.  I have had clients that were in the need of a same-sex divorce and with the Supreme Court ruling were able to get that relief without leaving their home state of Alabama.  

With the changes in healthcare laws, I've had clients who were able to secure their own health care coverage which assisted them in finalizing their divorces.  Some individuals were separated from their spouses with pre-existing conditions that inhibited them from finalizing their divorce.  Once divorced they knew that their coverage would end and getting new coverage may exclude their conditions.  Now with changes in health care, they are free to enroll personally without the denial of their pre-existing conditions.  It has enabled them to be self-sufficient. 

Now with 2016 on the rise, individuals have contacted our firm that are in need of legal asistance to start a new year with new goals.  Divorce can be very challenging but with the right legal team, you can get solutions that are best for you.  In some ways it is easier to make personal changes while your environment is also changing.  2016 can be the year you reach your personal goals.  Let us assist you in any of your family law issues.  We have a dedicated team of attorneys and professionals waiting to help you. 

Call us at (205) 623-1001.

We have information on our website that may answer your questions.  Our blog covers a wide variety of legal topics. See

Alabama Divorce Jurisdiction

Alabama is like most states in that if both parties are bona fide residents of the State of Alabama; then Alabama has jurisdiction to divorce them.  Alabama also has jurisdiction to dispose of all their property where ever it might be and grant a full range of remedies.

To be a bona fide resident of Alabama one must show that this is the place they intend to live and return to each time they travel.  A factual determination must be made to decide if a party is a bona fide resident.  It hinges on the concept of domicile.  A person may be a bona fide resident after just one day in Alabama as long as they have the intent to remain in Alabama.  It is sort of a state of mind.  When deciding whether a person is a bona fide reside your lawyer may look at several factors but none of them are a deciding factor alone.  Some factors to consider are:  1) where are the bank accounts; 2) where do they receive mail; 3) where do they store their stuff; and 4) where do they have a driver’s licence from.  These factors are helpful but neither one can decide the ultimate decision alone. 

For divorce purposes, at least one party must be a bona fide resident for not less than 6 months for Alabama to take jurisdiction over the marriage and grant a divorce.  In the state of Alabama if one party files for a divorce and is a bona fide resident, a divorce will be granted.

After deciding that Alabama has jurisdiction over a marriage, then venue must be decided.  Venue is what county the divorce will be filed in and carried out in.  Venue is proper in either: 1) the county where the defendant resides (and when in doubt, file it there); 2) in the county where the couple last resided as husband and wife.  This is important in that venue can be agreed to by both parties and filed anywhere the parties want to submit to jurisdiction if done by agreement.  If it is a contested divorce, the proper filing venue would only be either where the defendant resides or where the parties last resided as husband and wife.  If the filing party has moved out of the county and never lived in their current county as husband and wife, the current county whre they reside would not be proper venue. Only the county were the defendant resides or where they last lived as husband and wife would be proper.

Obtaining jurisdiction over the parties and marriage is the first step in any divorce process.  It is generally an easy step since it revolves around only two questions.  However, if it cannot be easily resolved the case may be transferred to the proper jurisdiction or dismissed and refiled.  Call our attorneys today if you have questions about where to file your divorce action.  (205) 623-1001

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