Alabama Alimony

I have not been married long.  Will I get alimony in Alabama?

Many Alabamians have the notion that divorce courts in our state never award alimony in a marriage that lasts less than 10 years.  The truth is, there is no bright line rule on this issue.  Although it is rare, from time to time Alabama courts will award alimony to a spouse after a short-term marriage.  It will generally depend on the special circumstances in that case.

What is the purpose of alimony?

The purpose of alimony is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing continuing income to the spouse who is either unemployed, or earning lower wages than the other.  The justification for this award, in part, is that one spouse may have given up a career to support the family.  As such, that spouse needs time to find ways to support himself or herself.  Another purpose of awarding alimony may be to allow one spouse to continue the standard of living he or she was used to during the marriage.

 Alimony awarded after a 6-year marriage

One Alabama case, decided in 2009, provides an example where an alimony award was appropriate after a marriage of less than 10 years.  In Lackey v. Lackey, the wife quit her job as a nurse to care for the couple’s children, while the husband was in residency and pursuing his medical career.  Upon their divorce after six years, the Husband was ordered to pay $1,500 per month in permanent alimony (which means until the wife remarries or cohabitates with a member of the opposite sex).  The husband appealed the ruling, but the appellate court affirmed the award.

What factors does the court consider?

The appellate court discussed the factors that Alabama trial courts should consider in determining the need for alimony in each case.  The court stated as follows:

When dividing marital property and determining a party’s need for alimony, a trial court should consider several factors, including ‘the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the future employment prospects of the parties, the source, value, and type of property owned, and the standard of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage.

It is also interesting to note that the appeals court also considered the fact that the husband was in pursuit of a professional license, which would provide him with the income necessary to pay the alimony.

If you have questions regarding alimony or any other divorce issues, contact attorney Brad J. Latta online, or by calling (205) 998-5570.

4 thoughts on “Alabama Alimony

  1. Tara Reply

    I’ve been married 6 years an didn’t work in order to take care of his son an him while he worked on his career he has since abandoned me for a mistress I found out about he left me with no job no vehicle an no means to support myself I have since found a job making only a $1000 a month an every attorney says I have nothing because we weren’t married 10 years.. How is adultery an abandonment not grounds for spousal support an if not for me he wouldn’t have a retirement started an he an his mistress gain while I struggle.. I’m very discouraged

  2. Daniel Reply

    Me and my husband have been together for 16 years married 6 years. We are going through a divorce process. I have not hired an attorney to represent me, because I ask for nothing just help maintain our child expenses out of our 16 years he has provided financial support to me fully because I have not worked we decide I would be the parent to stay at home and raise the children will he was on the road. Today he presented me with paper that say we separate a year ago and have not live together since then. That is a flat out lie we still live together. Second on one form the cs2 says either party will provide child support but another form says he will pay me 488 a month. We agreed that he will give her 1500 a month. Over those 16 years I have help him establish his Transportation Company. I feel he is try to get over do i nees to hire an attorney

    • Brad J. Latta Post authorReply

      It sounds like he is trying to get you to agree to an Uncontested Divorce that you don’t agree to. You definitely need an attorney in this situation. Please let me know if you would like to schedule a consultation at my office. BJL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *