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Alabama no longer the quickie divorce State it once was

Any Alabama resident who is married understands that a marriage can be tough work. Sometimes, no matter how hard a spouse works to keep the marriage together, it simply is not in the best interests of the spouses to stay together.

Once a person comes to this realization, they often want the process to be over sooner rather than later. Most understand that the process may take some time to complete, however, depending on the issues involved in the divorce.

It may surprise some to learn that Alabama used to be a haven for so-called “quickie divorces,” where the divorce process was so expedited in the State that others from around the country would flock to Alabama in order to have their divorce carried out. Some, including Time magazine, even referred to Alabama as the divorce capital of the United States, back in 1962.

This is no longer the case, however, as individuals can no longer sidestep the residency and other requirements that must be present in order to obtain a divorce in the State. Many states, however, retain an option for “summary” divorce, which allows a couple to streamline the typical divorce timeline under certain circumstances. There are certain eligibility requirements put in place in order to qualify for a summary divorce, such as being married for a short period of time, having no children and not having significant marital property to divide.

For couples who have a substantial amount of property obtained during the marriage, summary divorce may not be possible or advisable. Indeed, in these cases, there may be complex valuation issues and questions of how to best complete the process of property division. Accordingly, it makes sense to work through these issues carefully, to ensure the spouse is put in the best possible situation after the divorce, and that the couple’s assets are appropriately valued to make for an equitable distribution.

Source: Montgomery Advertiser, “Inside the Statehouse: Alabama once a quickie divorce haven for rich and famous,” Steve Flowers, Nov. 19, 2013