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Alabama

JURISDICTIONAL END OF MARRIAGE DATE: Date the complaint for Divorce is filed, If there is no Complaint filed use current date.

STATE TYPE FOR PENSION DISTRIBUTION: Under Alabama case law, Alabama is an "equitable distribution" state. No Statutory Regulation of property. The division of property and debts between the divorcing parties shall be equitable, but not necessarily equal. There is no standard to divide property, each case will be decided on its facts. The trial court's discretion will not be disturbed on appeal without a showing of clear abuse.


ALA. CODE § 30-2-51:

Allowance upon grant of divorce; certain property not considered; retirement benefits.

(a) If either spouse has no separate estate or if it is insufficient for the maintenance of a spouse, the judge, upon granting a divorce, at his or her discretion, may order to a spouse an allowance out of the estate of the other spouse, taking into consideration the value thereof and the condition of the spouse's family. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the judge may not take into consideration any property acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by inheritance or gift unless the judge finds from the evidence that the property, or income produced by the property, has been used regularly for the common benefit of the parties during their marriage.

(b) The judge, at his or her discretion, may include in the estate of either spouse the present value of any future or current retirement benefits, that a spouse may have a vested interest in or may be receiving on the date the action for divorce is filed, provided that the following conditions are met:

(1) The parties have been married for a period of 10 years during which the retirement was being accumulated.

(2) The court shall not include in the estate the value of any retirement benefits acquired prior to the marriage including any interest or appreciation of the benefits.

(3) The total amount of the retirement benefits payable to the noncovered spouse shall not exceed 50 percent of the retirement benefits that may be considered by the court.

(c) If the court finds in its discretion that any of the covered spouse's retirement benefits should be distributed to the non-covered spouse, the amount is not payable to the non-covered spouse until the covered spouse begins to receive his or her retirement benefits or reaches the age of 65 years, unless both parties agree to a lump sum settlement of the non-covered spouse's benefits payable in one or more installments.

ALA. CODE § 30-2-52:

Allowance upon grant of divorce for misconduct; certain property not considered.

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, or not make an allowance as the circumstances of the case may justify, and if an allowance is made, the misconduct of either spouse may be considered in determining the amount; provided, however, that any property acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by inheritance or gift may not be considered in determining the amount.

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