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Alabama Property Division Factors

In Alabama, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Circuit Court within the Judgment of Divorce.

Alabama is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Circuit Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Circuit Court to be fair.

If the parties do not agree to how their property is to be distributed, the court will do so in an equitable fashion. The court will determine what property is marital and after putting a value on this property, it will distribute a portion to each spouse. The court does not have the right to distribute any separate property that was obtained before or during the marriage. The separate property is, but not limited to gifts and inheritances, unless these gifts and inheritances have been used to benefit both spouses as a married couple. Marital misconduct may be a consideration by the court when distributing the property. (Code of Alabama - Title 30)

Since Alabama is an "Equitable Distribution" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal." To automatically believe the marital property would be divided 50-50 would be a wrong assumption in any equitable distribution state. You can also read more about Alabama property division in the Alabama state statutes located at: http://www.legislature.state.al.us.