Alabama Divorce Definitions

This collection of definitions will help clarify some unique characteristics to the Alabama Divorce laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title:

The spouse who will initiate the Divorce by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title:

The spouse who does not initiate the Divorce with the court.

Court Name:
In the Circuit Court for __________ County, Alabama.

The proper name of the court in which a Divorce is filed in the state of Alabama. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:

The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction:
In Re the Marriage of:

The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Divorce Document:
Complaint for Divorce

The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the Alabama Divorce process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Divorce Document:
Judgment of Divorce

The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the Alabama Divorce process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name:
County Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court

The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Divorce process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation:

A divorce "from bed and board" may be granted for cruelty or for any of the same causes for which a standard divorce may be granted if the spouse filing desires that the divorce be limited to a divorce "from bed and board." [Code of Alabama: Title 30, Chapter 2-30].

Property Distribution:
Equitable Distribution (dictated by case law)

The applicable Alabama law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Divorce.