Abandonment in divorce cases is one of the most misunderstood aspects of divorce law. It seems that everyone “knows” the laws regarding abandonment in Alabama, and hardly anyone actually does. Hopefully this will clear things up.

Alabama Code 1975, 30-2-1(a)(3) states:

The circuit court has power to divorce persons from the bonds of matrimony, upon a complaint filed by one of the parties, entitled “In re the marriage of _____ and _____,” for the causes following:

(3) For voluntary abandonment from bed and board for one year next preceding the filing of the complaint.

Additionally, a spouse who leaves the marital residence due to physical violence directed toward them is not guilty of voluntary abandonment. (Shelton v. Shelton, 48 Ala. App. 204, 263; So.2d 505, 506 (Civ. App. 1972))

In reality, the proliferation of no-fault divorce laws has essentially made the practice of pleading one of the statutory fault grounds for divorce archaic. If you have further questions on the law regarding abandonment in Alabama, contact my office for a free consultation. (205) 988-5570.

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