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Law Educator, Esq.
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What are thedivorce laws in Alabama about Adultery forgiveness

Customer Question

What are thedivorce laws in Alabama about Adultery forgiveness? Ex: condonation, a certain amount of time after affair, etc.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 7 years ago.

I am the JustAnswer expert that will be helping you today. I am a lawyer with 25 years experience. Although I am not your attorney, I hope that I can give you helpful legal information.

Can you tell me about your situation so that I can be more specific
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I need to know if one person commits adultery in a marriage and the other person finds out, retains an attorney, but doesnt seek a divorce.....if we end up going to divorce court eventually what are the laws on adultery forgiveness such as after a certain amount of time he can't bring it up, condonation, engaging in sex with my husband after he finds this out??? etc etc
Expert:  Ellen replied 7 years ago.

Most divorces in Alabama are filed as no fault divorces, meaning that the fault of a spouse does not need to be proven to obtain a divorce. There is not an advantage in filing a divorce on the grounds of fault. That said, the court may consider fault in determining an equitable distribution of property or alimony even in a no fault divorce. The reconcilation of the spouses after the adultery would appear to nullify the claim of fault.

Here is how it works.

Alabama is an equitable distribution state. This means that in the event of a divorce the "marital property" is "equitably" divided by the court. Property that is "separate property" is not divided by the court.

Separate property (not subject to property division) includes inheritances, property owned before the marriage, personal injury awards, and gifts given to only one spouse.

Marital property (subject to equitable distribution) is basically anything that is not considered to be separate property and most income and appreciation on separate property that occurred during the marriage. Income attributable to the efforts of either spouse is marital property.

An "equitable distribution" means fair, not equal although it often is. The court in determining what is fair looks at the duration of the marriage, the assets and liabilities of the spouses, the monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each spouse and any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable. The court may consider adultery in this context and the effect of the adultery on the dissipation of marital assets.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, I already know this. I need to know specifically what the forgiveness laws are in Alabama about adultery. I have a prenuptial agreement, but everything changes if adultery is claimed. What are the laws on claiming adultery and Alabama law on forgiveness by the other party???
Expert:  Ellen replied 7 years ago.
I will opt out as this is not an issue that I can research further.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Your previous expert has asked me to assist. The AL law does not specify a time for condonation to have occurred, instead they look a the totality of the circumstances regarding the conduct of the parties to determine if condonation has occurred. The AL courts state that, '"Condonation means the willing continuance of cohabitation, a living together in the same place from which sexual intercourse may in general be presumed."' Rush v. Rush, 551 So. 2d 1075, 1076 (Ala. Civ. App. 1989) (quoting Latham v. Latham, 54 Ala. App. 305, 307, 307 So. 2d 703, 707 (Ala. Civ. App. 1975). 'Condonation' in the context of a divorce case means forgiveness by the offended spouse. Id. Where there has been a condonation of adultery, a divorce may not be granted on the ground of adultery. Id. Something more than a temporary cohabitive relationship must occur in order to support a finding of condonation in a divorce proceeding. Id.

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