In 2017, the State of Alabama passed a law concerning alimony that became effective in January of 2018. Governor Ivey signed HB 257, now codified in Ala. Code § 30-2-57, which gives trial courts the discretion to avoid periodic alimony.
Periodic alimony refers to alimony granted to a spouse with a stream of income for an indefinite period of time. The new law limits periodic alimony to provide rehabilitative payments. Rehabilitative alimony is financial support that is provided for a short period of time to allow the receiving spouse to get adjusted and establish him or herself financially.
Alabama divorce courts will retain some discretion in awarding longer-term alimony. However, if alimony is awarded for a term of more than five years, the judge must make an explicit finding that rehabilitation is not feasible. When the court finds a deviation, the court is limited to a period not exceeding the length of the marriage. The only exception is if the Spouses have been married 20 years or longer. There is no limitation on the time period if the spouses have been married 20 years or longer.
The Cockrell, Ford, Townsend & Ritchey family has been serving Alabama families for over 35 years. If you have any questions regarding alimony, please contact our firm at (205) 349-2009. We will be happy to assist you with your family legal needs.