An Alabama divorce court will engage in equitable distribution of out-of-state property that is marital property. Marital property is property that the spouses acquired during the marriage. An example is a vacation cabin the parties bought together after the wedding. The court in a Shelby County divorce will not divide separate property. Separate property is real property a spouse acquired before the marriage or property they inherited or received as a gift during the marriage. If the second spouse improved the first spouse’s separate property, the court will order that they be compensated for the value of the improvement.
The divorce court has the authority to divide real property or order one spouse to compensate the other for the value of the real property. Spouses can decide how they want to divide out-of-state property in a marital settlement agreement (MSA). Both spouses must review and sign the MSA before presenting it to the court. The court will determine if the division of out-of-state property is equitable in light of the spouses’ other divisions of property. An experienced divorce lawyer in Prattville or wherever you live can help advise you of property division in your divorce when you call for a consultation.
If an Alabama court orders the division or sale of out-of-state property and the spouse with ownership documents does not comply with the order, the court may find that party in contempt of court. The Alabama court can require the party in contempt of court to pay a fine or serve time in jail. The other spouse may also choose to force a division or sale of the out-of-state property by filing a petition to partition the real estate. The other spouse’s divorce lawyer should do this in the county in the court in the state where the property is located.
A party cannot have their Birmingham divorce lawyer represent them in this action unless the divorce lawyer is licensed in the state where the property is located. The exception is if the divorce lawyer associates with a lawyer in the other state in regard to this matter specifically. The spouse filing the petition should attach the judgment of the Alabama divorce court and documents finding their spouse in contempt of court to the petition.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!