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How different fault divorces impact the custody proceedings

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2019 | Child Custody |

Alabama offers couples the chance to file for a “fault divorce.” This means that one of the spouses must prove their future ex was at fault for the breakdown of their marriage. Some people think that going through with the process isn’t worth it since a standard divorce is already stressful enough. However, it could be very beneficial to those who can convince the court of their spouse’s wrongdoings.

Proof that one of the partners did something to ruin the marriage can drastically affect how much parenting time the court gives to each spouse. Depending on the nature of the fault, the court may find the guilty party unfit to have primary custody over the child. Since there are several variations of fault divorces, you should understand how you can tie some of the more common reasons to your arguments for child custody.


This tends to be one of the most common reasons used for fault divorces and is one of the hardest to prove. Evidence that people often rely on to prove their spouse was cheating on them can include:

  • The cell phone call and text history
  • Travel records
  • Emails
  • Photographic or video evidence

A private investigator can typically acquire most of these. Trying to get these yourself could put you and your case at high risk.

The guilty party may try to argue that their actions shouldn’t reflect on how they raised the child. However, some of the evidence you provide can tell a different story. Time and money they spent while cheating on you could’ve been time and money they could’ve used raising your child. If they were unfaithful as a partner, the court may find them untrustworthy as a parent.

Substance abuse

If your spouse was arrested for illegal drug possession and usage in Alabama prior to your divorce, then you can have an easier time filing for a fault divorce. The nature of the crime and the amount of time they are spending in jail can convince the court they are unfit to have primary custody over your child. This isn’t even including the effects their dangerous addiction had on your finances and your child’s well-being.

If your partner is an alcoholic, then it might get a little more complicated. While alcoholism can be sufficient grounds for divorce, the court will consider how severe their problem is and how bad their condition was before your marriage. However, even if their addiction doesn’t work as your basis for a fault divorce, you can still use it when discussing child custody. The court may feel uncomfortable giving more parenting time to someone who will be drinking alone when the divorce is finalized.

If you need further advice on how to get more parenting time in your divorce proceedings, contact an experienced Alabama family law attorney. They can help you plan a strong strategy for your custody case.