2006 Alabama Code - Section 30-2-51 — Allowance upon grant of divorce; certain property not considered; retirement benefits.
(a) If either spouse has no separate estate or if it is insufficient for the maintenance of a spouse, the judge, upon granting a divorce, at his or her discretion, may order to a spouse an allowance out of the estate of the other spouse, taking into consideration the value thereof and the condition of the spouse's family. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the judge may not take into consideration any property acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by inheritance or gift unless the judge finds from the evidence that the property, or income produced by the property, has been used regularly for the common benefit of the parties during their marriage.
(b) The judge, at his or her discretion, may include in the estate of either spouse the present value of any future or current retirement benefits, that a spouse may have a vested interest in or may be receiving on the date the action for divorce is filed, provided that the following conditions are met:
(1) The parties have been married for a period of 10 years during which the retirement was being accumulated.
(2) The court shall not include in the estate the value of any retirement benefits acquired prior to the marriage including any interest or appreciation of the benefits.
(3) The total amount of the retirement benefits payable to the non-covered spouse shall not exceed 50 percent of the retirement benefits that may be considered by the court.
(c) If the court finds in its discretion that any of the covered spouse's retirement benefits should be distributed to the non-covered spouse, the amount is not payable to the non-covered spouse until the covered spouse begins to receive his or her retirement benefits or reaches the age of 65 years, unless both parties agree to a lump sum settlement of the non-covered spouse's benefits payable in one or more installments.
(Code 1852, §1971; Code 1867, §2361; Code 1876, §2695; Code 1886, §2332; Code 1896, §1496; Code 1907, §3804; Code 1923, §7418; Acts 1933, Ex. Sess., No. 129, p. 119; Code 1940, T. 34, §31; Acts 1979, No. 79-486, p. 894, §1; Acts 1995, No. 95-549, p. 1151, §1.)
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