The process of getting divorced can be tricky because both spouses may have different ideas about how their assets should be split. In Alabama, the divorce courts follow the concept of equitable distribution. Based on this concept, marital property is split in an equitable -- or fair -- manner, whereas separate property is not subject to equitable division.
During a marriage, some assets may be partly separate, whereas others may be partly marital. For example, if the couple uses one spouse's separate property to purchase marital assets, the appreciation of this property in the course of the marriage may be a marital asset. Thus, the court might need to compute the quantity of the property's current value that is based on the couple's initial investment as well as how much is the result of appreciation. Keeping records of how much property was worth when it was acquired, along with the marriage date, is thus important.