Unhappy with Our Child Custody Agreement
Child custody determinations are always modifiable until the child turns the age of 19. The age of 19 in Alabama is the age of majority. However, it may be very difficult to change the child custody arrangement if one of the parents was granted sole physical custody of the child in the initial custody proceedings . Once one parent has sole physical custody, which means the child lives with one parent most of the time and visits with the other, according to a visitation schedule, which usually is the 1st and 3rd weekends or the 1s t, 3rd and sth weekends, or every other weekend type schedule, that parent is placed on a pedestal. The court is very reluctant to change custody in those types of situations.
However, if you and the other parent have what is called joint physical custody, or equal time sharing with the child, the court is then going to look at the best interest standard, which is the same standard used in your divorce case. In other words, both parents come back into the courtroom on equal footing, and the court has to decide if one parent is a little better than the other on certain aspects of parenting. For example, does one parent allows the child to be involved in activities while the other does not? Will one parent meet the child’s educational needs while the other parent will not? Who has done homework with the child? Has the child been late to school? Has the child missed activities during one parent’s time and not the other? Those are all things that the court will consider if you are indeed on the equal footing basis.