Child Custody Lawyers in Huntsville AL
Child custody issues and visitation arrangements are often the most stressful issue to be decided in a divorce. There are many areas that parents and the courts must consider. But you don’t have to feel like you are on your own as you try to decide (and fight for) what is best for you and your children. Our Huntsville divorce lawyers are here to help.
At New Beginnings Family Law, our dedicated Huntsville child custody attorneys work decisively when issues involving children are discussed. Children need to know that your divorce is not their fault, and it is important that both parents put their personal feelings aside and do what is best for the children. Our legal team provides a safe and comfortable environment where you can discuss your children’s needs, as well as your own, and our family law firm can counsel you on how to tackle the challenges ahead.
We can develop a smart child custody and child support strategy for you while working to relieve emotional barriers that may be stopping you and your spouse from coming to an agreement. Whether you are trying to reach an initial child custody agreement or modify an existing one, our child custody and child support attorneys can help. Schedule a consultation today by calling (256) 518-9529 or filling out our form online.
Our Huntsville Child Custody Lawyers are on your Side
For more than a decade, the skilled Huntsville child custody lawyers at New Beginnings Family Law have been helping parents cope with the heartbreak of divorce. Although our objective in every case is to make this process as stress-free as possible for our clients, that is unfortunately not always possible.
We know that some couples have deeply divisive issues between them that are irreconcilable. Contested divorces that include child custody disputes are some of the most difficult cases our firm handles. Nothing is more contentious or more demanding than a full-blown child custody battle.
If you are forced to prove that you are the better parent, you must prepare for a long and taxing fight ahead. As your child custody attorneys, we will dedicate ourselves and our resources to helping you do what’s in the best interests of the child. We work hard to protect the children in the cases we handle, and we never want to see them used like pawns in a divorce.
Typically, the evidence will show the role you played in your children’s lives before the divorce, and it is likely that you will have the same role afterward. To win physical custody of your children, you need to be able to show the judge that you have taken care of your children, from getting them ready for school to tucking them in at night. A parent who cannot name his or her children’s friends, doctors, teachers, and babysitters will not win custody.
If you are facing a tough child custody battle and looking to hire a child custody lawyer, let our aggressive Huntsville divorce attorneys put our knowledge, skills, abilities, and connections to work for you. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help you and your children with any of your legal issues pertaining to family law.
Child Custody Lawyer: Defining Arrangements
In discussions of child custody during divorce proceedings in Alabama, we distinguish first between “sole” and “shared” (or “joint”) custody. It is most common — and better in most cases — for divorcing parents to come to a shared custody agreement.
Shared or joint custody in Alabama means both parents have full parental rights and responsibilities for their children, and parents normally make major decisions together when they affect the welfare of the children.
Sole custody means the court has given responsibility for minor-age children to one parent, with or without rights of visitation for the other parent. Generally, the court awards sole parental responsibility because it has found that shared custody would be detrimental to the children’s welfare, such as to the child’s grandparents
Further, child custody arrangements may be described as “physical custody,” which refers to where the children live, and “legal custody,” which refers to responsibility for major decisions regarding the children’s upbringing, including (but not limited to) decisions regarding education, health care, and religious training.
Therefore, child custody arrangements in Alabama may be described as:
- Joint legal custody, which is defined as both parents having equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the children. Regardless of the requirement that both parties have equal rights and responsibilities for these decisions, the court may designate one parent as having the sole power to make certain decisions while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.
- Joint physical custody, which ensures the children have frequent and substantial contact with both parents. This does not mean that both parents will have completely equal time with their children.
- Sole legal custody, which gives one parent the sole right and responsibility to make major decisions concerning the child.
- Sole physical custody, which gives one parent physical custody of the children and the other parent visitation rights as defined by the court.
Most Common Child Custody Arrangements
In most cases, parents are able to come to a joint physical and legal custody agreement. They can also agree on where their children will live, when and how they will spend time with each parent, and which decisions the parents will consult one another about. Shared custody is healthier for the children in most cases.
However, it is important to keep in mind that every aspect of your agreement needs to be spelled out for inclusion in your divorce decree. For example, if your ex-spouse has primary physical and/or legal custody (your children live with him or her), you need to document such issues as where the children will spend each major holiday, as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, birthdays, etc., and family rules that will be observed in each household (e.g., Internet / cellphone use, R-rated movies, curfews, etc.).
In some cases, parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, and the decision must be made by a judge. In these child custody cases, our dedicated Alabama child custody attorneys will present a strong argument before the court to show what’s in the best interests of you and your children.