How is the Custody of a Child Determined?

How is the Custody of a Child Determined?

In Alabama, child custody is determined in the divorce part of the process through what’s called the “best interest of the child standard.” In other words, you have to prove that it is in the best interest of your child to be in your custody versus your spouse’s custody. In order to do that, the court is going to look at the age and sex of the child, as well as who the Court believes is the person most likely to meet for medical, emotional, educational, and extracurricular activity and religious needs of the children. The court will also evaluate each parent’s availability to care for the children, each parent’s relationship to the children, and the children’s relationships with each other.

In Alabama, the presumption is in favor of joint custody, and that has many different facets to it. The main part of that is joint legal custody, which means that you share in the decision-making. The court presumes that is in the best interest of the child until you tell the court otherwise. Most parties in Alabama will end up with some sort of joint legal custody situation so that both parties can remain involved in the child’s decision making.

However, there’s also the matter of joint physical custody, which means sharing equal or near equal time with both parents. That’s where having a good attorney who can represent your best interest and the best interest of your children is vital to making sure that your child has the best custody situation possible Because sometimes sharing custody on an equal basis is in their best interest and sometimes it’s not. In order for your attorney to best represent you in a child custody action, you need to be able to outline your involvement with your children from the time of their birth until the court proceeding.  Our attorneys can help you collect the testimony and evidence you need to tell your story and more importantly your children’s story so that you can pursue the custody arrangement that is best for your children.

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