How Are Child Custody Decisions Made in Alabama?

How Do Child Custody Decisions Work?

Whether you are in the middle of an amicable divorce or a really difficult separation, if you have one or more children, child custody is a looming decision. Child custody it is most often quite difficult for parents, as well as judges. So what factors are considered during the determination of child custody in Alabama? 

Consideration Factors in Child Custody Decisions

In Alabama, according to Alabama law, child custody can be given to either mother or father so long as the character of the parent is sufficient. Child custody is based on the facts and circumstances surrounding each parent and child and decided on its on facts. To determine whether or not a parent should be given custody of a child, depends on a number of factors. These factors consist of, but are not limited to:

  • The age of the child, including the sex of the child.
  • The preference of the child if the child is of sufficient age and maturity.
  • The needs of the child. This includes, medical needs, emotional needs, moral needs, as well as educational needs.
  • The age, character, stability, and mental and physical health of the parents.
  • The relationship between the parent and child.
  • The home environment of the child.

Though this is not an extensive list of the factors that courts look at to determine the best interest of the child, these factors as well as any other factors that are relevant to your situation are considered. It is important to note that one particular factor can and will not determine child custody; instead, judges consider the totality of the circumstances to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Common Questions Related to Child Custody Decisions

    • What is the impact of parental misconduct? Misconduct on behalf of a parent does not necessarily determine who should be granted primary or sole custody. Rather, the misconduct’s impact on custody decisions is determined based on the misconduct itself and whether it is an exception or habit.
    • What is the process for changing my child’s name after divorce? While county-specific rules impact the required documentation, typically, providing that information with the name change form signed by both parents is fairly straightforward. However, if one parent is unavailable, an attorney is required. Additionally, any child aged 14 or older must sign the consent form. Learn more about changing your child’s name
    • What is the process for changing my child’s principal residence? The Alabama judicial system’s take on principal residences is generally based on a philosophy of assuming children benefit from relationships with both parents post-divorce. However, parents can present the court with arguments regarding why their situations are exceptions. Access additional details related to changing your child’s principal residence.

Contact an Attorney about Your Child Custody Case

Each child custody case involves different details, various parental goals, and additional considerations. It is invaluable to seek legal representation early in the process to help ensure your interests, and your children’s interests, are served. The family lawyers of Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC are ready to hear about your case. Contact us to begin the process.


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