How is Child Custody Determined in Alabama?

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Whether you are in the midst of an amicable divorce or a really difficult separation, if you have children, child custody will have to be determined. Child custody it is almost always never easy for either parent involved, nor the judge. Child custody is one of the hardest decisions that judges have to make, but how is child custody determined in Alabama? If you or a loved one is seeking information in this area, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney so that we can strategize about the best possible outcomes for your situation.

How is Child Custody Determined?

In Alabama, according to Alabama Code Section 30-3-1, 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, but instead it is the totality of the circumstances that judges consider to determine what is best for the child in all circumstances.

Misconduct on behalf of a parent does not necessarily determine who is the better parent and should be granted custody, but instead it is determined based on the misconduct and whether or not the misconduct is a habit or not. Because child custody can be very difficult and overwhelming, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice and representation.

Contact an Attorney

Child custody issues are never easy and unless joint custody is awarded, one parent will come out more favorable than another. Because every situation is different in child custody matters, it is invaluable to seek legal representation and advice. If you or a loved one is seeking child custody, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case. Contact our office today!

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