FAMILY LAW: CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES IN BIRMINGHAM
With respect to child custody decisions, Ala. Code § 30-3-1 provides somewhat generally and vaguely that the court may give custody to either parent, as the court may decide, after consideration of the moral character and prudence of the parents, as well as the age and sex of the children. In practice, that means that the court will look to a dozen or more factors in making its decision.
To prevail in a custody dispute, you must put forth the best presentation of evidence showing that you are the better custodial parent. This means you need the experienced family and divorce attorneys here at Massey, Stotser & Nichols, PC. We have helped many parents in Birmingham and other communities in Southeastern Alabama successfully obtain or retain custody of their children. We know the type of evidence that is persuasive and compelling to Jefferson County divorce court judges.
FACTS AND FACTORS CONSIDERED IN BIRMINGHAM CHILD CUSTODY CASES
Pursuant Alabama statute and case law, these are the factors that a divorce court will consider in determining which parent should be awarded custody:
- Sex and age of the child/children
- Child's preference (if of sufficient age and maturity)
- Emotional, social, moral, material, and educational needs of the child/children
- The competing home environments of each parent
- Specifics related to the parents including age, health, character, etc. (this might include issues of criminal or moral behavior including adultery)
- Specifics with respect to parenting capacity, interest, and desire
- Material resources available from each parent
- Quantifiable and established interpersonal relationships members of the family
- Where each parent lives and the effect of disturbing or disrupting existing custodial situation
- Expert reports and opinions
- Any other factor or evidence deemed relevant by the court
In making a custody determination, the standard is "best interest of the child." In general, by statute, Alabama prefers to award joint custody. See Ala. Code § 30-3-150. This is intended to assure children have as much contact as possible with both parents. In practice, "joint custody" still means one parent will be awarded primary physical custody and the other parent will have visitation rights.
DIVORCE AND CUSTODY DISPUTE LAWYERS IN SOUTHEASTERN ALABAMA
If there is a custody dispute brewing with your former spouse, contact the attorneys at Massey, Stotser & Nichols, PC. As noted above, persuasive and convincing evidence is needed during a custody hearing. You need experienced lawyers to stand by your side and make the best evidentiary presentation possible. We here at Massey, Stotser & Nichols have years of experience in Jefferson County divorce courts. We know the law; we know the court procedures; we have practiced before the divorce court judges; and we are proven.
Massey, Stotser & Nichols is a full service Birmingham, Alabama law firm that serves clients in the cities of Birmingham, Alabaster, Ashville, Bessemer, Clay, Fultondale, Gardendale, Homewood, Hoover, Leeds, Moody, Mountain Brook, Oneonta, Pelham, Pell City, Pinson, Springville, Trussville, and the surrounding areas. Our other practice areas include business law, real estate, automobile accident law, wrongful death, and personal injury law.