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What are the Child Custody Laws in Alabama?

Posted by Sam P. Dixon, III | Apr 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

In Alabama, child custody laws prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Here's an overview of key aspects of child custody laws in Alabama:

  1. Types of Custody:

    • Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make important decisions regarding the child's upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Legal custody can be joint (shared by both parents) or sole (granted to one parent).
    • Physical Custody: Physical custody refers to where the child resides on a day-to-day basis. Physical custody can also be joint (shared physical custody) or sole (primary physical custody with one parent).
  2. Best Interests of the Child:

    • Alabama courts consider various factors when determining custody arrangements, with the primary consideration being the best interests of the child. Factors may include the child's age and gender, the child's relationship with each parent, the parents' mental and physical health, the stability of each parent's home environment, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
  3. Joint Custody Preference:

    • Alabama law encourages joint custody arrangements whenever it is deemed to be in the child's best interests and both parents are fit and willing to cooperate in making joint decisions regarding the child's upbringing.
  4. Parenting Plans:

    • Parents seeking divorce or separation in Alabama are required to submit a parenting plan outlining custody and visitation arrangements, including a schedule for when the child will spend time with each parent. The parenting plan should address issues such as holidays, vacations, transportation, and communication between parents and child.
  5. Modification of Custody Orders:

    • Custody orders may be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the child's welfare. Either parent can petition the court for a modification of custody, but they must demonstrate that the proposed modification is in the child's best interests.
  6. Grandparent Visitation:

    • Alabama law allows grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights if they can demonstrate that visitation is in the best interests of the child and that denial of visitation would harm the child's well-being.
  7. Enforcement of Custody Orders:

    • Custody orders issued by Alabama courts are legally binding, and failure to comply with the terms of a custody order can result in enforcement actions, such as contempt proceedings or modification of custody.

It's important for parents to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding child custody in Alabama and to work with an experienced family law attorney to navigate the legal process effectively. Seek the help of experienced attorney Sam P. Dixon III located in Birmingham, AL. Contact Dixon Law, LLC online or directly at (205) 616-8896 to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your custody case. 

About the Author

Sam P. Dixon, III

Mr. Sam P. Dixon, III was born in Mobile, Alabama. The great-grandson of the Alabama Governor, Frank Dixon, Sam has come from a long family history of politics and the legal profession. Mr. Dixon always admired and respected the legal profession and aspired to help people obtain justice and fairn...


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