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How does Alabama determine a child’s best interests?

When you split from your spouse and the two of you share children, you may need to work out a new custody arrangement. The state of Alabama favors joint custody in most situations unless spending time in both parents’ homes might pose a threat to the child in some manner.

Having a joint custody arrangement in place does not necessarily mean the two of you are going to have the same amount of physical time with your child. There are also some situations in which joint custody may not be a suitable arrangement. Under these circumstances, the courts consider a similar set of factors to determine where your child should live. What might some of these factors include?

Each parent’s ability to serve the child’s needs

Alabama courts consider the ability and willingness of each parent to provide for their child’s needs when making decisions about custody. How you and your child’s other parent cater to your son or daughter’s emotional, moral, educational, financial and other needs may all undergo consideration.

The mental and physical health of those seeking custody

The court system also considers the mental and physical health of you, your ex or anyone else looking to obtain custody rights to your child. If the court deems you physically and mentally fit for child-rearing, you face a better chance of getting custody.

The child’s own preferences

While a very young child may not have the capacity to make decisions about where he or she would like to live, older children may voice their preferences in this area. If the child is old and mature enough to make a sound argument for living with you or the other parent, this may help sway the court’s custody decision.