When parents decide to divorce, child custody may be one of the more difficult topics to discuss. It’s helpful to have information about child custody determinations in Alabama.
If parents are not able to agree on a custody arrangement, they may need to have a custody hearing in court. When the court grants a divorce, it will determine child custody with the safety and well-being of the child in mind.
Either parent may be granted custody and the court may consider factors such as the moral character of each parent and the age and gender of the child. The court may also consider the relationships the child has with siblings, the community and the child’s education in making its decision.
The court will review the arrangement to ensure that the child has contact with parents who have demonstrated an ability to act in the best interest of the child.
Joint and sole custody
Parents may be granted joint custody. Joint legal custody means that the parents have an equal right to make major decisions concerning the child such as education, health care and religion.
Joint physical custody means that the child will have frequent and substantial contact with each parent, but it doesn’t always mean that each parent will be granted the exact same amount of time with the child.
Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the right to make major decisions for the child and with sole physical custody, one parent has custody of the child and the other parent has visitation rights.
An experienced attorney can provide guidance about the child custody process and visitation rights as well as answer any questions parents may have.