Regardless of how old a child is, both parents generally get to play a role in his or her life. However, when the child is still an infant, there can be a variety of actors that come into play as it relates to creating a visitation schedule. For example, if a mother is still breastfeeding, it may not be possible for a father to have regular overnight visitation. Of course, the parents could agree to use formula in lieu of a mother's milk.
Alabama parents can find it difficult to raise their children after ending their marriages. However, many claim that the legal system doesn't make it any easier to be a good parent. One man claimed that he owed $680,000 in child support that was to be repaid at an interest rate of 9%. While the man was a doctor, he was fired from his medical practice and makes only $100 a month.
Alabama parents may be interested in learning that some research points to the fact that fathers are favored in child custody battles, even when the father has been accused of or has been proven to have engaged in abuse. Some believe that this happens because of long-held beliefs by psychologists, judges, and attorneys regarding the prevalence or pervasiveness of parental alienation.
Alabama mothers who get a divorce are still more likely to be awarded more time with their children than fathers are, but courts generally assume parents will share legal custody. Legal custody allows the parent to make decisions about a child's medical care, religion, education and other important issues.
Some divorcing parents in Alabama might wonder what type of custody arrangement is best for children. Barring circumstances such as abuse or neglect, most studies have found that children fare significantly better under joint custody. This seems to be the case even when they are toddlers or infants.
"Birdnesting" is a custody arrangement that some Alabama parents may try after divorce. With birdnesting, children remain in the family home while the parents switch in and out. Most of the time, the parents alternate living in a small apartment. The idea behind birdnesting is to give children a stable environment in which to start adjusting to their parents' divorce. However, experts say that if the arrangement goes on too long, it can be more detrimental than it is helpful.