For Alabama parents, there may be no greater concern during divorce than how much time they will have with their children. Regardless of how invested in the matter you are, child custody is a difficult topic that can be even more difficult to sort out. Family law can be nuanced, which makes understanding how it applies to your unique situation confusing.
Your child custody arrangement will address two types of custody -- legal and physical. In many cases, parents share joint legal custody, which gives them both the ability to make decisions regarding important life matters. This includes how the child will be educated, what religion -- if any -- they will be raised in, who can make health care decisions and more.
Physical custody refers to with whom the child will physically spend his or her time. Just because parents share joint legal custody does not mean that they will automatically share physical custody. Instead, one parent usually has primary custody of a child while the other parent has visitation rights. In some cases, physical custody might be joint, or one parent might have both physical and legal custody on one's own.
Family law judges in Alabama will take a range of factors into consideration when parents are unable to reach an agreement on child custody, and usually none of them are the parents' preferences. Ultimately, it is the child's best interests that shape the decision. More information on child custody and other important family law matters is available here, on our website.