One of the most emotionally challenging and complex aspects of any divorce is the matter of child custody. Each Alabama parent wants to protect the relationship he or she has with the children, but it is not always easy for a divorcing couple to decide how that should work after a divorce is final. While some parents are able to negotiate a custody and visitation settlement out of court, some will rely on family courts to make the final decision on this issue.
As you prepare for your divorce, you may benefit from an understanding of how child custody is divided in Alabama. This can help you prepare for court and pursue an outcome that is in the best interests of the children. Whether you will fight for your desired custody outcome in court or you will negotiate with the other parent to reach a satisfactory conclusion, the ultimate goal is to do what is best for your kids above all else.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
The state of Alabama adheres to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act for decisions related to child custody. This means the state will recognize custody decisions made by courts in other states. When making custody determinations, courts may consider joint custody if this is in the best interests of the child. This means the two parents would share equitable access to the kids, and they may also share legal custody of the children.
The courts will take various factors into consideration when making decisions regarding child custody. They will look at the best interests of the child, along with the child’s preferences, access to extended family members and other details that are unique to the individual situation. You have the right to seek a specific outcome by presenting your case in court.
The best future for your kids
The best child custody and visitation arrangement for your family depends on the details of your individual situation. Your child’s needs come first, but you have the right to fight for your parental rights. Before you agree to the terms of a custody and visitation order or make any decisions that could affect your children, you may benefit from first seeking an assessment of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you.