Child custody decisions are possibly one of the most difficult decisions that a court makes in Alabama divorce law.Alabama law states that the court may give custody to either the father or mother as the court deems right and proper after consideration of the moral character and prudence of the parents, as well as the age and sex of the children. Yes. If the judge considers it unfair to one party or the other that no child support is paid, or if it is felt to be in the best interest of the child for one party to pay, then a judge may not approve your agreement with a hearing, even if you are agreeing to a shared custodial arrangement. But if the relocation is more than 60 miles, the relocating parent must provide notice to the other at least 45 days ahead of time, with the non-relocating parent then having 30 days to file an objection with the court. Joint or 50-50 custody looks simple on paper—each parent has the kids half time and shares in all important decisions—but it’s no surprise that life rarely works out so easily. All of the relevant facts in the case are weighed holistically with the best interest of the child as the ultimate goal. For example, in situations where the children live with one parent most of the time and the other parent has visitation on the weekends, the parent where the children live most of the time has sole physical custody and the other parent has visitation rights. There are generally two types of custody, physical custody and legal custody. Let’s get to 200! For example, a valid custody order issued by a Texas court can be enforced by an Alabama family judge with no need to obtain an entirely new custody agreement. Legal custody is basically who makes decisions for the children and this is usually awarded jointly to both parents. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly. from Birmingham School of Law and was admitted to practice law in 2003. Child Custody Decisions Under Alabama Divorce Law. Alabama Child Support Calculator Tips. Our goal is to change the thinking of our courts. Child custody cases can be stressful and emotional legal matters that have an impact on families for years to come. ... Because there are so many possible variations in custody arrangements, trial judges retain authority to determine the proper amount of child support on a case by case basis when strict application of the guidelines would be unfair or inappropriate. Here are some guidelines from the law to help you make your parenting plan. However, when two parents divorce, achieving this becomes a little more difficult since the parents won’t live in the same home. ANNISTON OFFICE. Both have and maintain households and can make ends meet in … 2170 Highland Avenue, Suite #250Birmingham, AL 35205. Seek a court modification of the custody or visitation order (if there will be a substantial change to the existing order) In terms of increased travel costs, some states require a 50-50 split in increased fees. An Alabama court may order joint custody with or without the consent of both parents when it serves the child's best interests. There are generally two types of custody, physical custody and legal custody. Disclaimer: Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. In an shared parenting arrangement, equal custody, 50/50 custody, the income-shares model states seek to “equalize the income between the two households.” Extra expenses are not truly a factor. Shared custodial arrangements are more heavily scrutinized than the normal, traditional joint custodial arrangement of joint legal custody with one party having sole physical custody and the other parent having visitation rights and paying child support due to the perceived difficulty of such shared arrangements working out in the long run. With the first category, it is important to note that joint physical custody does not mean 50/50 possession. When both parties are awarded joint legal custody and joint physical custody, this is sometimes called shared custody. There’s No 50-50 Law. They have one minor child and have agreed that Denise will retain primary custody … If they were splitting time equally with the children then they would have joint physical custody. School and work schedules, holidays, and geographic distance often makes equal custody unfeasible, so one parent will receive primary physical custody. This arrangement does not always work out to be an exact 50/50 split, and takes good cooperation from both parents. When I hear a parent insisting on exactly 50/50, I really worry. At Dagney Johnson Law Group, we are a small family firm that has represented Alabamians for over 40 years. Let’s assume that Joe and Denise are getting a divorce. In Alabama sole physical custody cases, the nonresidential parent pays child support to the residential parent. Alabama is one of the few states that still considers gender an important consideration, most others no longer do this. Custody modification can happen, if there is a change in one or both parent’s circumstances. Alabama Senate Bill 186 (2017) sought to create a legal presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child. The age, living stability, character, physical health, and mental health of each parent. ... a formal determination of paternity becomes necessary after a couple separates and has to deal with issues of custody. How child custody works in your state, find and use your county's family law court, find a good child custody lawyer, get help creating a parenting plan, and enforce a child custody … Shared custody is unstable enough, with the child rushing back and forth between houses every week or so. Considerations for Custody Award. Using Alabama Guidelines to Calculate Child Support. But joint physical custody is not necessarily 50/50. Learn about Child Custody in your area. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Alabama’s joint custody statute runs from Ala. Code 30-30-150 through 30-3-157: 30-3-150. Under Alabama law, joint custody is an option for separated parents, and the grandparents’ visitation rights are recognized. If joint custody granted, each parent possesses equal rights in legal custody decisions. The particular characteristics and needs of the child, including emotional, social, moral, material, and educational needs. For many years, the law preferred the mother to be a child's custodian. If joint custody granted, each parent possesses equal rights in legal custody decisions. Despite that change, some fathers still believe they have less of a chance than the mother does of getting custody in their state. My ex-wife and … For 50/50 custody schedules that require more frequent exchanges, communication needs to be on point and conflict needs to be contained. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors. Alabama law presumes that a particular man is the father of a child if he was married to the baby’s mother when the child was born. Section(s): ALA. CODE § 30-3-4.1 . Example of a Simple Alabama Child Support Calculation. For joint physical custody cases, a family court can award joint custody, whereby one parent is designated the primary custodian of the children and the other is the secondary custodian. Suite 204 Decatur, AL 35601, 600 Broad Street, Suite 204, Gadsden, AL 35901, 3021 Lorna Road Suite 207 Hoover, AL 35216, 71A Town Center Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35806, 8840 Madison Blvd Suite 200G Madison, AL 35758, 572 S McDonough St Suite B Montgomery, AL 36104, 1028 East Main Street Prattville, AL 36066, 2163 Highway 31, Suite 214, Pelham, AL 35124, 152 Peachtree Lane NW, Suite 105, AL 35058. Policy of state. The laws about Alabama parenting plans and agreements are found in Chapter 3, Title 30 in the Code of Alabama. Parenting time is equal. There really is no shared custody, its just what having joint physical and legal custody has been termed over the years since this means the parents are usually sharing time equally with the children and sharing the decision-making concerning the children. Call us at (205) 937-6564, or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation. 0 have signed. After a breakup or divorce in Alabama, couples with children must come to a child custody agreement that describes which parent the children will live with, how visitation will be scheduled, and how the non-custodial parent will pay child support.. Contentious custody battles may require reports or recommendations from expert witnesses, such as social workers or child psychologists. It dictates that each state must honor and enforce child custody determinations made by courts in other states. Posted Dec 18, 2014 by Steven Harris | Divorce. Whether you are looking to file for divorce or break off a non-marital relationship, things can get complicated and emotional when there are kids involved. Some counties are more prone to approve an agreement between the parties if the arrangement is questionable as to the fairness to the parties, but almost all counties will not approve an agreement that is not in the best interest of the children. Physical possession is rarely (if ever) divided 50/50 by a family court in Alabama. As stated above, Alabama courts primarily prefer that both parents share the rights and responsibilities of raising their child and approach each custody situation with that in mind. Q: How is child support typically calculated for 50/50 shared custody in Alabama? We are fighting for parental rights. The parent with primary custody is presumed to spend their portion directly on the child each month. Just as a note, in a 50/50 joint physical parenting schedule, reduced child support is still usually paid in some form or another. These factors include: This is by no means an exhaustive list. All of these are potential pitfalls for such an arrangement that sounds good at the time of the divorce but can become a real headache later down the road. What are the chances of getting 50/50 custody? This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Because people may sometimes try to avoid child support by choosing these types of arrangements, the judges heavily scrutinize agreements for shared custody where no party pays child support to the other. Another case where it may not be in the best interest of the child is where the arrangement is too chaotic and does not provide enough stability for the child. Traffic jams happen, meetings run late, and if parents are unable to communicate productively and civilly with each other, these bumps in the road can turn into major issues. The interpersonal relationship between each parent and each child. Automatic 50/50 Custody. As long as each parent shows that they are able to handle parental responsibilities, this is the preferred approach to a legal custody arrangement. Because people may sometimes try to avoid, 115 1st Street North Alabaster, Alabama 35007, 1302 Noble Street Suite 2A Anniston, AL 36201, 401 19th Street N, Suite 106, Bessemer, AL 35020, 4000 Eagle Point Corp. Dr. Suite 110 Birmingham, AL 35242, 2126 6th Ave. S.E. Map & Directions. Factors That Courts Consider When Making Custody Decisions. Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules. For those moving to Alabama, the state has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (often shortened to UCCJEA). 1302 Noble Street Suite 2A Anniston, AL 36201 (256) 689-1119. Of course, one parent may be granted all custody rights under necessary circumstances. Map & Directions. Why? ... 115 1st Street North Alabaster, Alabama 35007 (205) 564-2165. Laws are ever-evolving and, hopefully, each state will have fair trials and settlements so that each parent has an equal chance of obtaining custody. In a divorce, many Judges rule for the mother to be the primary custodian. Dagney Johnson is a lawyer who represents clients in family, criminal defense, and personal injury matters in Alabama. Right of first refusal in child custody situations commonly means that one parent must first offer the other parent the opportunity to look after their children before contacting a babysitter or another family member to care for the kids. The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. Dagney holds a J.D. Ⓒ 2021 The Harris Firm LLC Privacy Terms Disclaimer Site by, Choose from the office locations above for contact details. In Alabama, family courts will do their best to keep both parents as involved in their kid’s lives as possible, but the ultimate deciding factor is what is best for the child. Wesley Dunlap started this petition to Alabama Governer. Before you begin the legal process, it is a good idea to have an idea of how a judge can divide custody and parental rights, and what factors they consider before issuing a child custody order. Get 50/50 Time With Your Child(ren) 1 week on = 1 week off 6:00 pm Exchange of the child on any day of the week 2 weeks each during the summer Split Holidays Note: 365 = 183 / 182 Option: Add a weekday overnight for parent not in possession Parental rights are divided into two basic groups: the right to physical custody of the child, and legal custody. One case where a shared custody arrangement may be considered unfair could be where one of the spouses makes significantly more money than the other and would need to contribute to the child’s welfare while the child is with the other parent, paying some child support to the other parent to support the child when they have the child physically with them. As with physical custody, legal custody may be shared (joint legal custody) or not (sole legal custody). Since 2012, I have had shared custody of my 2 sons. For example, they may award one parent sole physical custody and the other visitation rights. Child custody laws in Alabama … 3. For example, with one parent having the children one week and the other parent having them the next week. However, dividing up the week with the child spending Monday and Tuesday with one parent, Wednesday and Thursday with the other, then Friday with the other, and so on, creates too much confusions and has the child staying in a different bed every other night. Additionally, courts will consider the wishes of the child in custody matters. Essentially, the parent looking to modify an order needs to be able to show a material change in circumstances regarding the child, and must also be able to show that modifying custody would promote the child’s best interests. My boyfriend is trying to seek joint 50/50 custody of his 2 month old daughter. In this system, assets are divided on the principle of fairness. Seeking the services of an Alabama family law attorney is the best way to ensure that your rights are represented, whether you are looking to establish a custody agreement or modify a current custody order. Universal Citation: AL Code § 30-3-4.1 (2013) Section 30-3-4.1 Grandparent visitation. 3. These type of confusing and unstable arrangements may not be in the best interest of the child and a judge may not approve such an arrangement without holding a hearing to talk with both parties about it, giving them a chance to convince him/her that it is in the best interest of the child. There are generally two types of custody, physical custody and legal custody. Each parent’s capacity of and interest in providing for those needs. Physical custody is where the children are actually living. Joint Custody Makes it Easier to Date. 2-2-5-5 Rotation. One solution involves the 50-50 child custody plan. Child Custody Statutes in Alabama. While the courts are moving away from automatically assigning Father’s a weekend only relationship with their children, an equal timesharing schedule is not always easy to obtain. Instead, the judge takes a number of factors into account to determine what schedule would be in the best interest of the child. This is due to the following problems with shared custody: 1) the fact that one of the parents could move too far away for it to be feasible; 2) that one parent could get too busy to have the children for one half of the month which could leave the other parent with the children most of the time and receiving no child support; 3) that one parent agrees to this arrangement in an attempt to avoid child support and not any real intent to practice the shared custody visitation schedule; or 4) the child grows up and gets sick of going back and forth constantly, every week, from house to house, and needs more stability, requesting to stay in one of the parents houses more often than the other. The child’s preference, if they are mature enough to express one. Most states now have laws that neither parent is the preferred parent after an uncontested divorce. Can I lose my 50/50 custody if I take x back to court for full custody in Alabama I have 50/50 custody of my daughter. The court will follow state guidelines and 50/50 custody may not mean 50/50 child support obligations. Alabama is not one of them. If the move is not geographically significant, this is usually not a problem as long as proper notice is given. What is Shared Custody? This rotation is similar to Plan #7’s 3-3-4-4 Rotation, except that the established … Some states require all spouses to split their assets 50/50 regardless of the nature of their marriage. If one parent has a criminal record, a history of domestic violence, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, a court may be more inclined to severely limit one parent’s custody. Current living arrangements and whether a change would be unnecessarily disruptive to the child. Legal custody refers to the set of rights and responsibilities that come with parenthood such as educational, medical, religious, and moral decisions. Again, this is not a reason to opt for joint physical custody, … One of the most common modification situations is when the parents with primary physical custody wants to relocate. Other states may require the party who is moving to incur most of the transportation costs related to visitation. Like many other states, Alabama uses the “equal distribution” system. As discussed above, this is the preferred arrangement and will usually be awarded unless a physical or emotional danger to the child is demonstrated. If you are seeking a shared custody arrangement, and have already reached an agreement with your spouse, then give our divorce lawyers a call today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Under Alabama law, custody of any child(ren) of the marriage may be granted jointly or to either parent by court decision (order). The Child Custody Laws Relating to Traveling to Another State With Written Consent By Larissa Bodniowycz, J.D. They court may consider the earning power of the parties, who pays for medical insurance, etc. Located in Birmingham, we want our clients to feel comfortable and cared for throughout the legal process. She's saying she will get full custody because she is the mother and she has been the primary caregiver for half the time so far. If you were married when you had your child, you're used to being able to seize the opportunity to travel or move to another state without having to worry about anything other than logistics. Gender and age of each child. The Court must consider all of the factors in Florida Statute 61.13(3)(a-t) in order to determine the best timesharing schedule for the children. This Alabama Child Support Calculator is based on Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration, which are subject to change.. Health Insurance – If your children are covered under a family policy (if it also covers you, the parent, and/or your new spouse and stepchildren), you can put the full amount of that policy here. Parties will usually agree to such shared custodial arrangements only when it is in the best interest of the children, when both parents live near one another, both parents are actively involved and working together closely in the raising of the children, the parents are already dividing time equally according to some schedule such as one week with one parent and the next with the other (and have been doing so for some time and are satisfied that it is in the best interest of the child), and the parents work schedules and other such considerations permit them to both have the child with them half of the time. In some families, the parental […] In Alabama, joint custody may be joint legal custody and joint physical custody, or just joint legal custody. 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