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Alabama Child Custody Laws

Many wonderful romances have blossomed in the Yellowhammer State. Sadly, though, not every Alabama love story has a perfect ending. And because some of those unhappy endings involve children, you may be in the unenviable position of trying to figure out who will get custody of your children and what laws might apply to your case. This is an introduction to child custody laws in Alabama.

Child Custody Laws

In addition to its own state child custody laws, Alabama is one of many states that have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which dictate that each state must honor and enforce child custody determinations made by courts in other states. Under Alabama law, joint custody is an option for separated parents, and the grandparents’ visitation rights are recognized. Additionally, courts will consider the wishes of the child in custody matters.

Child Custody Statutes in Alabama

Child custody laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

Code of Alabama 30-3-1, et seq.: Child Custody and Support

Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted

1980

Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, §30-3-150

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, §30-3-4

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes

Alabama Custody Hearings

In some cases, if parents are able to agree on a custody arrangement on their own, the court will generally honor that agreement. If they cannot agree, however, they may have to decide any contested custody issues by way of a custody hearing in court. The primary concern for nearly every court in creating a custody arrangement will be the child’s best interests. Alabama family courts generally have a great deal of leeway to consider any factor that could be relevant to the child’s best interests, with more influence given to factors that can affect a child’s safety and wellbeing.

Most of these factors will focus on the child, like his or her relationship with siblings and the interest in maintaining consistency and continuity in his or her family life, community, and education. Additional factors might focus on the parents, such as which parent is more able to take care of the child’s daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs, and which is more likely to create and maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child.

Alabama Child Custody Laws Related Resources:

Sorting out issues of child custody can be difficult, both emotionally and legally. You can contact an Alabama family law attorney if you would like legal assistance with a child custody matter. You can visit FindLaw's Child Custody section for additional articles and information on this topic.

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