Child Custody in Alabama
Are you getting divorced in Alabama and dealing with child custody and support issues? Or are you having problems with your existing Alabama child support agreement? An Alabama child custody attorney can:
- Help you petition for sole custody or joint custody before the appropriate Alabama Family Court
- File a petition for modification on your behalf if custody or visitation needs to be permanently changed
- Estimate how much Alabama child support you can expect to pay or to receive
- Work with you to establish paternity of your children, if necessary
Alabama Child Custody Guidelines
An Alabama Family Court judge has the final say in all Alabama child custody and child support decisions.
Typically, custody is handled in one of two ways: A parent may have sole custody or both parents may share joint custody. Custody refers to both physical custody (where does the child normally reside) and legal custody (which parent is responsible for making major life decisions affecting the child). Both legal and physical custody can be sole or shared.
When making child custody decisions in Alabama, a judge will look at the best interests of the child. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services:
Although there is no standard definition of "best interests of the child," the term generally refers to the deliberation that courts undertake when deciding what type of services, actions, and orders will best serve a child as well as who is best suited to take care of a child. "Best interests" determinations are generally made by considering a number of factors related to the circumstances of the child and the circumstances and capacity of the child's potential caregiver(s), with the child's ultimate safety and well-being as the paramount concern.
During child custody hearings, your Alabama child custody lawyer can help persuade the judge that it's in your children's best interest for you to have custody. If your children's other parent argues that you shouldn't have custody, your Alabama child custody attorneys can also work to rebut those arguments. Find out more about the basics of child support.
Alabama Child Support Guidelines
In Alabama, child support is based on several factors including:
- The parents' combined monthly income
- How many children each parent is supporting
- A child's monthly expenses, including school or daycare, health insurance and other costs
After reviewing these figures, a judge will issue an Alabama child support order that establishes which parent must pay child support, how much child support is to be paid and how frequently child support will be paid. Child support orders can be reviewed and adjusted every three years, though more frequent reviews can occur if there's been a significant change in one parent's financial situation or a child's expenses. Your Alabama child custody lawyer can help you decide when and whether it makes sense to have the child support orders reviewed.
If your child's parent owes child support and refuses to pay, the Alabama government can help enforce the child support orders. Alternatively, you can learn more about how to enforce a child support award.
Find & Hire an Alabama Child Custody Attorney
Do you need to reach a child custody agreement, change an existing custody order or deal with child support issues? An Alabama child custody attorney can guide you through the process, and serve as your advocate and trusted advisor. Whether you live in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile or elsewhere in Alabama, Attorneys.com offers a fast and free service that can connect you with a local child support lawyer. To find an attorney, call us at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page. We can quickly connect you with an Alabama child custody attorney—often within just one or two business days.
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