Creating a Custody Agreement in Alabama

Feb 6 14:51 2011 Tracy Bensun Print This Article

You need to know your state's laws about child custody and visitation. Alabama has certain laws to help you create an Alabama custody agreement.

Creating a child custody agreement is one of the most important things you can do after a divorce or separation. You need to know the laws regarding child custody in your state in order to make an effective custody agreement that will be accepted by the court. In Alabama,Guest Posting you can find those laws in the Code of Alabama, Chapter 3, Title 30. Chapter 3 discusses the regulations of how the court defines and awards custody. As you create a custody agreement in Alabama, you need to become familiar with these laws.

When Alabama parents separate voluntarily, the court may grant custody to either parent. The court will look at each parent's ability and moral character, as well as the children's age and gender. The law also states that when a wife leaves the husband, the husband will have custody after the children are seven years old.

You also need to understand how Alabama defines certain terms. The following definitions are included in Alabama law:

  • Joint legal custody - Both parents have equal responsibility make major decisions for the children. One parent may be given authority over certain decisions while both have equal authority over other decisions.

  • Joint physical custody - Both parents share physical custody of the children so the children have frequent and substantial time with both parents. This does not mean each parent is given equal time, just substantial time.

  • Joint custody – This is joint legal and joint physical custody.

  • Sole legal custody - One parent has all responsibility to make major decisions for the children.

  • Sole physical custody - One parent provides the children's residence and the other parent has visitation rights.

  • Sole custody – This is sole legal and sole physical custody.

Alabama courts have preference of joint custody agreements over sole custody agreements and, in every case, the court will consider a joint custody agreement. Ultimately, the court will use the children's best interests as the determinant for the type of custody agreement. The factors Alabama considers that affect if joint custody is awarded include:

  • If the parents have been able to agree on a joint custody arrangement.

  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions together.

  • The proximity of each parent's residence to each other and how that distance will affect joint physical custody.

  • Any history of child abuse, domestic violence or kidnapping.

When parents agree on a custody arrangement, the Alabama court will adopt that agreement unless the court finds that it is not in the children's best interests. Because of this, it is important to work together and submit an agreement that includes:

  • A schedule for how parents will share physical custody.

  • A plan for how parents will share legal custody.

  • Additional information about how parents will continue to raise the children.

Each parent may submit an individual agreement to the court if they cannot agree upon a mutual arrangement and the court will decide which agreement to adopt. The court will make its decision based on the children's best interest. Do your best to create an Alabama custody agreement that is best for your children and it will be accepted by the court.

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About Article Author

Tracy Bensun
Tracy Bensun

Tracy Bensun is interested in the law and especially family law. Her main interest lies in how children are affected by divorce and child custody. She has done extensive research on her own and loves to share her knowledge. She is affiliated with Custody X Change, which is a software program designed to assist in child custody visitation schedules, custody agreements and parenting plans.

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