Huntsville, Alabama Child Custody Lawyer
Though you and your spouse are entering the divorce process and want to protect your rights and get the best possible settlement for yourself, as a concerned parent of children below the age of 18, you know how important it is to put the best interests of your children first. Often in heated divorce cases, issues involving child custody become the cause of contention between divorcing parents. Parents trying to resolve these issues can benefit from speaking to a local Huntsville, Alabama Child Custody Lawyer.
Common conflicts among parents getting a divorce include where the child will reside, which parent has decision-making authority and over what, whether or not one parent can relocate with the child, and how they will handle shared parenting and visitation. Every parent’s circumstances are different and situations can change as time goes on, long after the divorce ends.
Sometimes after parents have agreed to child custody terms and finalize their divorce, a change of circumstance or a belief their current arrangement is unfair causes them to seek a modification of their existing agreement. In other situations, one or both spouses may refuse to comply with part or all of the terms of their child custody agreement, in which case the aggrieved parent(s) should enlist the assistance of a child custody lawyer.
If any of these possibilities describe you, our Huntsville, Alabama team of child custody lawyers can help. Reach out to us today.
A Huntsville, Alabama Child Custody Lawyer Can Help With Residence, Decision-Making Authority, Relocation, and Shared Parenting and Visitation
Many factors play into the child custody agreement a parent negotiates with their child’s other parent. Whether your concern has to do with residence, who has decision-making authority, whether you or your spouse can relocate with your child, how you will share parenting responsibilities or some combination of the above, we can assist. Our child custody lawyers located in our Huntsville, Alabama offices have extensive experience negotiating, mediating, and litigating if it becomes necessary to resolve these disputes. We can obtain a settlement that will meet your needs while making the best interests of the child a priority.
In Alabama, as in most other states, a child’s primary residence following a divorce will turn on what is in the best interests of that child. Which parent a child resides with rests on a consideration of the following factors:
- Can the parent provide a stable routine for the children? That can include taking them to and from school at a set time every day, ensuring they get to participate in extracurricular activities, and providing free time for them to spend with friends, among other considerations.
- Are there any dangerous conditions in the home? These can include a physically or emotionally abusive parent, a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or a parent who is reckless in any other way. Also, is the home itself safe, i.e., is there working plumbing, lead paint, or is the home located in a safe neighborhood?
- How willing is the residential parent to communicate about the child and their day-to-day happenings with the other parent?
- Are the children old enough to decide which parent they want to live with and where they want to call home?
In Alabama, courts generally award joint legal custody to divorcing parents. That means both parents will have a say in major decisions regarding religion, education, and medical decisions, among others. However, if a parent has exhibited poor decision-making where the child is concerned in the past, the court may award one parent sole decision-making authority.
As a consequence of divorce, or as an effect of life’s fickleness in general, a parent’s situation may change, requiring they move out of town. The parent may have received a transfer from work, gotten a higher-paying job somewhere else, or could not find gainful employment where they live presently. Regardless of the reason why the parent wants to move, relocation will affect child custody. The good news is our Huntsville, Alabama child custody lawyers are well-versed in child custody issues such as these and can help you work out the arrangement you need.
In Alabama, if a parent decides to relocate from the current residence, they must provide the other spouse with 45 days’ notice. Should the proposed move be out of state or to a location in Alabama more than 60 miles away from where they live, the other parent can contest the move. A court will consider numerous factors before deciding whether to allow the move or prevent it and, in some situations, may opt to switch primary custody from one parent to the other.
Visitation rights and shared parenting
Recently, Alabama changed its criteria for determining visitation and shared parenting. Parents no longer need to share physical parenting time equally. Instead, the standard is the child spends as much time with the non-resident parent as practically possible.
In a similar vein, Alabama courts have taken a more hands-off approach to visitation and shared parenting, encouraging divorcing parents to establish routines independently. Our Hunstville, Alabama child custody lawyers can help you create a comprehensive child custody agreement.
A Huntsville, Alabama Child Custody Lawyer Can Help You Modify or Enforce Your Existing Agreement
Sometimes even the most solid of custody agreements need modification. Your situation at the time of your divorce will not necessarily stay the same in the months and years to come. Divorced parents find new jobs, new spouses, or sometimes desire a change in their lifestyle, all of which can impact an existing child custody agreement. Our Huntsville, Alabama child custody lawyers have the skills to handle any changes that may arise and advocate on your and your children’s behalf. In this way, they can create a child custody arrangement that keeps the child’s best interests at the forefront while taking your wants and needs into consideration.
If your ex-spouse is refusing to follow some or all of the terms of your current child custody arrangement, one of our child custody lawyers can help you file the petitions in court necessary to enforce your agreement. Reach out to us today for assistance. Our Huntsville, Alabama child custody lawyers are here to listen and help you.
Contact Our Team of Huntsville, Alabama Child Custody Lawyers
Our Huntsville, Alabama child custody lawyers have decades of cumulative practical experience in handling child custody matters. We prioritize the child’s best interests and balance them with parents’ needs to live happily and productively post-divorce. Every divorce is different. Reach Charlotte Christian Law, P.C. today to discuss your circumstances.