Child Custody / Visitation
Sometimes when parents are going through a divorce, or if they are not married and have a child, they have pre-conceived ideas about the custody and visitation process. Stephanie Pollard is an experienced child custody attorney who can explain the law and the factors that go into the court’s decisions about custody and visitation awards in Alabama.
In every court, the primary consideration is the best interest of the child.
In a discussion with your lawyer, learn the facts about legal custody, sole or joint custody, and physical custody.
In an initial divorce or child custody proceeding, the standard is the best interest of the child. In a modification, if one parent was awarded sole or primary physical custody, the other parent must prove that there has been a material change in circumstances warranting modification of the custody order and that any inherent harm in the disruption of custody is more than offset by the positive good that will come from the modification.
What was once referred to as “visitation” is sometimes called “parenting” or “custodial time”.
There is no formula or standard in Alabama for how much time each parent has with a child.
Parenting time is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on what is in the best interests of the child.
A stable, consistent routine is best. The court will look for a plan that shows continuity and stability.
As with all decisions involving children, the court will approve a custody and visitation/parenting schedule that fits the child’s needs.
When a parent moves away, what happens to custody and parenting time plans?
Moving for a better job, for a spouse’s better job, for education, or for whatever good reason – a move will impact your custody and visitation arrangements. The court may need to approve your move and any necessary changes in the parenting and custody plan for the children.
Relocation needs court approval when a parent is moving out of state with a child or within Alabama but 60 miles from the child’s current home.
You must notify the other parent by certified mail, 45 days in advance, if you plan to move 60 or more miles from your current residence. The law requires certain specific details in this written notification.
The non-relocating parent can object to the move and ask the court to prevent the move or modify custody – in the event of a request to modify custody, the burden to change custody shifts to the relocating parent.
The parents will need to develop a revised custody plan and parenting time plan that fits the new circumstances and that meets the court’s approval.
While there are a lot of online FAQs and guides, this is not the time to try to do-it-yourself. Attorney Stephanie Pollard can guide you through the Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Act and its impact on your specific situation.
Call us today for a confidential consultation with a legal professional.
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