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For Alabama parents, there may be nothing more important than ensuring the happiness and physical and mental well-being of their children. While in a relationship, you and your partner can look out for your child’s well-being together.

However, after an Alabama divorce or legal separation, these decisions must be made differently than before, and that begins with making a child custody arrangement.

At Jim Golden Law, we understand how important these legal matters are to you and your family. As your legal representatives, our experienced legal team will do our utmost to help ensure the most optimal outcome for your child custody case.

Child custody attorney Jim Golden has years of experience representing child custody cases across the state of Alabama. Whether you are seeking joint or full custody, child custody modifications to your visitation rights, change custody plans, or drafting the original child custody order and parenting plan, we would be proud to represent your legal rights and responsibilities.

Additionally, child custody lawyer Jim Golden can assist you with your child support payment case as well.

To learn more about the legal services offered by Jim Golden Law, please contact our law firm to schedule your free 30-minute case evaluation.

What Factors May Determine Child Custody?

In child custody cases, the best interests of the child will take precedence above all things. When your child custody case enters Alabama courts, the judge will render their decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interest of the child’s welfare. To make such a decision, a family law judge must consider several factors.

Factors that may determine a child custody case include:

  • A history of criminal convictions for either parent.
  • A history of domestic violence by either parent.
  • Each parent’s age, mental or physical health, and financial status.
  • How well their parents have cared for their child.
  • If the child is old enough to voice an opinion, the child’s wishes will be recorded.
  • Recommendations provided by child psychologists or other experts.
  • The ability of either parent to provide a safe and healthy home environment for their children.
  • The age of the child.
  • The child’s relationship and bond that they have forged with either parent and that parent’s extended family.
  • The current state of emotional development of the children.
  • The mental and physical health of the children.
  • The willingness of either parent to work with the other parent to secure the most amicable child custody plan.
  • Where will the child live and go to school? Will they need to transfer? Will they lose contact with their friends?
  • Whether the children have any special needs.
  • Which parent attends parent-teacher conferences and doctor visits?
  • Which parent was the primary caregiver before the separation?
  • And other factors may also be considered.

Depending upon these factors, family law judges may prefer that one parent receives sole legal custody or both parents share custody. These factors will also determine which parent may have sole physical custody.

To learn more about custody determination or other child custody matters, please contact our family law firm.

What Are The Different Types Of Child Custody In Alabama?

Joint custody is the preferred method by family law judges, as it provides the child the opportunity to have a relationship with both the child’s parents as they grow older. Joint custody may be arranged so long as both parents can provide adequate care and living for their child.

Sole custody is where one parent is deemed to be unable to provide adequate care for their children. In such family law cases, the other parent may obtain sole custody of their children. However, even in sole custody arrangements, the non-custodial parent is often granted visitation rights.

Visitation rights are forwarded to non-custodial parents. If the non-custodial parent lives in another state, their child custody and visitation chances will be more limited, so they may have longer periods where their child is allowed to stay with them, for example, over summer school breaks.

However, if the non-custodial parent is believed to represent a threat to the child, then they may be only able to have supervised visitation periods.

Legal custody has no bearing upon who the child ultimately lives with. A parent with legal custody has the right to make important life decisions for their child.

For example, parents with legal custody rights can decide where their child attends school, what type of health care they receive, their involvement in social activities, and more.

Physical custody refers to where the child resides. Physical custody can be a part of a sole custody or joint custody arrangement.

To learn more about these types of physical or legal custody, as well as temporary custody or permanent custody in Alabama, please schedule a 30-minute free consultation with our law firm today.

Are You Looking For Joint Custody?

Ideally, both parents can come to some agreement on child custody decisions, hopefully leading to some form of joint custody. However, there are many cases where the parents disagree about who should have custody and whether joint custody is even a realistic possibility.

If you want to fight for joint custody, one of your options is to hire a third-party mediator to help facilitate negotiations between either side of the child custody issues.

Are You Hoping To Obtain Sole Custody Of Your Children?

When a parent has sole custody of their child, the child lives with that parent full time. This shall make them the custodial parent. It is possible for there to be joint legal custody shared between both parents while one parent has sole physical custody.

And vice versa, it is possible for both parents to have physical custody of their children, while one parent has sole legal custody.

Whatever type of child custody arrangements you are hoping for, you would benefit from hiring experienced child custody lawyers.

When Is It Necessary To Establish Paternity In A Child Custody Case?

Sometimes, there are questions as to whether the father has any rights in a child custody case. In such cases, you may wish to undergo a paternity test to establish a DNA connection between a parent and a child. If paternity is contested, then the paternity test may be court-ordered based on Alabama child custody laws.

Can Child Custody Lawyers In Alabama Help Unmarried Parents With Child Custody Matters?

Child custody situations are different when the parents are unmarried. Alabama law requires that a DNA test be performed to establish paternity following the separation of a family unit in a child custody case. If you are an unmarried father concerned about your rights, contact our law firm to discuss your legal issues with experienced child custody attorneys.

Contact Us For A 30-Minute Free Consultation With An Alabama Child Custody Lawyer Today

Jim Golden Law has extensive experience representing child custody cases across Alabama. Child custody legal issues are complex and often fraught with heightened emotions. There is, after all, so much at stake in such a case. Do not underestimate the value of retaining professional legal counsel for your child custody case, contact our child custody attorney today.

Contact our law firm to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney today. You may call us at 866-950-6652.

What Questions to Ask a Child Custody Lawyer in Alabama Before Hiring

Choosing the right child custody lawyer in Alabama is crucial for ensuring the best outcome for your case. To make an informed decision, it’s essential to ask the right questions during your initial consultation. Here are some key questions to consider:

  1. What is your experience in handling child custody cases in Alabama?
    • Understanding the lawyer’s background and experience in child custody law within the state is vital. Alabama’s laws can differ from those in other states, so ensure the attorney is well-versed in local statutes and court procedures.
  2. What is your approach to handling child custody cases?
    • Each lawyer may have a different strategy for handling cases involving child custody matter. Some may focus on negotiation and mediation, while others might be more inclined towards litigation. Knowing their approach will help you determine if it aligns with your goals.
  3. Can you provide references from past clients?
    • Client testimonials can give you insight into the lawyer’s effectiveness and client satisfaction. Speaking with past clients can provide a clearer picture of what to expect.
  4. What are your fees and billing practices?
    • Understanding the financial aspect is crucial. Ask about the lawyer’s fee structure, whether they charge a flat fee or hourly rate, and any additional costs that may arise during the case.
  5. How do you communicate with clients?
    • Effective communication is key in legal matters. Inquire about how often you can expect updates and the best way to reach the lawyer with questions or concerns.
  6. What are the possible outcomes of my case?
    • While no Alabama child custody lawyers can guarantee a specific outcome, an experienced attorney can give you an idea of the potential scenarios based on similar cases they’ve handled.
  7. How long do you expect my case to take?
    • Understanding the timeline can help you prepare mentally and financially for the duration of the custody process.
  8. Who will be handling my case?
    • Clarify if the lawyer you are meeting with will personally handle your case or if it will be passed on to another attorney or a team of lawyers.
  9. What is your success rate in child custody cases?
    • A family law attorney with a high success rate in custody cases is likely to be more competent and effective in handling your case.
  10. How familiar are you with the local family court judges?
    • Knowing the preferences and tendencies of local judges can be an advantage in crafting a legal strategy.

By asking these questions, you can gain a better understanding of the lawyer’s qualifications, approach, and how well they may be able to represent your interests in a child custody case. Choosing the right lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.