Birmingham Child Custody Lawyer
Child Custody Attorney Serving Shelby County, Alabama
As a result of a divorce or separation, when parents decide they no longer want to live together, child custody decisions need to be made. Parents may find this to be an emotionally draining, frustrating, and expensive process, especially if they are unable to reach an agreement out of court. The child custody attorney at Thomas Family Law, LLC can help – if your child’s custody is threatened, we understand what you may be going through. We have the skill and experience necessary to competently represent you during this difficult time.
Types of Child Custody Arrangements
How parents decide to share custody of their child or children can vary based on their unique to their situations. Some parents live close together and maintain an amicable relationship, while others may live far apart–making travel between homes difficult.
The types of child custody arrangements in Alabama include:
- Legal custody – legal decision-making power related to a child for things like school and religion, etc.
- Physical custody – which parent is responsible for the physical well-being of the child and with which parent the child or children will live
- Sole custody – one parent has either physical custody, legal custody, or both
- Joint custody – physical and legal custody is shared between parents
Alabama Child Custody & Parenting Plans
The parents of minor children who are separating in Alabama will need to work together to create a parenting plan. Once the parenting plan is completed, it will be submitted to the court for approval.
A parenting plan should include:
- Where the child will live;
- What the visiting or custody rights and obligations of each parent will be;
- Who will be responsible for transporting the child to school;
- How the child will be transported from one home to the other;
- Where the child will spend summer vacation, holidays, etc.;
- How decisions pertaining to the child will be made;
- What parents will do if there is a disagreement regarding the child.
A parenting plan should be as thorough and comprehensive as possible.
What Happens If We Can’t Agree?
A parenting plan should be created by both parents; however, this does not always happen. It is common for parents to disagree about who should be granted custody, where the child should live, and how to raise the child, etc.
In this situation, there are typically two options:
- Parents can work with a third-party mediator who will facilitate negotiations and make sure the discussion is fair and that each party has a chance to express themselves. In mediation, no decisions are made; instead, parents work together to resolve their disagreements.
- Litigation is the second option. In the event negotiations and mediation sessions fail, the only remaining option may be to litigate the case before an Alabama family law judge. The challenge of litigating a child custody case in court is that it is impossible to predict the final decision of the judge.
To determine who should have physical or legal custody of a child, a judge will allow both parents to present evidence and make their case. It is for this reason that you should hire an experienced attorney to represent you.
Upon hearing all evidence, the judge will make a decision based on:
- The child’s needs, both physical and psychological;
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs;
- The preference of the child (if they are of a sufficient age and level of maturity);
- How a move may impact a child;
- The child’s relationship with others in the home and community;
- Any history of abuse within the home; and
- Any other factors that the court deems relevant.
We have years of experience helping people with a variety of child custody issues:
Child Custody & Support for Unmarried Parents
Drafting Parenting Plans
Enforcement – of child support, custody and visitation orders
Establishing Co-Parenting Schedules
We want each and every client to know that their case is going to receive the time, dedication, and attention that it deserves.
Contact A Birmingham Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
If you need the sound legal advice of an experienced and respected attorney, contact Thomas Family Law, LLC for help. Our belief is that a straightforward approach combined with personal attention and a detailed knowledge of the law and how the legal system works are the keys to building a successful legal practice. Let our knowledge and experience work for you – call TODAY for help!