CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEYS IN GUNTERSVILLE, ALABAMA
If you are contemplating divorce or have been served divorce papers, the next steps to take may seem daunting. According to the 2018 U.S. Census, 12.9 million parents lived with 21.9 million children under 21 years of age, while the child’s other parent lived somewhere else. When children are involved, custody arrangements are typically a top priority during divorce proceedings.
If you are facing a child custody battle through a divorce, Guntersville Law, LLC can help. The experienced family law attorneys at Guntersville Law, LLC can provide courteous and compassionate legal services to individuals and families in need. They can provide reliable legal guidance and support for any family law situation, including child custody. Their firm is proud to serve clients in Guntersville, Alabama, and the surrounding areas, so call or reach out today to learn more about how they can help you with your case.
ESTABLISHING A CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT
When it comes to establishing a child custody arrangement, there are two main options. If the arrangement is uncontested and you and your former spouse are able to come to a custody agreement on your own, you and the other parent can draw up your own terms and present them to the court for approval. Whenever possible, this is the quickest, least expensive, and most efficient route toward an amicable resolution as well as the least traumatic on both the parents and the children. It saves you the option of going to court and dealing with the drawn-out process of arguing in front of a judge, and an experienced family law attorney can help you keep the conversations productive and on track.
If the divorce is contested and you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement on custody, you will have to take your case to family court. In this case, the judge will use their best judgment to establish a custody arrangement. The judge will, of course, always prioritize the best interests of the child, but will also be willing to hear out each parent. This is why you will want an experienced child custody attorney to help you present your case so that you can have the best chance of arriving at the arrangement you believe is best for your family.
PHYSICAL CUSTODY VS. LEGAL CUSTODY
There are two types of custody to consider when making a custody arrangement: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is simply deciding where your children will live. Whether this means living with one parent during the week and another during the weekends, rotating holidays, or anything else — physical custody involves where your child physically resides.
Legal custody involves custody over the major decisions that need to be made about your child’s life. This includes things such as making important medical decisions and other things like where the child should go to school. Legal custody can also be considered joint or sole — meaning one parent can be in charge of everything (sole), or both parents can have equal say when it comes to making decisions for the child (joint). As a practical matter, joint legal custody does not typically mean an equal say in the decision making regarding your child.
If there is a case where the parents are excersizing true joint legal and physical custody, under Code of Alabama § 30-3-153. Implementation; required provisions; plan set by court., AL ST § 30-3-153,
"Designating the parent possessing primary authority and responsibility regarding involvement of the minor child in academic, religious, civic, cultural, athletic, and other activities, and in medical and dental care if the parents are unable to agree on these decisions. The exercise of this primary authority is not intended to negate the responsibility of the parties to notify and communicate with each other as provided in this article."
Please contact us with any questions you have when going through a divorce or a custody modification.
FACTORS CONSIDERED WHEN DETERMINING CUSTODY
As mentioned above, the factors involved in determining custody always center around the best interests of the child. The court will look at a variety of different factors, including:
Any agreement (or lack of an agreement) between the parents
The home environment that each parent can provide
The age of the child
The impact that any change to the current custody arrangement may have on the child
The child's relationship with each parent
The child's needs (such as emotional, material, and educational), and each parent's ability to meet those needs
Each parent's age, stability, and mental and physical health
The nature of the child's relationship with any siblings
reports and recommendations of experts, and
any other factors pertinent to custody.
It’s also important to remember that the court may take the child’s preference into consideration, depending on their age and maturity level.
MODIFYING AN EXISTING CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENT
If you have a child custody arrangement in place and are unhappy with the results, you may be able to modify it. However, in order to modify a custody arrangement, your case must meet certain qualifications. There are certain major life events that give people the opportunity to request a change to an existing child custody agreement. Examples of these major life events include:
Loss of job
Change in income
One parent not holding up their end of the agreement
One parent gets remarried to another person
You can present your case to the judge following any one of these events and ask for a modification. It’s still important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you state your case clearly and advocate for your needs.
HOW A SKILLED CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY CAN HELP
At the end of the day, an experienced child custody attorney can help make the process of figuring out your custody arrangement simpler, and in many cases, much quicker. The family law attorneys at Guntersville Law, LLC are dedicated to helping their clients through divorce and child custody matters so that they can begin to move forward with their lives. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult child custody battle, don’t wait. Call or reach out to Guntersville Law, LLC today to schedule a free case consultation.
CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEYS IN GUNTERSVILLE, ALABAMA
No matter what situation you may be facing, the attorneys at Guntersville Law, LLC are prepared to offer you reliable legal guidance and representation that you can count on as you navigate your custody battle. Their firm is proud to serve Alabamians in Guntersville and the surrounding areas, so call or reach out to their office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how they can help you with your custody case.