When you have a child with someone else in Alabama and the two of you are unable to come to an agreement on parenting time, you may need the state’s family court system to step in and take over. When deciding what type of custody arrangement your family should have, the court refers to a specific set of factors.
Per the Children’s Rights Council, the following are some of the variables Alabama’s court system considers when determining child custody arrangements.
The child’s safety and well-being
Your child’s safety and well-being is arguably the most important factor in child custody proceedings. Expect the court to choose a living arrangement that prioritizes these elements.
Each parent’s interest and willingness to parent
Alabama’s courts also consider each parent’s demonstrated interest to be an active presence in the child’s life. When doing so, the court may take into account whether each of you provide for the child’s social, emotional, material and educational needs.
The characteristics of each parent
While the willingness each of you have to parent factors into custody decisions, so, too, does your physical and mental ability to do so. Your age, moral character, stability and mental and physical health, and those of your ex, may all undergo review.
The existing relationships between parent and child
How much of a relationship each of you already have with your son or daughter may also steer parenting time and custody decisions. Parents who have established relationships with their children already, and those who have demonstrated a desire to maintain these relationships, may have improved custody chances.
While these are important elements Alabama’s court system considers when it comes to child custody, there are other areas, too, that the court system may weigh.