Family Law Attorney Representing Birmingham Residents
Joseph A. Ingram is a Birmingham child custody lawyer who guides people in many areas of Alabama through a wide range of family law matters. These sensitive cases can raise a number of complicated legal questions for parents, guardians, and courts. Mr. Ingram has nearly 15 years of experience as a family law attorney. He understands the stress that often comes with determining a child’s future, and he serves his clients with dedication, compassion, and care.
Child Custody Arrangements and Modifications
The good news for parents is that Alabama law allows them to work together to find a custody arrangement that best suits the family’s needs. There are two types of custody: physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody concerns decision-making about the child’s education, health, and other major issues.
Alabama state policy prefers joint custody arrangements, in which parents either share both physical and legal custody over their child or simply share legal custody. Courts are also authorized, however, to award sole legal or physical custody, or both, to one parent in some cases. When a court awards sole physical custody to one parent, it may also order that parent to allow the other parent to have regular visitation time with the child.
The main question in custody cases is what is in the child’s best interests. Courts answer that question by looking at several factors, such as whether the parents have agreed to share custody, where the parents live, each parent’s ability to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent, each parent’s ability to communicate with the other and make joint decisions, and any allegations of abuse.
Sometimes things change, and the law allows custody and visitation orders to be altered based on changes in circumstances. In order to alter an order, the person seeking the change needs to show that there has been what the courts call a “substantial change in circumstances.” The parent also needs to prove that the requested alteration is in the child’s best interests, based on the change in circumstances. Courts are typically more flexible in cases in which one parent wants to adjust the visitation schedule based on the child’s school or social commitments.
A parent in a custody arrangement who wants to move away with his or her child typically must first seek permission from a court. Courts consider a range of factors in deciding whether to grant relocation approval. These include the quality of the relationship between the child and each parent, as well as the child’s age, needs, and preferences. Courts will also consider how the move might affect the child’s quality of life and the reasons why each parent is requesting or opposing the move, among other issues.
Contact an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in the Birmingham Area
If you are facing a battle over child custody or the modification of a child custody arrangement, Birmingham child custody attorney Joseph A. Ingram can help. Mr. Ingram is a seasoned divorce lawyer who can help you weigh your legal rights and options at each step of the process. He proudly serves people across Alabama, including in Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Florence, Clanton, Scottsboro, Anniston, Ashville, and Alabaster, as well as other communities in Jefferson, Calhoun, Chilton, Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Saint Clair, and Shelby Counties. We offer assistance 24 hours a day. Contact us online or at 205-438-6666 to set up an appointment. We are also available after hours at 205-335-2640.