Birmingham Child Custody Attorney
Understanding Child Custody Arrangements in Alabama
At Ingram Law, LLC, our Birmingham child custody lawyer guides families in Jefferson County through a wide range of family law matters. These sensitive cases can raise a number of complicated legal questions for parents, guardians, and courts. With well over a decade of experience as a family law attorney, Joe Ingram understands the stress that often comes with determining a child’s future and serves his clients with dedication, compassion, and care.
If you need legal assistance with a child custody case, count on Ingram Law, LLC to remain by your side from start to finish. We will see your case through to the end, maintaining open communication and unyielding support along the way.
Types of Child Custody
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 is concerned with decision making about the child’s:
- Other major issues
Alabama state policy prefers joint custody arrangements, in which parents either share 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.
How Does the Court Determine Child Custody?
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 willingness to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
- Each parent’s ability to communicate with the other and make joint decisions
- Any allegations of abuse
How to Win a Custody Modification Case
When it comes to modifying a child custody arrangement in Alabama, there are several essential factors that a parent must consider to increase their chances of winning their case. Here are some critical steps to take:
- Document any changes in circumstances: There must be a substantial change in circumstances since the last order was issued to modify a custody arrangement. These changes can include a parent's relocation, a change in a child's school, or a change in a parent's work schedule. It is important to document these changes and gather evidence to support them.
- Focus on the best interests of the child: In Alabama, the court's primary concern in custody is the child's best interests. When seeking a custody modification, it is important to demonstrate how the proposed changes will benefit the child. This may include demonstrating that the child will have better access to healthcare or education or will be able to spend more time with family members.
- Seek the help of an experienced attorney: Custody modification cases can be complex, and it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. They can help you gather evidence, present your case in court, and navigate the legal process.
- Be willing to compromise: In some cases, it may be necessary to compromise with the other parent to modify a custody arrangement. This could involve agreeing to a different visitation schedule or a shared custody arrangement. Being willing to negotiate and work with the other parent can increase your chances of success in court.
- Be prepared for court: If your case goes to court, it is important to be prepared. This includes preparing all necessary documents and evidence, dressing appropriately, and respecting the judge and other parties involved.
By following these steps and working with an experienced family law attorney, parents in Alabama can increase their chances of winning a custody modification case and achieving the best possible outcome for their child.
Can You Modify a Parenting Plan Without Going to Court?
In the state of Alabama, modifying a parenting plan generally requires court approval. Although, it may be possible to modify a parenting plan without going to court if both parents agree on the suggested changes. If you and the other parent can reach a mutually acceptable agreement, you can then work with an attorney to craft a modified parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval. The court will then review the suggested changes, and if they are considered to be in the child's best interests, the modified parenting plan may be approved without a formal court hearing. It's important to note that legal requirements and procedures may vary, so it's always a good idea to consult with our child custody attorney in Birmingham, who can guide you through the process and provide personalized recommendations based on your circumstances.
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.
- The quality of the relationship between the child and each parent
- The child’s age
- The child’s emotional, physical, and medical needs
- The child’s preferences
- How the move might affect the child’s quality of life
- The reasons why each parent is requesting or opposing the move
Contact an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Birmingham
If you are facing a battle over child custody or the modification of a child custody arrangement, Ingram Law, LLC can help. Our seasoned divorce lawyer can help you weigh your legal rights and options at each step of the process. He proudly serves people throughout Jefferson County 24 hours a day.
Attorney Ingram is a Former District Attorney and has a successful track record.
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