Child custody is a very emotional type of proceeding that a person can experience in going through a divorce or in seeking a modification of a previous custody order. It is difficult for both parties involved and is even more difficult on the children involved. It is important to remember that while going through a child custody proceeding, that parents do not place their children in the middle of their problems. It is best to not discuss “adult matters” with the child.
In Alabama child custody proceedings, the Court will issue a ruling based off of what is in the child’s best interest. The Judge’s decision will determine physical custody, legal custody, and visitation rights. Essentially, physical custody means where the child resides. Legal custody pertains to which parent is responsible for making important decisions regarding the child, such as academics, religion, medical, extra curricular activities, cultural, and social issues. Often joint custody is the preferred method of custody if both parents are fit and if it is in the child’s best interest. Joint custody allows each parent to share physical or legal custody of the minor child, or both. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that visitation with the child will be of an equal duration for both parents. In some cases, sole legal and physical custody can be granted if it is in the child’s best interest. Although the Court likes to ensure that both parents have frequent and continuing contact with the child, in some instances it becomes necessary to limit a parent’s contact with the child to supervised visitation or in extreme cases, no visitation at all.
A modification of custody is a proceeding that requires a change in custody after the Court issues its original custody determination. A party must prove that there has been a material change in circumstances to warrant a change in custody. A modification in custody is often brought for several reasons, whether a parent has engaged in behavior that makes he or she no longer fit or whether a parent is moving out of state and a modification becomes necessary. There are many different reasons why a modification of custody can be sought by a parent. The Whitaker Law Firm will work with its clients to determine whether or not there are sufficient grounds to warrant a modification of the Court’s original custody determination.
The Whitaker Law Firm understands the importance of protecting you and your child’s best interest and will work with you in achieving the best possible result, whether your case involves an original custody determination or a modification of custody. Contact The Whitaker Law Firm today for a free in-person consultation!
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