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Alabama’s best interests of the child standard

| Jan 17, 2020 | Family Law |

If you are a parent, you have an awesome responsibility. That is, you have the opportunity to help your children grow into successful adults. Still, if you are going through a divorce, your future family environment may be considerably different than you initially thought. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot agree on custody or physical placement, you may also face some uncertainty. 

When deciding child custody cases in Alabama, judges must consider the best interests of the child. While you may know what is best for your kids, the legal standard requires considering some factors. To analyze how a judge may evaluate your custody matter, you must understand the best interests of the child standard. 

An overview 

It is important to note that the best interests standard involves case-by-case consideration. That is, what may be best for a child in one family may be grossly inadequate for a child in another. Still, judges do not make arbitrary decisions. Instead, they look at specific areas of a child’s needs, background, parent-child relationship and other important matters. 

Factors 

In Alabama, judges regularly presume that children should have close relationships with both parents. Awarding joint legal or physical custody to both parents is not always in the best interests of the children, however. Accordingly, when determining what is best for the kids, a judge is apt to review a number of factors. These factors tend to fit into just two categories: the parents’ ability to provide a stable environment and the children’s specific needs. 

Planning 

If you are trying to gauge your odds of securing physical or legal custody of your kids, you should carefully consider each relevant factor. You should also work to create the best possible living situation for your children. Also, you must be certain you have the ability to meet the needs of your kids. 

Few parents are comfortable with losing custody of their children. By understanding Alabama’s best interests of the child standard, you can better plan for keeping legal or physical custody of the young ones in your family.