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Understanding the basics about child custody

| Sep 17, 2020 | Family Law |

When Alabama residents are going through a divorce, they understandably have quite a few concerns in mind. For those with minor children, the primary concern is oftentimes how the issue of child custody will play out in the divorce case. Knowledge is power, so understanding the basics about child custody could help Alabama residents who are dealing with this important issue in their divorce cases to alleviate some of their concerns.

Child custody basics

For starters, our readers should understand that there are two aspects of the overall child custody issue: “legal” custody and “physical” custody. Legal custody addresses which of the parents will be court-ordered to make important decisions on behalf of the child, such as where the child will attend church or school and what type of medical care the child will receive and where, among many other issues. Physical custody refers to where the child will reside and spend time, and which parent will be responsible for the child’s day-to-day needs.

Importantly, however, our readers may know that most family law courts in Alabama start from the point of deferring to “joint” custody arrangements. This means, in essence, that both parents will have some part to play in the legal and physical aspects of child custody. But, there are some factors that may impact that default stance, such as a history of physical abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse or other factors that may be detrimental to raising a child.

Each family law case is unique, most of all divorce cases. Although there may be common issues to address across such cases, your issues are unique to how your life will be impacted for years or even decades into the future. Getting the right information about your child custody issue is crucial.