here are the best interests of the child factors for alabama

The best interests of the child factors to determine sole custody were laid out in a 1981 Alabama Supreme Court case, Ex parte Devine 398 So.2d 686 (1981), were it reversed the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals and a lower courts affirmation of the tender years presumption.

In other words the Alabama Supreme Court “voted to abolish the tender years doctrine” and directed the lower court to “consider the individual facts of the case”, i.e best interests of the child.

Sole Custody – Factors Considered

  1. The age and sex of the children.
  2. The emotional, social, moral, material and educational needs.
  3. The respective home environments offered by the parties.
  4. The characteristics of those seeking custody, including age, character, stability, mental and physical health.
  5. The capacity and interest of each parent to provide for the emotional, social, moral, material and educational needs of the children.
  6. The interpersonal relationship between the children.
  7. The effect on the child of disrupting or continuing an existing custodial status.
  8. The preference of each child, if the child is of sufficient age and maturity.
  9. The report and recommendation of any expert witness or other independent investigator.
  10. Available alternatives.
  11. Any other relevant matter the evidence may disclose.

Joint Custody – Factors Considered

When determining joint custody, the court must consider the factors as listed above for sole custody AND all of the following factors as listed in the Alabama Code, Section 30-1-152.

  1. The agreement or lack of agreement of the parents on joint custody.
  2. The past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly.
  3. The ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection and contact between the child and the other parent.
  4. Any history of or potential for child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping.
  5. The geographic proximity of the parents to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of joint physical custody.

Other Important Custody Guidelines

Alabama specifically points out in its code that joint custody does not necessarily mean equal physical custody. This means that even if the court grants you joint custody, the actual time-sharing may not be equal. Which ever parent has less time-sharing will most likely pay child support.

If the husband is abandoned by the wife, he will be awarded custody of the children after they are seven years old and if he is a suitable person to have such a charge.

Alabama was one of the few states that gave grandparents visitation rights. However, that came to an end on August 1, 2016 as grandparent visitation was repealed by Act 2016-362, p.901 §3.