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What are my shared custody rights in Alabama as a dad?

It's an old myth that women are the nurturing ones whose priority is to care for the children and men are focused solely on their careers, with child-rearing taking a back seat. Many modern dads cherish their parenting role above anything else.

So when you decide to divorce, you may be scared you'll lose your place in your child's life. Thankfully, the law in many states across the U.S. may finally be moving to more favorably consider the dad's side.

Alabama's example

Earlier this year, the Alabama State Senate approved a bill called the "Children's Equal Access Act," which provides guidelines for the judge to "start in the middle" and consider multiple factors when determining custody for a child. The bill specifically states that "there shall be a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child."

Each parent would be considered

Under this bill, parenting plans will have to specify the time "which a minor child will spend with each parent." If joint custody is not awarded, the court must consider multiple factors before granting primary custody to a parent, including:

  • The moral, mental and physical fitness of each parent
  • The home environment of each parent
  • The criminal history of each parent
  • The characteristics of each parent or anyone else seeking custody, including age, character, stability, and mental and physical health
  • The preference of the child, if they are of sufficient age and maturity

This takes away the automatic presumption that the mother should have primary custody of the child. If your ex is not fit to have primary custody or your home environment is better for your child - or even your child has a demonstrably better relationship with you - that will be considered under this law.

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Isaak Law Firm | 2815-B Zelda Road | Montgomery, AL 36106 | Phone: 334.262.8200 | Map & Directions