Divorce can be hard on families with children. If you and your spouse are parents, reaching an agreement on custody may prove a point of contention between you two. By understanding Alabama’s custody laws, you can create a plan that’s fair for all parties involved.

Alabama’s custody laws

Often, Alabama allows divorcing couples to come up with their own custody agreement. So long as you and your spouse can work together on creating one, this method allows you greater control over your children’s lives. If you cannot reach a plan, a judge will set forth an arrangement. In doing so, they will consider many factors, including:

  • You and your spouse’s ability to nurture and provide for your children
  • You and your spouse’s ability to cooperate with each other
  • You and your spouse’s geographic proximity to each other
  • Your children’s wishes
  • Whether you or your spouse have a history of abuse or potential for it

Special considerations

Alabama favors joint custody arrangements, so long as they are in the best interest of children. But your divorce may have stemmed from your spouse’s adverse actions. If their misconduct harmed your children in any way, this could prevent such an arrangement from moving forward.

Your spouse may have moved out of Alabama after you separated. In this case, your agreement must abide by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act decrees that you will follow the custody laws of the state where your children lived for at least six months before proceedings began. If they resided with you in Alabama, your agreement is determined and enforced using its laws, rather than those of your spouse’s state.

Reaching an agreement on custody can be challenging. And giving weight to every factor that goes into the final decision is crucial. An attorney with family law experience can help you create an arrangement that benefits your children.