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Child custody: what factors go into a best interests decision?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | Child Custody And Parenting Time |

Child custody disputes can be difficult to untangle, especially when each parent thinks that they know what is best for the child and those views greatly differ. But as you’re tangled up in the emotions involved in one of these disagreements, it can be difficult to lose sight of how the court is going to make a child custody or visitation determination. That’s understandable, which is why we hope this post will prove beneficial.

Assessing the child’s best interests under Alabama law

When a court is tasked with addressing child custody, it’s going to render a decision that it believes is in the child’s best interests. But how is that determination made? The judge in your case will consider a whole host of factors, including the following:

  • The child’s age
  • The parents’ physical and mental health
  • The stability and appropriateness of each parents’ house
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s physical and emotional needs
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The child’s wishes in regard to custody, if the child is old enough
  • Each parent’s willingness to cooperate in a co-parenting arrangement
  • Any history of abuse or neglect
  • Any history of substance abuse or domestic violence

Even though those factors are pretty wide-ranging, the law also allows the court to consider any other information that it deems relevant to its determination.

Preparing your case

Judges in Alabama tend to view joint custody as being in the child’s best interests, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t persuade a judge to stray from that presumption. That’s why if you feel strongly about your position on child custody and visitation, then you may want to start gathering evidence that speaks to the factors mentioned above. If you think that you could benefit from assistance in that regard, then you may want to speak with a legal professional who is experienced in this area of the law.