Custody And Parenting Time FAQs
Do you have a lot of questions about how child custody works in Alabama? You are not alone. In my more than 10 years of practicing family law in Tuscaloosa, I have heard virtually every question about custody and visitation conceivable. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients:
My co-parent is not keeping up on their child support. Can I withhold their visitation time with the children to get them to pay?
No. You do not have the right to make visitation time conditional on catching up on child support. While child custody and child support are interrelated in some ways, in this respect they are separate issues. If your co-parent is refusing to pay child support, contact your attorney.
Do my children get a say in their child custody plan?
They might, depending on their age, maturity and ability to express a preference. If they are able to testify, the judge will consider your children’s opinions as part of the overall analysis. In other words, their preferences are not the only factor.
Do grandparents have visitation rights?
Unlike a child’s biological parents, grandparents do not have the legal presumption of visitation rights. Due to a recent change in the law, grandparents in Alabama have the right to seek visitation, but only under limited and specific circumstances. Ultimately, parents usually have the right to decide whom their children get to see, including their grandparents.
Do fathers ever get child custody in Alabama?
Traditionally, courts felt that it was in a child’s best interests to live with their mother following divorce or separation. But over the last several years, judges, attorneys and lawmakers have recognized that children tend to do better when they spend regular time in both of their parents’ households. Today, child custody law presumes that the parents will share custody, unless certain factors make this impractical or unsafe for the child.