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Alabama Child Custody Laws

Alabama Child Custody Laws

Working out a child custody arrangement with your soon-to-be ex may be difficult, especially in the midst of a divorce where emotions are already heightened. Child custody laws vary between states. In addition to its own state child custody laws, Alabama is one of many states that have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which dictates that each state must honor and enforce child custody determinations made by courts in other states.

Under Alabama law, joint legal, joint physical, sole legal, and sole physical custody are options for separated parents, and the grandparents' visitation rights are recognized. Additionally, courts will consider the wishes of the child in custody matters.

This is an introduction to child custody laws in Alabama.

Child Custody Statutes in Alabama: At a Glance

Child custody laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

§ 30-3-1, et seq. of the Code of Alabama

Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 30-3-150 (the state of Alabama statutes prefers legal custody but specifically says joint custody does not necessarily mean equal physical custody)

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, § 30-3-4.2

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Alabama Custody Hearings

In some cases, if parents are able to agree on a custody arrangement on their own, the court will generally honor that agreement. If they cannot agree, however, they may have to decide any contested custody issues by way of a custody hearing in court. The primary concern for nearly every court in creating a custody arrangement will be the child's best interests. Alabama family courts generally have a great deal of leeway to consider any factor that could be relevant to the child's best interests, with more influence given to factors that can affect a child's safety and well-being.

For more information on child custody, you can visit FindLaw's Child Custody section for additional articles and information on this topic.

Involved in a Custody Dispute? An Attorney Can Help

Custody issues can be difficult to resolve, particularly because they tend to be so fraught with emotion. It's often best to have a third party with knowledge of the law and experience brokering custody arrangements involved.

Don't leave it up to chance; meet with a local Alabama custody attorney today.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Lawyers can seek to secure visitation rights

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