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Alabama Child Custody Laws

Many wonderful romances have blossomed in the Yellowhammer State. Sadly, though, not every Alabama love story has a perfect ending. And because some of those unhappy endings involve children, you may be in the unenviable position of trying to figure out who will get custody of your children and what laws might apply to your case. This is an introduction to child custody laws in Alabama.

Child Custody Laws

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 dictate that each state must honor and enforce child custody determinations made by courts in other states. Under Alabama law, joint custody is an option for separated parents, and the grandparents’ visitation rights are recognized. Additionally, courts will consider the wishes of the child in custody matters.

Child Custody Statutes in Alabama

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

Code Section

Code of Alabama 30-3-1, et seq.: Child Custody and Support

Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, §30-3-150

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, §30-3-4.2

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


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 wellbeing.

Most of these factors will focus on the child, like his or her relationship with siblings and the interest in maintaining consistency and continuity in his or her family life, community, and education. Additional factors might focus on the parents, such as which parent is more able to take care of the child’s daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs, and which is more likely to create and maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child.

Alabama Child Custody Laws Related Resources:

Sorting out issues of child custody can be difficult, both emotionally and legally. You can contact an Alabama family law attorney if you would like legal assistance with a child custody matter. 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 to be involved. Don't leave it up to chance; meet with a local Alabama custody attorney today.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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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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