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Divorce is a tough time for everyone involved, especially when children are involved. It is essential to understand the details of shared custody in Alabama to ensure that the children’s and parent’s needs are met.

In Alabama, shared custody is also called joint physical custody. It means that both parents have equal or nearly equal time with the children and equal rights to make decisions about the child’s welfare.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about shared custody in Alabama.

Types of Child Custody in Alabama

Before diving into shared custody, let’s discuss the different types of child custody in Alabama. The four types are:

  • Physical Custody: The child lives with the parent who has physical custody
  • Legal Custody: The parent can make decisions about the child’s welfare
  • Sole Custody: One parent has both legal and physical custody
  • Joint Custody: Both parents have either legal or physical custody or both

Factors That Influence Shared Custody in Alabama

When determining shared custody in Alabama, the court considers several factors, such as:

  • Age and gender of the child
  • Relationship between the child and each parent
  • Ability of each parent to provide for the child’s emotional, physical, and educational needs
  • Willingness of each parent to cooperate with the other parent
  • Mental and physical health of each parent
  • Child’s preference if they are old enough to express one (usually age 12 or older)

How Shared Custody in Alabama Works

Shared custody in Alabama can be divided into equal shared custody and shared custody with a primary residence.

Equal shared custody means that the child spends equal time with each parent. This type of custody is often reserved for parents who live close together and can easily transport the child to and from each other’s homes.

Shared custody with primary residence means that the child spends most of their time with one parent, and the other parent has visitation rights. In this scenario, the non-residential parent typically has the child every other weekend and some holidays.

Benefits of Shared Custody in Alabama

There are several benefits of shared custody for parents and the children. For the parents, shared custody means they have a more balanced parenting role, which can lead to less stress and more time to pursue personal interests.

For the children, shared custody means they have a stronger relationship with both parents, which can lead to better mental health outcomes, higher self-esteem, and better academic performance.

How to Create a Shared Custody Agreement in Alabama

To ensure that shared custody works smoothly, it is essential to have a comprehensive parenting agreement in place. This agreement should cover all aspects of the child’s life, including:

  • Pick-up and drop-off schedules
  • Holiday and vacation schedules
  • How to make decisions about the child’s welfare
  • How to resolve disputes
  • How to communicate with each other

Work with an Experienced Attorney to Create a Shared Custody Agreement

Shared custody in Alabama can be complicated, but with the help of an experienced family law attorney, you can create an agreement that works for you and your family.

If you are going through a divorce and need help creating a shared custody agreement, an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the legal system, protect your rights, and create an agreement that works best for your family.

The lawyers of McCallum, Hoaglund, and McCallum or MHM Firm bring more than 75 years of experience to law practice. We passionately seek justice for our clients in state and federal courts in areas ranging from complex business litigation, medical malpractice defense, insurance defense, and product liability to commercial litigation, construction law, securities and contracts litigation, employment litigation, and more. If you need an attorney-at-law in Birmingham, AL, for a civil litigation case, get in touch with us today, and let’s talk!