Some of the most pressing issues in any divorce or separation concern questions regarding what will happen to a couple’s children. Where will they sleep at night? Where will they go to school or receive medical treatment? A custody order answers these questions and makes a custody arrangement legally binding.
Legal Vs. Physical Custody
Custody orders involve two types of custody: legal and physical. Physical custody concerns where the child actually lives and can either be shared jointly or granted to one parent alone. When custody is shared, the child spends approximately the same amount of time with each parent. For instance, the child may reside with the father on the weekends and with the mother during the week. If only one parent has physical custody, the other parent maintains limited access to the child in accordance with a court-endorsed visitation schedule.
Legal custody, on the other hand, deals with who has the authority to make decisions about the child’s life, such as where they go to church, go to school, and receive medical attention. Like physical custody, legal custody can be assigned jointly or granted solely to one individual.
Helping Parents Secure Sole Custody When Necessary
Alabama courts prefer to award joint custody whenever possible. However, this requires that parents be able and willing to participate in joint custody arrangements. Parents who are unable or unwilling to make decisions together that serve their child’s best interests are not good candidates for joint custody. Likewise, a parent is expected to encourage love and respect for the other parent in the equation. If this proves impossible, the court will probably gravitate toward assigning sole custody instead.
Other factors that may preclude joint custody include geographic separation or circumstances in which one parent has a history of domestic and/or drug abuse. If you believe your child would benefit from you having sole legal and physical custody of them, contact Secure Law, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.
Temporary Custody Orders
It is customary for Alabama courts to establish temporary custody orders while divorce proceedings are underway. Once the divorce settlement is concluded, any temporary custody orders are dissolved and the terms of the settlement become legally valid. Your child custody lawyer can tell you more about the difference between temporary and permanent custody orders, as well as what you can expect during your divorce proceedings.
A Reliable Legal Ally for Parents in Child Custody Matters
At Secure Law, P.C., we assist our Alabama clients with all kinds of child custody matters. If you have questions or concerns about a pending or future custody issue, please contact a knowledgeable custody attorney today. We look forward to hearing from you.