Determining the Best Interests of the Child in AL

parent and child walking

Possible Considerations in Child Custody Cases

Child custody is the first and foremost concern for divorcing couples who have children. Although custody arrangements can be modified as needed after a divorce is finalized, the child’s best interests remain among the utmost priority for both families and family courts in Alabama. However, determining a child’s best interests is subjective and prone to biases, which is why many states and jurisdictions have distinct standards and processes for making such determinations in the most objective manner possible.

For your understanding, there is no universal definition of “best interests of the child,” although the term typically refers to the considerations that courts make when determining the most fitting types of services, actions, and orders for a child.

With this in mind, it may benefit you to learn the several factors a judge may consider when determining the best interests of a child. The information below is provided by the Children’s Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services. It is subject to change according to the various jurisdictions within Alabama, but serves as a useful guideline to help provide some clarity to you and your ex-spouse:

Common Guiding Principles

  • The importance of family integrity and avoiding removing the child from their home
  • The health, safety, and/or protection of the child
  • The importance of timely permanency decisions
  • The child will be given care, treatment, and guidance that will assist them in developing into a self-sufficient adult should they get removed from their home

Potential Best Interest Factors

  • The emotional ties and relationships between the child and their parents, siblings, family and household members, or other caregivers
  • The parents’ ability to provide a safe home and adequate food, clothing, and medical care
  • The mental and physical health needs of the child
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • The occurrence of domestic violence in the home

Other Possible Factors for Consideration

  • Federal and/or State constitution protections.
  • The importance of maintaining sibling and other close family bonds.
  • The child's wishes

We Have Your Family’s Best Interests at Heart

Unfortunately, divorcing parents may not agree with the family court’s best interest standards. While judges have good intentions when solidifying child custody plans, they do not know your child as well as you do, which is why our Birmingham family attorneys are dedicated to helping you devise amicable solutions to your child custody arrangements should there be any disagreements or ambiguities. Our mission is to help you and your ex-spouse establish a mutually beneficial plan that protects and upholds the best interests of your child.

To discuss your situation with our compassionate attorney, contact us at (205) 259-7650 today!

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