Helping Magic City Families Move Forward
Birmingham Child Custody, Support & Visitation Lawyers
Protecting Parents in Birmingham, Hoover & the Counties of Shelby, Jefferson & Saint Clair
Both parents going through a divorce and unmarried parents commonly face the issues of child custody and visitation as well as child support. Divorcing parents can agree to custody arrangements as well as support obligations through their own or lawyer-assisted negotiations outside of court and submit them to the court for approval. As long as they uphold court policy of serving the child’s best interests and following state guidelines for child support, these arrangements are likely to be approved. Where parents, whether divorcing or never married, are not in agreement, these issues will be resolved by the courts.
At Magic City Law, LLC, we represent parents in all kinds of relationships in issues related to children. Whether you are a traditional or LGBTQ+ couple going through a divorce or separation or are an unmarried parent seeking child support or custody, we can help. Our firm is dedicated exclusively to Alabama family law which is why we are on the cutting edge of this legal area; we continue to stay current with changing laws and advancing technology that affects families so we can protect your rights and advocate for your best interests in child-related issues.
Arrange for a confidential consultation with a Birmingham attorney for child custody/visitation and child support by contacting Magic City Law, LLC at (205) 509-4766.
Child custody and visitation is an issue that can easily descend into a dispute between divorcing as well as never-married parents. Visitation is also an issue that can arise for grandparents who have established loving relationships with their grandchildren and who are denied access in various circumstances. Our firm represents all those in need of legal help related to the custody and visitation of children in these circumstances.
When we build legal strategies to address these types of disputes, we do so with special attention to the minor children involved. As Certified Guardians ad Litem who have acted on behalf of many children in the courts, we are especially attuned to what is needed to protect the best interests of children in family disputes.
In Alabama, courts will consider joint parental custody in every case based on the presumption that it is in the best interests of the child(ren). It is held that children need a continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents when households separate unless the court finds a specific reason as to why this should not occur. For example, joint custody may not be allowed when one parent has a history of domestic violence, continual substance abuse, or child neglect or abuse.
Custody consists of two types: legal and physical. Legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as regarding education, health care, religion, and others. Physical custody gives a parent the right to have the child reside with him or her. These two types of custody can be granted on a joint or sole basis.
This can involve the following variations:
Joint Legal Custody: both parents retain the ability to engage in the decision-making process concerning the child.
Joint Physical Custody: both parents spend time with the child as scheduled through a parenting plan. This time may or may not be equal, based on circumstances, such as proximity of households, parental work schedules, and more.
Sole Physical and Legal Custody: one parent retains both forms of custody and the other parent may or may not have visitation rights depending on the circumstances.
When a child has been found to have been victimized by abuse or neglect, the child may become subject to dependency hearings in a juvenile court. Courts will look at many factors to determine this issue and will generally appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent the child’s best interests. Parents of these children can also be represented by an attorney in seeking to retain their parental custodial rights. Our firm has extensive experience in representing parents in dependency matters.
Alabama requires parents to provide financial support for their children, whether divorced or never married. This support is typically paid to the parent who spends the most time with the child by the other parent. It is paid until the child turns 19 or further under specific circumstances. Child support is calculated according to state guidelines which are frequently revised. The formula for determining child support is based on the combined adjusted gross incomes of both parents and the number of children being supported. It may also be adjusted by custody/parenting time arrangements.
Courts will assume that the amount calculated according to the guidelines is the correct support obligation. However, deviations from the guidelines may be allowed when it is deemed that the calculated amount is unfair. Courts will look at many factors in determining if a support payment should be increased or decreased. Parents need to understand that child support is not paid as a means of supporting the primary child caretaker but is the child’s right as a means of receiving proper care.
Need to Resolve a Child-Related Issue? Call Magic City Law, LLC Today
No matter what issue or how complicated it may appear to be concerning your child(ren), our team is here to provide the advocacy and answers you need. You can start resolving your case by contacting us to consult with one of our competent attorneys today.