Everything You Need To Know About Child Custody In Divorce Cases

Everyone goes into their marriage with the best of intentions. You have a dream of spending your life with someone you care about and having a family together. Marriage is a lot of work, and sometimes it does not work out the way you planned.

If you and your spouse have decided that being married is not the best choice for you anymore, you have a lot of decisions to make. Children often become caught in the middle of these cases. CharlotteChristianLaw.com can help you make sense of things and tell you everything you need to know about child custody in divorce cases.

What Is Child Custody?

Custody arrangements happen in several ways depending on what is best for the child and what the parents are capable of. The court will hear what each side of the case has to say and what the child wants before making a decision. Often, changes can be made if circumstances require.

Sole Custody

In some cases, one parent will have sole custody while the other will have visitation rights.

Joint Custody

Joint custody may be arranged if both parents are capable. Typically, one parent would have them for part of the week, and they would spend time with the other parent afterward.

When Does the Court Get Involved?

If you and your spouse are divorcing on amicable terms, the court may not get involved in your child custody case. When a couple has different opinions on how often the children should spend with each parent, it makes a contested divorce. In these cases, the court must make custody decisions and expect the parents to adhere to them.

How Does the Court Decide Custody?

When the court decides the custody of children during a divorce, they consider many things. If the child is old enough or shows maturity, their wishes may be taken into account. Otherwise, the well-being of the children will be the foremost concern.

- The children’s age
- The educational needs and if they can be met where each parent lives.
- The relationship each parent has had with the children before this point.
- What type of environment does each parent’s home provide?
- What evidence is presented by each party and their witnesses?

Can Child Custody Orders Be Modified?

A custody finding can be modified as often as necessary as the child grows. There are many reasons why custody needs could change. If the divorce was contested, any changes will likely have to be modified by the court.

One of the parents may have a job that gives them less time to be home than they had in the beginning. Or the child may have educational needs that are not met where they are living. Your lawyer can tell you if your case is a good candidate for a change in the order.

How Does Child Support Work?

If one parent has primary custody of the children, the other will likely be ordered to pay child support. While uncontested divorces can make many things easy, the state of Alabama has specific guidelines regarding support payments. Some of the things the court will consider when making a child support plan are the incomes of both parents, the number of children involved, and their educational and healthcare needs.

Final Thoughts

If you are going through a divorce, you face many unknowns. Changing homes, cars, and the familiarity of your life can be a lot. You want to do what is best for your children and help them continue to be happy and supported. Regardless of your relationship with your spouse, you can use this list to get started on the right path.

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Posted - 11/14/2022