What is "the Best Interests of the Child?"

When deciding child custody, "the best interests of the child" is the key, determining factor that a judge will consider when ruling on a temporary order or a final divorce judgement. Most parents and guardians understand what this concept means in the broad sense, but are often surprised by just how extensive and in-depth the considerations are when a judge is trying to establish a determination.

The truth is, in Alabama, the court will take into account any relevant factors that it deems relevant to the upbringing of the child. There is no set checklist of factors to examine in these cases. Instead, the judge is looking to review a comprehensive look at the family's circumstances and evaluate how a divorce or a change of custody could affect any minors involved.

Just some of the factors commonly considered include:

  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • How a change in residence might impact the child
  • How a change of residence might impact the child's education
  • The child's preference of which parent to live with
  • The length of the commute required of parents to adhere to visitations
  • The likelihood that each parent will comply with visitation
  • How a proposed custody arrangement will financially strain either parent
  • Each parent's support of the child's relationship with the opposite parent
  • Overall safety and stability of the family (and extended family)
  • Any domestic violence or child abuse issues

An Emotional Process

Child custody matters are frequently the most emotional phase of the divorce process. Clients know that not only is their role in their child's life possibly in the balance, but also their children’s long term well-being, as well. At Beckum Kittle LLP, we understand what is at stake in these cases and always aggressively advocate for our clients. Our dedicated and assertive Birmingham divorce attorneys can ensure that your concerns are known before the judge and your role as a parent or guardian will be given every consideration.

Put your case in trusted hands. Contact our firm today.

Categories: Family Law

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