How to determine if joint custody is appropriate

| May 27, 2021 | Divorce |

There are many decisions that parents in Alabama need to make for their children as they raise them. These include day to day decisions and major decisions such as which schools they will attend or the medical care that they will receive. These decisions need to be made whether the parents are married or divorced, however, how the decisions may be made could change after a divorce.

One of the major issues that need to be resolved during a divorce is child custody. This determines which parent will be making the major decisions for the children after the divorce. One parent could be granted sole custody meaning that only one parent will be making the decisions without the input of the other parent. The parents could also receive joint custody of the children, meaning that the parents will need to discuss the major decisions and will need to reach agreements on those decisions.

Factors used to determine if joint custody is appropriate

Joint custody will only be granted if it is determined that it is in the best interests of the children. To help determine whether joint custody will be in the best interests of the children, the judge will analyze a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether the parents agree to joint custody
  • Whether the parents worked together to make the major decisions for the children during the marriage and whether they could do so moving forward
  • Whether the parents can encourage a relationship with the other parent
  • Whether there was child abuse or abuse between the spouses
  • How close the parents live together and whether joint physical custody is feasible

There are many aspects of parents’ lives that change after a divorce in Alabama. However, they will still be the parents of their joint children and may continue to make the decisions for their children together. In many situations it is in the children’s best interest that both parents are equally involved in their lives after the divorce. These are fact-specific matters though and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.