Alabama Child Custody
Under the laws of the State of Alabama, a child is someone who has not attained the age of 19. Frequently in divorce and other relationship dissolutions, child custody is a major decision to be made between the parties. Once a party files for divorce, a child custody determination will be made during the divorce proceedings. If the parties were never married, a Petition for Child Custody must be filed to ensure which parent has custody. Even the mother of a minor child must file a petition to solidify her rights.
A child custody determination is a judgment, decree or other order of the court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. There are several different forms of custody that can be awarded.
Sole Legal Custody: This form of custody refers to one parents having the sole rights and responsibilities to make major decisions regarding the child, including, but not limited to, the education of the child, the health care, and religious training.
Sole Physical Custody: This form of custody refers to one parent having the sole physical custody of the child and the other parent having visitation except as otherwise ordered by the court.
Joint Legal Custody: This form of custody refers to both parents having equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions regarding the child. These include educational decision, medical decision, religious decisions and so forth. The court may designate one parent has having the sole part to make certain decision while both parents retained equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions.
Joint Physical Custody: This form of custody means that both parents share the physical custody of the child to insure that the child has frequent and substantial contact with both parents. This does not necessarily mean that the child spends equal durations of time with each parent.
Georgia Child Custody
Pursuant to Georgia law, both parents come before the court equally and there is no presumption in favor of one parent with respect to custody simply based upon who is the mother and who is the father.
Custody and its subparts have many labels and names. Some of these labels are not as important as others. But no mistake about it, some labels and/or wording make all the difference in the world and are of utmost importance. In other words, you want to get it right and have your agreement or final order reflect what is the true intention of the parties or the Court.
At a high level, custody can be broken into two primary categories; physical custody and legal custody. The first deals with scheduling and time with the minor child or children, and the latter revolves around decision making. There are four main categories that the Court will require you to address with respect to decision making. In no particular order, they are educational, extracurricular, religious, and medical decisions. In general, one parent can be the final decider on all decisions or the decisions can be divided.
Visitation is the more traditional term for the non-custodial parent’s time with the minor child or children. Today, however, Court’s and parties more often than not refer to this time as parenting time.
Children are a number one priority at my office. If you or someone close to you needs legal advice regarding a child custody determination it is important that call Brian A. Ramey Law today to set up a consultation with me.