Alabama Child Custody Laws:
It is the policy of this state to assure that minor children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of their children and to encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of rearing their children after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.
Joint custody does not necessarily mean equal physical custody. The court shall in every case consider joint custody but may award any form of custody which is determined to be in the best interest of the child. In determining whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider the same factors considered in awarding sole legal and physical custody and all of the following factors:
- The agreement or lack of agreement of the parents on joint custody.
- The past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly.
- The ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent.
- Any history of or potential for child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping.
- The geographic proximity of the parents to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of joint physical custody. [Based on Alabama State Divorce Code - Chapter 3, Section 30-3-150, 30-3-152]
Child support is determined using the Income Shares model, with the theory that children should continue to receive that same amount of support as if the parents were still together. In making a determination of child support, the court shall apply Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration. (This is a PDF file) [Based on Alabama State Divorce Code - Chapter 3, Section 30-3-155]