How does the court determine joint custody of a child?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Divorce |

Getting divorced involves making difficult decisions, especially those regarding the custody of your child. Kids usually struggle when only one parent has custody of them, which is why the courts in Alabama always consider joint custody as an option. However, the court only grants it in specific situations.

The court’s decision

If you are not on bad terms with your ex, your kid could benefit from joint custody. However, the court may not order it if they think the child could suffer from that decision. To determine the best interests of a child, the court considers 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 potential child or spouse abuse
  • The geographic proximity of the parents to each other

If you and your ex agree on joint custody and comply with the requirements, you’ll both get custody of your child.

Parenting plan

Once the court allows joint custody, you and your spouse need to create a parenting plan and show it to the court. The plan should cover everything related to your child’s upbringing and demonstrate that you can work jointly on it. The plan should include information about:

  • The care and education of the child
  • The medical and dental care of the child
  • The dates the child will spend with each parent on holidays and vacations
  • The amount of child support

If you and your ex do not agree on any of these, the court will make the plan for you.

The best decision for your child

You don´t want to lose your child, but you don´t want the divorce to negatively affect them, either. With joint custody, you won’t be alone while raising your child, as your ex will have to share the responsibility. Your relationship with your ex may have ended, but that does not mean the relationship they have with your child should end, too.