When you need the court to step in and make determinations about child custody, you may hear the term “best interests of the child” tossed about. When deciding who your child should live with and when Alabama’s court system acts in what it believes to be your child’s best interests. In other words, while the court may consider your wishes and those of your ex, the ultimate goal is to place your child in a living situation where he or she is most likely to thrive. 

Per the Children’s Rights Council, Alabama’s family court system may consider the following areas, among others, when making decisions about parenting time and parental responsibility. 

Your child’s safety and well-being

Nothing matters more than your child’s safety and well-being. So, this is a primary area of interest for the family court system. How each of you have parented to date may come into play. So, too, may whether either of you have any history of abuse, neglect, or other dangerous behavior. 

You and your ex’s compliance with agreements

You and your child’s other parent may have created a proposed parenting plan or begun sharing parental responsibilities already. If so, your willingness to cooperate with one another and stick to the plan make help steer child custody decisions. 

Your existing relationships with your child

How much you and your former partner are active in your son or daughter’s life may also help determine how and when your child lives with you. If your son or daughter is old enough to voice his or her opinion on the relationship and proposed custodial arrangement, the court may take it into account.