Child Custody

Birmingham Child Custody Attorney

Protecting the Best Interests of Your Children in Jefferson County & Beyond

What is Child Custody?

Custody refers to your parental rights and responsibilities in caring for a minor child, including the authority to make major life decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, religious practices, and other significant issues. 

Child custody issues can be among the most contentious legal matters to resolve in a divorce. These disputes often result in long, drawn-out legal battles that can have a lasting impact on you, your spouse, and your children. At Ruth Robinson Law, we approach child custody issues with a goal of helping you resolve your case amicably. However, we are also prepared to take your case to trial and fight for your children's best interests.

Our firm is equipped with the knowledge and skills to help you navigate the often-complicated world of child custody. We are well-versed in all of the relevant laws and regulations, and we have the resources to help you find the necessary evidence to prove your case. We are also experienced in working with your children to help them understand the changes in their lives.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact our firm today.

Types of Child Custody

Child custody refers to the arrangement that determines where a child lives and with whom they spend the majority of their time. There are generally two types of custody:

  • Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding your child's health, education, and welfare. This right is shared equally between both parents, unless the court orders otherwise.
  • Physical custody refers to the arrangement that determines where your child will reside. This decision is based on the child's best interest.

The above custody forms can be categorized into two types: 1. Sole custody, in which one parent retains the rights and responsibilities mentioned above, and 2. Joint custody, in which parents share those rights and responsibilities. 

Courts operate based on what is best for the child. Thus, they generally favor joint custody arrangements in which the child’s relationship with both parents will continue on a frequent and meaningful basis. However, physical custody may be impacted by the proximity of the two parental households. In some cases, it may be determined that significant distance may interfere with the child’s daycare, education, or social life.

Parents can agree about custody arrangements and present their case to the court for approval. Courts typically approve such plans if they are in the child’s best interests. In such cases, the agreement becomes a part of the court's orders, making it legally binding.

Where parents cannot agree, the court will intervene and determine the issue based on numerous relevant factors. These factors can include each parent's ability to meet the child's needs, the child's relationship with each parent, the overall safety and stability of each parent's home, and other pertinent factors.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Alabama?

In Alabama, the court will determine a custody arrangement based on the child's best interest. The judge will consider all of the relevant factors, including:

  • each parent's wishes
  • the child's preference, if they are of age
  • the child's safety
  • the child's and parents' physical and mental health
  • the child's and parents' habits, customs, and routines
  • the ability of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, and medical care
  • the child's interaction and relationships with parents and siblings
  • the child's interaction and relationship with siblings, grandparents, and other significant people in their lives
  • whether the parents' lifestyles are consistent with the child's upbringing
  • whether either parent has an alcohol or drug problem
  • whether either parent has a history of domestic violence
  • whether either parent's residence is a safe environment for the child
  • the child's developmental stage, needs, and abilities
  • the parents' abilities to help the child develop physically, intellectually, and emotionally
  • the parents' abilities to help the child acquire skills necessary for success in life, including career and social skills
  • the ability of the parents to provide a consistent routine for the child
  • the parents' abilities to help the child adjust to a change of residence
  • the parents' abilities to provide the child with a good education, either at home or in a school or other facility
  • the ability to provide the child with a good moral upbringing
  • the child's wishes if of age
  • the ability of the parents to provide the child with a consistent financial and economic upbringing
  • the parents' abilities to help the child develop a healthy sexual identity
  • the parents' abilities to maintain a healthy and stable family life for the child
  • any evidence of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or substance abuse

How Is Child Support Calculated in Alabama?

When determining child support, the court will look at both parents' incomes and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The court will then calculate the child support based on the state's child support guidelines. These guidelines use the parents' incomes and the amount of time the child spends with each parent to determine the amount of child support.

Custody Modifications

Modification of an existing custody order or visitation schedule is often needed to accommodate your changing circumstances or a child’s changing needs. If circumstances change at work or home, severe injury or illness occurs, or if it becomes clear that a former partner is unfit to parent, your existing child custody agreement may be unworkable.

Our attorney can help you seek justifiable changes in court orders in these circumstances. 

Turn to Ruth Robinson Law for Child-Related Issues

If you face a child custody or support issue as part of your divorce, separation, or as the next step after paternity has been established, our firm is here to help. 

Child visitation and parenting schedules must accommodate the needs of all concerned. By taking the time to understand your unique family situation and your child’s needs, we can help you seek a detailed custody and visitation schedule that minimizes the chances of future conflicts and misunderstandings.

Request an appointment for a consultation by contacting us at (205) 984-1915.

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    Mrs Robinson is dedicated to Justice and fairness. She is knowledgeable. And honest. She is the best investigative lawyer I've ever known. She don't stop until Justice is served. Mrs Robinson is honest and reasonable and will tell you the truth. Her courtroom knowledge is second to none. She is family oriented. Has a great attitude and is all around a special person. I would recommend her to any one.

    - James
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    She got pretrial diversion for me in my case. She communicated with me throughout the process. She also did not have to return to court with me for the final step but she did!
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    I have personally watched Ms. Robinson in open court, and she is exactly what you want! She is THE quintessential attorney! Don't hesitate to contact her, she will immediately start working and your case, and she won't disappoint!
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    Due to a misunderstanding, a warrant was issued in Alabama, even though we live in Virginia and hadn't been to Alabama for many years. We were apprehensive about the possibility of traveling to Alabama during these uncertain times. Luckily, Ms. Robinson was able to quickly and professionally interact with local law enforcement and the district attorney's office to get the case dismissed without us having to be there. Throughout her handling of the case, she went above and beyond to make sure we were aware she was doing everything in her power to assist us. We are deeply appreciative of her and her efforts and would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone needing representation.
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    I contacted Ruth Robinson on a Saturday regarding a warrant that was issued for failure to appear. On Monday, she filed a notice of appearance as my attorney and filed a motion to have the warrant recalled. The court told her they’d recall the warrant and set a new court date. Ruth was very professional, diligent, and went above and beyond for me. She listened to everything I told her, requested me to send her several screenshots and filed the necessary paperwork to get the warrant recalled and a new court date. Amazing and highly recommended if you want or need someone who is passionate about practicing law and treating you like you’re a priority.
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    Ruth Robinson is a thorough and passionate criminal defense attorney. When I found myself facing criminal charges for something that was completely bogus in a corrupt governmental atmosphere, she has worked with me diligently and continues to do so. I trust her completely and she has always worked hard for me. Better than any attorney I could ask for through and through.
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Dedicated & Experienced
  • Member of the Alabama State Bar Family Law Section
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce

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