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Legal Information: Alabama


January 6, 2020

How will a judge decide whether or not to order joint custody?

While judges will likely consider the option of joint custody in every case, the judge should not always assume that joint custody should be awarded in every case. The policy of Alabama is to ensure that children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of their children.1 When deciding whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, a judge will look at:

  • whether you and the other parent agree to joint custody;
  • whether you and the other parent could cooperate in making decisions about the child’s life;
  • the ability of each parent to encourage a good, loving relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • whether either parent has committed (or may commit) child abuse, domestic abuse, or kidnapping;
  • where each parent lives and how practical that makes joint custody; and
  • any other factors that a judge thinks may affect the best interest of the child.2

1 Alabama Code § 30-3-150
2 Alabama Code § 30-3-152