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Legal Information: Alabama


Laws current as of September 1, 2023

In which state do I file for custody?

You can usually only file for custody in Alabama if Alabama is your child’s “home state.” However, there are exceptions to the home state rule.

Alabama usually qualifies as your child’s “home state” if:

  • your child lives in Alabama and has lived in Alabama for the last six months in a row;
  • your child no longer lives in Alabama but Alabama is the last state where your child lived for at least six months in a row; or
  • your child is less than six months old but has lived in Alabama since birth.1

Leaving Alabama for a short period of time, such as going on vacation, usually does not change the child’s home state.2

1 See Alabama Code §§ 30-3B-201(a)(1); 30-3B-102(7)
2 Alabama Code § 30-3B-102(7)