Legal Information: Alabama

Statutes: Alabama

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Updated: 
March 9, 2021

Section 30-3-161. Definitions.

As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context requires a different definition:

(1) CHANGE OF PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE. A change of the residence of a child whose custody has been determined by a prior court order, whether or not accompanied by a change of the residence of a person entitled to custody of the child, with the intent that such change shall be permanent in nature and not amounting to a temporary absence of the child from his or her principal residence.

(2) CHILD. A minor child as defined by subdivision (2) of Section 30-3B-102. As used in this article, the term may include the singular and the plural.

(3) CHILD CUSTODY DETERMINATION. A judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) COMMENCEMENT. The filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(5) COURT. An entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(6) MODIFICATION. A child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(7) PERSON ACTING AS A PARENT. A person, other than a parent, who has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding and has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this state.

(8) PERSON ENTITLED TO CUSTODY OR VISITATION. A person so entitled to physical custody of a child as defined by Sections 30-3-1 through 30-3-4.1, inclusive, or visitation with respect to a child by virtue of a child custody determination as defined by subdivision (3) of Section 30-3B-102.

(9) PHYSICAL CUSTODY. The physical care and supervision of a child.

(10) PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE OF A CHILD. Any of the following:
a. The residence designated by a court to be the primary residence of the child.
b. In the absence of a determination by a court, the residence at which the parents of a child whose change of principal residence is at issue have expressly agreed that the child will primarily reside.
c. In the absence of a determination by a court or an express agreement between the parents of a child whose change of principal residence is at issue, the residence, if any, at which the child lived with the child’s parents, a parent, or a person acting as a parent, for at least six consecutive months or, in the case of a child less than six months of age, the residence at which the child lived from birth with the child’s parents, a parent, or a person acting as a parent. Periods of temporary absence from such residence are counted as part of the period of residence.

(11) RELOCATE or RELOCATION. A change in the principal residence of a child for a period of 45 days or more. The term does not include a temporary absence from the primary residence, or an absence necessary to escape domestic violence.

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