Sometimes circumstances change after the judge makes the final custody decision. For a judge to make any custodial changes down the road, there has to be something called a substantial change in circumstances. Substantial changes of the custodial parent may be that they are unfit or the child is in danger. Dangers could include the custodial parent abuses drugs or alcohol, abusive, neglectful, or they are mentally ill. If you need an Anniston custody lawyer to help you with your case then give us a call today.
The non-custodial parent can file a petition to modify custody at any time. This petition should include all allegations and reasons for the change of custody. The parent through their Anniston custody lawyer must then prove why it is in the best interest of the child to change custody. This must be proven while also proving that the custody change would not cause any disruptions in the child’s life. An experienced child support attorney or custody lawyer can put the best facts in front of the judge and will give you your best chance of winning in most cases.
Our Anniston child custody lawyer will file your petition to change custody once you pay us a retainer. Soon after, the parent with primary custody is notified and served. Once served, they have thirty days to respond. During the hearing, both sides present evidence and witnesses to explain the changes. After that, the judge will ultimately decide whether to change custody or not.
Our Anniston family law attorney can do an Amended Settlement Agreement. Where both parents agree on the change and skip a hearing. Costing a low flat fee (plus filing fee) to complete the paperwork. However, for parents not in agreement, it can be more expensive.
The starting retainer for our Calhoun County child custody lawyer is $2500. This retainer could be higher depending on your particular circumstances and how much potential work will be involved since the retainer is billed out of hourly as the custody lawyer works on your case. The attorney uses the retainer fee to cover the filing of the petition in the court. Any work performed on the case at an hourly rate, will be covered under this fee. Give our custody attorneys in Jacksonville, Oxford, and across Calhoun County a call for a free phone consultation today.
CALHOUN COUNTY CUSTODY LAWYERS & ATTORNEYS
The “best interest of the child” is used during the initial custody determination. Judges are hesitant to change custody. Mostly due to disruption to the child. Judges are more strict during the petition custody hearings. Courts follow the strict McLendon standard. During the petition hearing, if our Anniston and Gadsden divorce attorney is arguing for the parent seeking custody then we will try to show the following:
That there was a material change in circumstances that has occurred since the previous Order regarding custody.
That the change in custody would be in the best interest of the child materially.
That the disruptive effects resulting from this change in custody are outweighed by the benefits of the custody change.
Alabama courts usually favor the rights of the child’s parents over all others, including grandparents. The judge may consider any evidence deemed relevant to the case. Several factors are taken into consideration when there is a petition to change custody. Which include:
health and needs of the child
age, mental, and financial stability of parties
interpersonal relationship between child and parents
interference by a parent with the other parent’s relationship with the child
the wishes of the child
Petitions should list all allegations and reasons for a change in custody. All petitions must be filed in county where the original custody case was decided. Our custody attorneys can help you modify custody if your prior decree was in Anniston or the surrounding areas of Calhoun County. If married, file for a Calhoun County divorce. After that, custody can be obtained in the divorce filing. If not married, a petition for custody can still be filed in Anniston.