Many times someone will need to change the original custodial decision made in an Autauga County custody or divorce hearing. For a judge to make any custodial changes, there has to be substantial change in circumstances. Substantial changes of the custodial parent can be that they are unfit or that the child is in danger. Dangers can include the custodial parent abuses drugs or alcohol, is neglectful, or are mentally ill. If you need a custody petition filed in Autauga County then let our Prattville custody attorneys fight for you.
The non-custodial parent can always hire a local custody attorney to file a petition to modify a prior custody Order. This petition should include all allegations and the reasons for the change. The parent must then prove why they are better for the child to live with primarily and not the other parent. Our Autauga County custody attorney can help you get a petition filed and get in front of the judge today.
To get the process started on changing custody from a prior Order, our Autauga County child custody lawyer files a petition to change custody. Soon afterwards, the parent with primary custody is notified and served. Once served, they have thirty days to respond to the custody petition in Autauga County, Alabama. During the hearing, both parties Prattville custody lawyers present evidence and witnesses to explain the changes. After that, the judge will ultimately decide whether to change the prior custody Order or not.
Our Prattville family law attorney can do an Amended Settlement Agreement if both parties are in an agreement on the custodial change. When both parents agree on the change we can usually get it changed without a hearing. However, if both parents are not in agreement, it will be much more expensive.
The starting retainer fee for our Autauga County custody attorney to file a custodial change without an agreement varies depending on the circumstances. The child custody lawyer uses the retainer fee to cover their work performed and bill at an hourly rate. Give our Autauga County custody lawyer a call today for a quick phone consult and to find out more about filing a custody petition.
Prattville Custody 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 in Autauga County and throughout Alabama strictly follow the something called the McLendon standard. During the petition hearing, the parent seeking custody must 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, but several factors are given serious consideration when there is a petition to modify custody. These 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
All petitions must be filed in county where the original custody case was decided. Our Autauga County custody attorneys can help you modify custody if you got your prior divorce in Prattville, Pine Level, or surrounding areas of Autauga County. If you are married and need custody addressed in your divorce, you can file for a Autauga County divorce. During the divorce proceeding, custody can be determined by the judge. If not married, a petition for custody can still be filed in Autauga County, Alabama.