Decatur Custody Lawyers
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Morgan County Child Custody Lawyers & Custody Attorneys
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Sometimes circumstances change after the judge makes the original custody decision and you need a Decatur child custody lawyer to go back to court and fight for you. For a judge to make any custodial changes, there needs to be a substantial change. Substantial changes of the custodial parent is that they are unfit and the child is in danger. Dangers include the custodial parent abuses drugs or alcohol, abusive, neglectful, or they are mentally ill.
The non-custodial parent can file a petition to modify custody. This petition should include all allegations and reasons for the change of custody. The parent must then prove why they are better for the child, while also proving that custody change would not cause any disruptions in the child’s life.
Our Decatur child custody lawyer can file a petition to change custody for you in the Circuit Court of Morgan County, Alabama. Soon after we file it, 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 family law attorney can also do an Amended Settlement Agreement if you and your ex-spouse are in agreement on the changes. Where both parents agree on the change the fees are much cheaper and there is usually not a hearing. Our Decatur child custody lawyer charges a low flat fee (plus filing fee) to complete the paperwork and file it for you where both of you agree to everything. However, for parents not in agreement, it is much more expensive.
The starting retainer fee for our Decatur child custody lawyer is at least $2500 plus filing fee. This is the minimum for us to get started on your case but the attorney could require more depending on your circumstances. The attorney uses the retainer fee to bill hourly for their time and to cover the filing of the petition with the court. Any work performed on the case is done at an hourly rate as the child custody lawyer works on your filing. Give us a call for a free phone consult with our Decatur child custody lawyer and to find out more about filing a custody petition in Morgan County, Alabama.
Child Custody Attorney in Morgan County AL
The “best interest of the child” is used during the initial determination when custody is awarded. Judges are hesitant to change custody once it is established as well. This is mostly due to such changes being a disruption to the child. Judges can be more strict during the petition custody hearings but that is where our Decatur child custody lawyer can help and argue your case for you. Whether you need a Morgan County or Madison County Child custody attorney in North Alabama we can help.
Courts typically follow the strict McLendon standard in the law. In general, 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.
The Morgan County court, and all courts in Alabama, usually favor the rights of the child’s parents over all others, including grandparents. The judge may consider any evidence presented by your local Alabama child custody lawyer that is deemed relevant to the case. Here are some of the many factors that are taken into consideration when there is a petition to change custody:
- health and needs of the child
- home environments
- 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 filed by your Decatur child custody lawyer 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 Morgan County child custody attorneys can help you with a divorce modification in Madison County or Morgan County depending on where your prior decree was entered. If married, we can also help you file for a Decatur divorce. Then, after that the issue of custody can be obtained during the divorce matter. If not married, a petition for custody can still be filed in Morgan County to determine legal custody of the minor child.
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