Etowah County Child Custody Lawyers
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Etowah County Custody Lawyers & Attorneys
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Sometimes circumstances change after the judge makes an original child custody decision and you need our Etowah County child custody lawyer to argue your case. For a judge to make a custodial change, there needs to be a substantial change in circumstances. Substantial changes of the custodial parent would be that they are unfit or that the child is in danger. Dangers include the custodial parent abusing drugs or alcohol, being neglectful, or if they are mentally ill. Give our Etowah County custody attorney a call today and let us fight for you.
The non-custodial parent can file a petition to modify custody from a prior divorce decree or any prior Order from a court. This petition should include all allegations and reasons for the change in custody and our child custody lawyers in Etowah County can ensure this is filed correctly for you. The parent must then prove why the child would be better off in their care than where they are currently. They must also prove that the custodial change would not cause any disruptions in the child’s life. Give our custody attorneys in Gadsden a call today for more information on filing a custody petition in Calhoun County or Etowah County, Alabama.
Once you retain us to handle your case, our child custody lawyer will file a petition to change custody with the Etowah County Court. Soon after that, 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 and our Etowah child custody lawyer will argue your case for you. After that, the judge will ultimately decide whether to change custody or not. Either way our Etowah County custody attorney will be there with you through every step in the process.
Our child custody attorney in Etowah County can also do an Amended Settlement Agreement if both parents are in agreement. Where both parents agree on the change in custody, it can just be a matter of some paperwork. Our custody lawyers i Etowah County can do this for a flat fee and there are usually no hearings. It can all be done online through phone and emails and there is no need for a hearing in many cases. However, for parents not in agreement it will be much more expensive.
The retainer fees for our Etowah County child custody lawyer start at $2500 plus any filing fees the court charges. Depending on how much is involved in your case and how many times the case has been argued it could be much more. Our Gadsden custody attorney uses the retainer fee to cover their time spent working on the matter until completion. Any work performed on the case is done at an hourly rate and is covered under this fee. Give us a call for a quick phone consultation with a child custody lawyer in Etowah County to find out more about filing a custody petition today.
ETOWAH COUNTY CUSTODY ATTORNEYS & LAWYERS
The “best interest of the child” is the test used during the initial custody determination. Judges are hesitant to change custody once it’s been ordered but our custody lawyers in Etowah County can definitely argue on your behalf. This reluctance is mostly due to concerns about the alteration being a disruption to the child. Judges follow the strict McLendon standard as well. During the petition hearing, your custody attorney in Gadsden will need to show the following:
- That there was a material change in circumstances that has occurred since the previous Order on custody.
- That the custodial change would be in the material best interest of the child.
- That any disruptive effects resulting from the change in custody would be outweighed by the benefits of the custody alteration.
Our Etowah child custody lawyer will argue your case and attempt to get the custodial changes completed for you, but there are certain facts that judges will usually care about more than others. Alabama courts usually favor the rights of the child’s parents over all others, including the grandparents. Although the judge can consider any evidence deemed relevant to the case there are several 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
Child custody petitions should list all allegations and the reasons for a change in custody. In most cases, custody petitions must be filed in the county where the original custody case was decided. Our Etowah County child custody lawyers can help you modify custody if your prior decree was in Gadsden or the surrounding areas of Etowah County. If married, and need custody determined in the divorce, our Rainbow City and Glencoe attorney can file your Etowah County divorce. After that, custody can be obtained in the divorce filing. If you are not married, our Gadsden custody lawyer can file your petition for custody in Etowah County and get custody determined and ordered by the Court.
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