Although there is a common perception both in Alabama and throughout the rest of the country that mother have an upper hand in a child custody dispute over the fathers of the children, the law of Alabama largely Birmingham fathers and mothers on equal footing when it comes to child custody. In other, men’s and father’s rights are just as important to a court as are the rights of the mother.
A couple of specific observations are in order to illustrate this point. First, Alabama courts have certain defined factors they consider when making a custody decision. While these factors do take account of a child’s gender and the relationship the child has with each parent, they do not give any preference to the child’s mother. In other words, a father, assuming paternity is properly establishes, legally has just as much of a right to argue his case for custody.
Moreover, Alabama law strongly favors joint custody, and specifically joint legal custody, or, in other words, the right of both parents to be involved in and consent to major decisions about the child’s care and upbringing, such as religious affiliation and education. In other words, Alabama courts will in most cases presume that a father should be involved in important decision making and will have to have a good reason why he should not be so involved.
While Alabama law does not favor mothers over fathers, sometimes historical perceptions and customs are difficult to overcome. This is why it is important for a Birmingham father who wants a good relationship with his child to consider seeking out capable family law counsel in the event of a custody dispute.