Alabama legislators are considering a bill that would almost completely change the way that Alabama’s judges are able to order divorcing parents with children to divide their time with their children. If the bill in its current form passes, it would stipulate that provided both parents are fit parents, they would share equal custody and responsibility in raising their children after the parents’ divorce.
Sponsors of the bill informed a New York Family Lawyer that this seeks to address a long standing issue of one of the parents’ relegated to only a few hours of visitation with their children each month. It is in their opinion that by having both parents included in their children’s lives that the children will no longer feel like they are being pulled in two separate directions. They further add that as a part of the divorce the parents would be required to submit a parenting plan to the court that would stipulate what parts of their children’s lives they would be responsible. In case the parents would disagree, the parents would alternate years of certain responsibilities.
However, opponents contend that a “blanket fix” will not necessarily work, and that judges need the flexibility to decide what is in the child’s best interest. These opponents went on to add that the alternate year proposal could be detrimental to the children in that they may be permitted to do one thing the year when one parent makes the decision, and not be allowed to do the same thing when the other parent decides the following year. This is not the type of consistency and stability that children need.
At least one of the major concerns to this bill still needs to be addressed. For instance, the need to determine the suitability of each of the parents will need to be determined before the parenting plan could be implemented. At least one of the arguments is that if either of the parents has a criminal history. In many instances, a parent who has a history of drugs or violence may be deemed as unsuitable to participate in this type of parental agreement.
Although the bill is presently before the Alabama senate, there continue to be many questions that require answers before this bill should become law.
Whether you are in the process of a divorce, need to file a paternity suit, or require an order for protection, it is important to obtain skilled legal advice. Whatever your family law problem, our team can ensure that your case is handled professionally and with the utmost care.
Stephen Bilkis and Associates represents men and women, fathers, mothers, grandparents, and adoptive parents in the resolution of family law issues. We deal with each issue fairly, honestly, and we will work with you to see that your family’s legal needs are met.