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Three of the Most Frequently Asked Questions in Child Custody…

Three of the Most Frequently Asked Questions in Child Custody…

I am confident, in fact I’m sure, that I am not the first one to write such a list. In fact I’ll include links at the bottom to other such lists. 

  1. When can my child have to be to choose which parent he or she wants to live with?

 – – Short Answer: Never.

 – – Long Answer: 19 years old, the age of majority in Alabama, and with your permission, only, if it’s your home. Otherwise, she or he is trespassing. If a child leaves home without permission at 18 and isn’t attending school, then the Juvenile Court won’t call out the national guard, but it could be difficult for an 18-year old out there consideration that they can’t sign an enforceable contract in Alabama, (e.g., a lease or mortgage).

– – Fundamental Principle: You are the parent; she or he is the child. You are the adult; be the adult. 

 – – Practical Considerations: Ever allowing a child to make this decision would create terrible incentives — (a) children would have to testify at hearings more often, and (b) parents could manipulate children into having the “fun” household with the Xbox and the later curfew while the parent providing important boundaries is the “no fun” parent due to lose in such a battle.

– – Better Question(s): Am I setting boundaries and making decisions with my child’s long-term best interests in mind?

  1. Can the other side bring this up?

 – – Short Answer: Yes.

 – – Long Answer: Rule 401, Alabama Rules of Evidence, defines “[r]elevant evidence” [as] evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence. So, for example, whether you got a DUI last week or your freshman year at Amherst a decade, yes, the Other Side can bring both up, but they will carry varying degrees of “weight” and your Child Custody lawyer should be able to do a good job of pointing that out.

– – Fundamental Principle: Own your actions and be intentional. Know what your priorities are and behave and make decisions accordingly. You can be embarrassed by your mistakes but don’t be ashamed of them. Wanna get a tongue piercing at 28 years old and raising a 5-year old? Go for it. Can the other side bring that up as evidence of immaturity? Maybe. As evidence of whimsy? Yeah, probably. 

 – – Practical Considerations: This could have been written above, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to crawl in anyone’s head, not even your own. Take care of your body, provide value to others through your talents and energy (i.e., make a living for yourself and be a good provider), and be there for your children. If you’re doing that simply and effectively, there will always be something the Other Side can bring up. If it wasn’t this thing it would be something else. What do we say… Bring it on. <- love, love, love the Youtube video at this link (SFW), #spoileralert if you haven’t gotten through the West Wing.

– – Better Question(s): What do I value? Is this action or decision in line with my values? If I changed this or that about myself or my life would I be doing it just to “win” this case?

~ click here to book your Child Custody consultation at www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/~

  1. Can the other side do X…Y…Z…?

 – – Short Answer: Yes.

 – – Long Answer: At the end of the day, your Child Custody judge is going to be signing a piece of paper. What you are looking for are “rights” and “remedies.” If the Other Side doesn’t have the right to keep your child during your week or weekend, then you have remedy of contempt and or, possibly, modification of the custody and visitation schedule. 

– – Fundamental Principle: Own your actions and be intentional. Know what your priorities are and behave and make decisions accordingly. You can be embarrassed by your mistakes but don’t be ashamed of them. Wanna get a tongue piercing at 28 years old and raising a 5-year old? Go for it. Can the other side bring that up as evidence of immaturity? Maybe. As evidence of whimsy? Yeah, probably. 

 – – Practical Considerations: Can the Other Side leave the State and disappear with your child? Yup. Could something happen to your child while they’re visiting with the Other Side? Affirmative. Could something even worse happen while the child is with you? Yes, I know you’re Mother/Father of the Year, but [stuff] happens. You honestly don’t have the luxury of sitting around and engaging in hypotheticals when there is plenty to do with your present reality. As Jordan Peterson has said, “set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” 

– – Better Question(s): Here’s what’s going on right now…what can I do about that? How can I protect that?

~ click here to book your Child Custody consultation at www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/~

Here are some other helpful links:

https://www.avvo.com/topics/child-custody

 https://www.verywellfamily.com/child-custody-faq-2998186

https://family.findlaw.com/child-custody/more-child-custody-and-visitation-faqs.html

https://www.thinkfoxtrot.com/ 😉

~

This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you and or your unique situation. If you would like to speak more about how you, as a Committed Parent or Caring Relative, can be more effective in your Child Custody case, please visit www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices. ~SW, Foxtrot