Adoption is the process of reassigning parental rights from the natural parents to another individual or couple
An Adoption is the statutory process of reassigning parental rights from the natural parents and assigning those rights to another individual or couple. A couple may decide to adopt an unrelated child; an individual may decide to adopt the child of his or her spouse; grandparents or other relatives may seek adoption – all of these situations provide more stability and greater legal responsibilities than guardianship does.
Adoption gives legal advantage, such as rights of inheritance, but it also gives greater emotional stability to the newly-created family unit.
The State of Alabama recognizes three forms of child custody: temporary custody, physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody involves the day-to-day care of a child and establishes where a child will live. A parent with physical custody has the right to have his/her child live with him/her.
If a child lives with both parents, each parent shares "joint physical custody" and each parent is said to be a "custodial parent". Thus, in joint physical custody, neither parent is said to be a "non-custodial parent." In joint physical custody, actual lodging and care of the child is shared according to a court-ordered custody schedule (also known as a "parenting plan" or "parenting schedule"). In many cases, the term "visitation" is no longer used in this context, but rather is reserved to sole custody orders. Terms of art such as "primary custodial parent" and "primary residence" have no legal meaning other than for determining tax status, and both parents are still said to be "custodial parents".
Child support is based on the policy that both parents are individually obligated to financially support their children.
Child support is based on the policy that both parents are obliged to financially support their children, even when the children are not living with both parents. Child support refers to the financial support of children and not other forms of support, such as emotional support, physical care, or spiritual support.
When children live with both parents, courts rarely, if ever direct the parents how to provide financial support for their children. However, when the parents are not together, courts often order one parent to pay the other an amount set as financial support of the child. In such situations, one parent (the "obligee") receives child support, and the other parent (the "obligor") is ordered to pay child support. The amount of child support may be set on a case-by-case basis or by a formula estimating the amount thought that parents should pay to financially support their children.
When a marriage ends, grounds for divorce must be proven in a court of law or agreed upon in a divorce settlement.
The Alabama Marriage Protection Act defines marriage in Alabama as "a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman, which, when the legal capacity and consent of both parties is present, establishes the relationship as husband and wife." Marriage in Alabama forms a contract where the parties have certain rights such as fellowship, companionship, cooperation and comfort.
When a marriage ends, grounds for divorce must be proven in a court of law or agreed upon in a divorce settlement agreement. In Alabama, grounds for divorce are set forth in the laws of the State. There are two "no-fault" grounds for divorce, "incompatibility of temperament" and "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage". The common fault based grounds are physical and incurable incapacitation, adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, crimes against nature, habitual drunkenness or addiction, insanity, pregnancy at the time of marriage without the husband's knowledge, violence and reasonable fear of violence, and separation without support.
In certain specified situations grandparents have the right to establish court ordered visitation with their grandchildren subject to the best interest considerations of the children and applicable presumptions. Circumstances may also dictate that grandparents sometimes seek actual custody of their grandchildren. We are happy to consult with you on these matters; and if appropriate, guide you through the process of negotiations or trial as may be necessary.
The parties may in certain limited circumstances wish to live separate and apart but not want an absolute divorce. This may be desirable for example, if health insurance must be continued and would be unavailable otherwise or perhaps due to religious or other personal considerations. A legal separation is an available remedy in these cases. It requires the same procedure, will cost about the same as an absolute divorce, and results in a decree signed by the Judge. Before deciding on the use of this remedy, you will need to thoroughly discuss all its aspects with a Family Law Attorney.