AlabamaChild Visitation Laws
Alabama Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
What is child visitation?In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative.
In general, courts in Alabama assume that it is beneficial for both biological parents of a child to have shared custody or visitation, unless it is shown to be against the child's best interests. A biological parent who is denied custody may be awarded visitation rights to provide for a relationship between the parent and child.
Visitation by grandparents, family members, or other third-parties is less clear cut in Alabama, and nationwide. While there are state guidelines regarding third-party visitation in certain situations, these laws are frequently challenged.
Above all else, courts in Alabama strive to make custody and visitation decisions that are "in the best interests of the child". The court handling each individual visitation case has significant flexibility in determining what arrangement is in the child's best interests. You can read about Alabama's visitation guildelines on this page.
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How are Visitation Rights Granted?Grandparent Visitation
For the purposes of this section, the term "grandparent" means the parent of a parent of a minor child, including an adopted child, the parent of a minor child's parent who has died, or the parent of a minor child's parent whose parental rights have been terminated when the child has been adopted.
Dealing with stepparent and relative adoption. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a grandparent may file an original action for visitation rights to a minor child if it is in the best interest of the minor child and one of the following conditions exist:
One or both parents of the child are deceased.
The marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved.
A parent of the child has abandoned the minor.
The child was born out of wedlock.
The child is living with one or both biological or adoptive parents, who are still married to each other
Any grandparent may intervene in and seek to obtain visitation rights in any action when any court in this state has before it any question concerning the custody of a minor child, a divorce proceeding of the parents or a parent of the minor child, or a termination of the parental rights proceeding of either parent of the minor child, provided the termination of parental rights is for the purpose of adoption pursuant to dealing with stepparent or relative adoption.
In the state of Alabama, there are a number of laws regarding child visitation regarding visitation for third-parties other than the biological parents of the child. While state laws regarding third-party visitation have been frequently been challenged in courts, they are a good indication of Alabama's positions regarding non-parental visitation rights.
Visitation Rights Of Grandparents In Alabama:
Alabama has special statutes regarding the child visitiation rights of grandparents under different circumstances. Under state law, the grandparents of children may obtain visitation while the parents are alive, regardless of the parent's marital status.
Regardless of state presumptions regarding grandparent's visitation rights under specific circumstances, an Alabama court may allow or prevent visitation rights in any situation based on the best interests of the child.
Visitation Rights Of Other Parties In Alabama:
Are step-parents granted visitation rights in the state of Alabama?
Generally it is an uphill battle for step-parents seeking visitation rights for a step-child, especially if the biological parents of the child are alive and are opposed to the visitation.
The state of Alabama does not have any laws that grant child visitation rights to step-parents, which may make applying for visitation significantly harder. In all cases, third-party visitation rights are more likely to be granted by the court if they are deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
Can other interested parties or relatives be granted visitation rights to a child in Alabama?
Under state of Alabama law, it is not generally possible for any other interested party other than those specified to be granted child visitation rights. In rare cases this may be overruled by the court.
Can parents be granted visitation rights after termination of parental rights or adoption in Alabama?
In the state of Alabama it may not be possible to be granted visitation rights after losing parental rights or giving up a child for adoption. This is the case with both biological parents and previous guardians.