ALABAMA FAMILY LAW

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Alabama Child Visitation

In any Alabama divorce, the parties are free to reach a settlement agreement about the child visitation schedule. If the parties cannot agree on a child visitation schedule, many Alabama courts have a “standard” visitation schedule that is entered in most divorce cases. Alabama standard visitation is usually determined by the age of the child and the distance between the parents’ residences. However, not all Alabama judges use the same standard visitation schedule. The exact details of Alabama standard visitation can vary from county to county and even from judge to judge.

Standard visitation – in state

The following child visitation is an example of an Alabama “standard” visitation schedule used by some Alabama judges. This particular child visitation applies to divorces when both parents reside in the state of Alabama. Different standard visitation schedules apply when a party lives in another state. All areas of the law, including standard visitation are subject to change. Check with an experienced Alabama divorce attorney to determine what standard visitation language, if any, is used in your jurisdiction.

Child visitation with Children Under 2 years old:

The non-custodial parent shall have the right to the following child visitation with any of the parties’ child(ren) who are under two (2) years of age:

(a) On the first and the third Sunday of every month beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m. the same day;

(b) On the child’s birthday beginning at 6:00 p.m. on that day and ending at 8:00 p.m.;

(c) On each Thanksgiving Day beginning at 2:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.;

(d) On each Christmas Day beginning at 2:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.;

(e) On Father/Mother’s Day beginning at 12:30 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.;

(f) On the non-custodial parent’s birthday beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.;

(g) At any other times that are agreed to by the parties.

Each parent shall inform the other parent on a current basis of the primary telephone number and residence address where the child(ren) visit(s) or reside(s).

Child Visitation with Children over 2 years old:

The non-custodial parent shall have the right to the following child visitation with any of the parties’ child(ren) who are over two (2) years of age:

(a) The first and the third full weekends of every month beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday; (The first full weekend of each month begins on the first Friday occurring in that month.);

(b) Each Christmas Day beginning at 3:00 p.m. on that day and ending on New Year’s Day at 3:00 p.m.;

(c) Two two-week periods in the summer (to begin no earlier than one week after the current school ends and to end no later than one week before the next school year starts with no less than two weeks in between), and selected by the non-custodial parent with at least thirty days advance written notice of such visitation to the custodial parent;

(d) During odd-numbered years, A.E.A. (i.e. Spring Break) vacation beginning on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Saturday;

(e) During even-numbered years, Thanksgiving vacation beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday;

(f) Every other year beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the birthday of each minor child and ending at 8:00 a.m. on the next day, starting with the next birthday;

(g) Every Father/Mother’s Day beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the same day;

(h) On the birthday of the non-custodial parent beginning at 3:00 p.m. on that date and ending at 8:00 p.m. on the same day;

(i) At any other times that are agreed to by the parties.

Each parent shall inform the other parent on a current basis of the primary telephone number and residence address where the child resides or visits.

Standard visitation – out-of-state

The following child visitation is an example of a “standard” visitation schedule used by most Alabama judges when one parent resides outside the state of Alabama. All areas of the law, including standard visitation are subject to change. Check with an experienced Alabama divorce attorney to determine what standard visitation language, if any, is used in your jurisdiction for out-of-state child visitation.

The non-custodial parent will be entitled to have the following child visitation:

(a) Six (6) weeks in the summer at a time chosen by the noncustodial parent; provided, however, that said parent shall have mailed a written notice by registered mail to the custodial parent of the intended dates no less than thirty (30) days before such child visitation.

(b) Each Christmas, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on December 26th and ending at 3:00 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

(c) During odd-numbered years, A.E.A. (i.e. Spring Break) vacation beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Saturday.

(d) During even-numbered years, Thanksgiving vacation beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

(e) Any other reasonable times that the non-custodial parent is present in the town where the child(ren) reside(s). The non-custodial parent will give forty-eight (48) hours notice and the child visitation will be no more than forty-eight (48) hours in duration.

(f) During any child visitation period, after the child(ren) reach(es) the age of 12, said child(ren) will be allowed to travel by commercial airliner, so long as:

(1) The non-custodial parent will pay any and all air fares incurred for the transportation of the child(ren).

(2) The flights are either direct or non-stop and there will be no change of planes until the child(ren) reach(es) at least 14 years of age.

(3) The non-custodial parent will make all travel arrangements.

(4) The non-custodial parent will make sure to notify the custodial parent of the date, the time, the airline and flight number for the proposed carrier, at least ten (10) days before the date of the child visitation.

(5) The non-custodial parent will send round trip airline tickets to the custodial parent or will ensure that the tickets will be ready for the child(ren) at the air terminal at the time of departure.

(6) The custodial parent will deliver the child(ren) to the closest commercial airport, which is not more than 150 miles from the custodial parent’s residence, and that offers direct flight service going to the airport where the non-custodial parent will receive the child(ren). The custodial parent will also pick up the child(ren) at the end of any child visitation periods.

(7) The non-custodial parent will ensure that either the child(ren) or the non-custodial parent notify(ies) the custodial parent, as soon as possible that the child(ren) have arrived, after the non-custodial parent mets the child(ren).

(8) At the end of any period of child visitation, the non-custodial parent will notify the custodial parent of the dates, the time, the carrier, and the flight number used for the child(ren)’s return. The non-custodial parent will notify the custodial parent twenty-four (24) hours before the time of departure.

(9) On the return of said child(ren), the custodial parent will ensure that either he/she or the child(ren) notify(ies) the non-custodial parent of the child(ren)’s return.

(g) The non-custodial parent will enjoy the right to have telephone visitation with the minor child(ren), between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. according to the local time of the minor child(ren), on each Thursday, at the non-custodial parent’s expense. The custodial parent will not interfere with, listen in, or be a party to any such telephone conversation during said period of time.

How Alabama standard visitation is used in child visitation cases

Alabama standard visitation is not the only option for divorcing parents. Your judge’s Alabama standard visitation schedule is usually used as a basis or starting point for the child visitation schedule used in your settlement. The lawyers then assist the parties to make child visitation meet their family’s needs by recommending changes based on the facts of the case. Often parties mutually agree to change specific parts of the Alabama standard visitation schedule. The most common change is with regard to weekend and Christmas visitation. Some parties prefer the second and third weekends rather than the standard first and third weekends. Many parties divide Christmas visitation into two parts. The first part would be the week of Christmas and include most of Christmas Day. The second part would begin late on Christmas Day and continue through New Year’s Day. Each parent gets one week with the minor children. The specific week that each parent receives alternates every year. This change and any other changes in child visitation that are reasonable will be approved by the court. Typically, it is only when the parties cannot agree to anything at all and child visitation is left up to the judge that strict standard visitation is ordered.

Contact The Burleson Firm

For a central location in Birmingham, Alabama, The Burleson Firm has helped families in Alabama with visitation issues for over 20 years. If you are dealing with any child visitation issue, and you would like to obtain legal advice on how to better protect your interests, our law firm can help. Let The Burleson Firm schedule a no-obligation conference with a serious Alabama family law attorney to answer your divorce questions.

For a free phone consultation, call us at 1(205)795-2033.

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