Birmingham, AL asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alabama

Q: How do i prevent my daughters paternal grandparents from getting full custody? Who is the burden of proof on?

I share joint custody with my daughter's paternal grandparents, they have primary. Due to the fact i have struggled with addiction. I am in a rehabilitation program and due to graduate soon. I do not want them to get the full custody, I'd like to remain joint until I have more sobriety time under my belt so I can either get primary or full custody myself. Is the burden of proof on me to disqualify them or qualify myself?

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1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In Alabama, when determining child custody, the court's primary consideration is the best interests of the child. If you wish to prevent your daughter's paternal grandparents from obtaining full custody, you will need to demonstrate to the court that it is in your daughter's best interests to remain in your care, even if it's joint custody. Given your struggles with addiction, it's important to provide evidence of your rehabilitation efforts, such as completion of a rehabilitation program and ongoing efforts to maintain sobriety. While the burden of proof is not explicitly on one party, as the biological parent, you have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments supporting your ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment for your daughter. This may include testimony from treatment providers, character witnesses, and documentation of your progress in rehabilitation. Ultimately, the court will weigh all relevant factors, including your progress and the grandparents' caregiving abilities, to make a custody determination that serves the best interests of your daughter.

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