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Alabama Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alabama on
Q: My x died a month ago leaving me w/sole custody.His wife wants the same visitation as he had.What are her rights?
Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on May 19, 2020

I assume that you are the mother of the children, and that "his wife" refers to a person whom the father married before his death. The short answer is that she has no right to visitation with the children. If she were a grandparent, she would have a path to parenting time with them, but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Alabama on
Q: Hello i need advice. I live in Alabama and have since 2008. Ten years ago my husband and i split up

He had gotten with another woman and then moved out and we haven't been together since. 5 years ago he took our son and moved to Massachusetts without telling me beforehand (i spent two weeks panicking not knowing where my son was), and was told by several people that since we were still... Read more »

Travis T Juneau
Travis T Juneau answered on May 17, 2020

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. Abandonment and infadelity are grounds for divorce in Alabama. It sounds like you would need to hire a private investigator to help locate your son. But, if you exhaust your attempts to locate your husband, you could be able to serve your husband by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Alabama on
Q: Will it be easy for my husband to adopt my son since birth father isn’t on birth certificate and doesn’t pay for child?

Birth father has never been apart of my child’s life nor is not on the birth certificate, or pays child support. Has never seen the child but once when we did the dna test. My husband whom has been apart of my child’s life and supported him financially and emotionally for 3 and half years wants... Read more »

Shane Michael Oncale
Shane Michael Oncale answered on May 12, 2020

No a step parent adoption in the case of a willful relinquishment of custody or proof of abandonment is provided for under Alabama law. What surprises people the most is the fact that the father must be notified, give his consent or have an opportunity to appear in court and contest the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alabama on
Q: How likely am I to win a dependency hearing as a step parent against the bio father after mom has passed?

I have been in the kids lives since they were babies. Bio dad lost visitation in 2017 due to domestic violence and a history of child abuse. DHR removed them from his home and placed them with us giving them a protective order from dad. Mom just passed and now dad wants them back. I filed for a... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on May 11, 2020

It is imposible to handicap your facts, however, if the children are doing well with you while in the custody of the state and placed with you, you are in a good position to prevail in a private custody petition.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alabama on
Q: What rights do I have as a father in AL.Was never married but I'm on B.C.Her parents have temp.cust.Where does leave me?

I've always been in my children's lives.Me and the Mother although together didn't live together due to car accident I was involved in caused me to not be able to work for some time and we lost our home so only maybe a week out of a month we managed to all stay at either hers or my... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on May 10, 2020

You have rights, but you have to assert them in Court. You were a necessary party in the custody proceeding you mentioned because you are the presumptive father. Did you go to Court? Why not if you didn't?? What evidence was adduced in that proceeding that kept you from having custody?

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Juvenile Law for Alabama on
Q: I've recently been served a Paternity/CS summons. I'm willing to pay CS,can I avoid court, testing and visitation?

Willing to provide honest income info, but do not desire visitation or parental rights. I also do not wish to contact the other parent or appear in court. Is there a legal way to do this, such as voluntary child support?

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on May 8, 2020

Yes. You can admit paternity and submit your proof of income and they will adjudicate you the father and it will be over. Contact the attorney for DHR whose name is one the paperwork you received. He will be able to help you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alabama on
Q: My son is 15 and all of a sudden he decided he didn't want to come to my house anymore. What can I do?

His mother said that she was not going to make him come.I was told that there wasn't much that I can do about this situation. We have a child custody decree and I pay child support.

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on May 7, 2020

He’s 15, he doesn’t get to decide, go get him and make him come. If momma doesn’t help you make him, she can be held in contempt.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alabama on
Q: Do legal (not blood related) grandparents have any right to take a mother's child away?

My husband wants nothing to do with me or my son. He cheated on me and left me and already has a new family. We've been separated over a year and a half and are finally getting this divorce done. His parents are trying to take me to court to take my child away from me because I won't let... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on May 1, 2020

First of all, I don't understand the distinction between "legal" grandparents and "blood related" grandparents. THe grandparents are the parents of the biological or adoptive parents of the child. The grandparents have apparently taken you to court in a private custody... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Alabama on
Q: If my child father pays child support, but hasn’t seen him or had contact with him. Can I terminate his rights?
Kristine Jones
Kristine Jones answered on Apr 25, 2020

Hello. The answer to that is "it depends." This is a question better suited for an attorney who practices in the county where the child lives. I will say terminating a parent's rights is the ultimate action a court can take concerning a child and they do not do it without very strong... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alabama on
Q: What if one parent contacts a case worker and tells them information regarding said child and alleges something

Can the case worker disclose to the parent that the other parent made the report

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Apr 21, 2020

No. DHR cannot disclose the source of a report. No.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alabama on
Q: If I have had previous cases years ago with my children and they are now with foster parents and are adopted I am now Pr

Pregnant and in wondering if dhr will could become involved

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Apr 19, 2020

If you are still doing the same things that got the other children taken away the first time, then yes.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Alabama on
Q: My boyfriend is 20 and I'm 16. I'm currently Pregnant with his baby. What can my parents do to him or can he get arreste

Can I stay with him?

What are my rights that I can do ?

Will he get arrested?

Can his child be taken from him?

I also will be having the baby when I turn 17. So what advantage could that be.

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Apr 16, 2020

If you were 15 when you got pregnant there are criminal charges that can be brought against him. If you were 16 when you got pregnant there is nothing they can do.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Family Law and Child Support for Alabama on
Q: Can Alabama DHR falsely charge my boyfriend with arrears and never tell him or provide docs tho we have receipts?

My boyfriend set it up so that his child support payments are deducted from his paycheck directly to Alabama DHR from day 1. We have every single pay stub from when it started. The kids are now 5 and prior to her putting him on the two boys lived with him. A few months ago we took her to court due... Read more »

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Apr 11, 2020

You need to answer a few questions. Prior to him paying when they turned one, was mom on assistance? If she received any payments from the state of Alabama for assistance without a child support order, the state of Alabama can collect it if an order of support is ever entered. This is probably what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alabama on
Q: how can I terminate the father’s rights in Alabama?

Child’s father left when I was 7 weeks pregnant and child is almost 3, doesn’t know the father as he hasn’t been around the child. We live in Alabama and he lives in Tennessee, he recently took a trip to Florida but didn’t bother to ask to see our child. Hasn’t had contact in almost 6... Read more »

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Apr 11, 2020

Termination of parental rights is different for each county. And your question is confusing. You said first he hasn’t seen the child in three years and further down in the paragraph you state the last contact was six months ago. That’s a big difference when trying to terminate. If he’s seen... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Alabama on
Q: I owe my ex mother in law child support, but she’s never had the children in her care? How can I go about fixing this

I’m trying to contact someone that could help me out with my child support case. This has been ongoing since 2010 with my ex mother in law xxx she was granted temporary custody of my children until I got on my feet, but the children were never in her care. They were with me and my ex husband from... Read more »

Sheila Crumley Field
Sheila Crumley Field answered on Apr 11, 2020

As long as there is an Order for support in place, you owe the money. You need to take her back to court to get it changed, however it will have to be done where the children reside. Wherever they are, file to domesticate the Alabama judgement and then petition to modify the child support. Sounds... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alabama on
Q: Terminating the rights of child’s father who has joint custody, but doesn’t abide by decree?

My daughter’s father and I have joint custody. He lives in another state. He has not contacted my daughter in 4 months. Before that it was 2 months. He has never paid his court appointed child support. He has not followed anything from the divorce papers that pertains to my daughter. My question... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Apr 7, 2020

If he has gone for more than four months without providing any emotion, physical, financial or other support and has no contact with the child for that period you can file a petition to terminate his rights. You have the burden of proving that he has in fact abandoned the child within the meaning... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alabama on
Q: I'm from Alabama. My daughter is 12 and her mother has primary custody. What age can she legally decide to live with me?

She has requested to live with me instead. She feels uncomfortable with mom's new boyfriend and they just got engaged.

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Mar 30, 2020

19

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Alabama on
Q: I live in Ala. w/ my 4 yr. old son.The biological father lives in TN.Where do i file for acknowledgement of paternity?

Father has never helped or tried to meet son.His name isnt on birth certificate.I gave birth in TN but have been living in Ala. Trying to figure out how to get paternity testing or acknowledgment of paternity form and in which state should i file?

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Mar 28, 2020

Alabama, the home state of the child. I would say you should consider terminating any right that he has. Get rid of this guy once and for all.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Alabama on
Q: My ex threatens me to go back to court for custody of our son, but acts like he doesn't want him. What can I do?

He was ordered to pay child support back in October, but has only paid one month so far. He keeps giving the court the wrong names of his employers on purpose to avoid payroll withholding. He only makes token attempts to talk to our son for only two minutes at a time every night. He calls at the... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman answered on Mar 28, 2020

You can go back to Court and ask for your support. If he is a danger to the child, you must show that to the Court.

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