February 11, 2008
Case Law Development: Alabama Supreme Court Clarifies Change of Custody Standard
The Alabama Supreme Court has reversed two of its previous decisions regarding the standard for change of child custody, emphasizing that the standard under Alabama law requires a party seeking a change in custody to show that the change "will materially promote [the] child's welfare." Previous appellate courts had additionally required that the movant prove an "overwhelming necessity for a modification of custody." The court noted that its original standard is "typically a heavy one, recognizing the importance of stability" but found the "overwhelming-necessity requirement places a nearly insurmountable burden on the party seeking a modification of custody, and in doing so, elevates stability above the best interests of the child."
Ex parte Cleghorn, 2008 Ala. LEXIS 26, Alabama Supreme Court (February 8, 2008) bgf
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