Alabama Custody and Visitation Schedule Guidelines

The laws about Alabama custody and visitation schedules are found in Chapter 3, Title 30 in the Code of Alabama.

Here are some guidelines from the law to help you make your schedule

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Physical custody

You must have information about physical custody in your Alabama parenting plan. Physical custody is where your child lives and how you and the other parent share time with the child.

You can have joint physical custody, where your child spends frequent and continuing contact with both parents, or sole physical custody, where your child lives with one parent and visits the other parent.

Joint physical custody doesn't mean that the child spends equal time with both parents.

Your custody and visitation schedule

You can make a custody and visitation schedule for your parenting plan to show when each parent has physical custody of the child.

Your custody and visitation schedule should have:

You can make your schedule in a custody calendar so it's easy to see when the child is with each parent. You can include your calendar and a written description of your schedule in your parenting plan.

The courts encourage parents to work together to create a schedule everyone supports and that gives both parents frequent and continuing contact with the child.

The court ordered visitation schedule

If you and the other parent agree on your custody and visitation schedule, you can have any schedule you want.

If you don't agree on the schedule, the judge will determine it. Alabama doesn't have a standard visitation schedule for the state, but many counties and judges have a standard schedule they order when the parents don't agree.

The standard schedules all look something like this schedule.

The child lives with the custodial parent and visits the non-custodial parent:

  • Every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends from 6:00 pm Friday to 8:00 am Monday
  • Every Wednesday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm Thursday


The parents alternate the holidays as follows:


For summer break, the non-custodial parent has the first half during even numbered years and the second half during odd numbered years. The parent who doesn't have the child gets weekend visitation.

The standard schedules from the courts differ in exchange times, holidays, and summer break time. All of the standard schedules are meant to be the minimum amount of time that the non-custodial parent has with the child.

Check with your local court or judge to see if there is a standard schedule for your court.

Remember, if you and the other parent agree on your custody and visitation schedule, you can have any arrangements you want. The court only orders a standard schedule when the parents do not agree.

Provisions about visitation in your plan

Provisions are rules that parents agree to follow as they share the responsibility to raise their child.

You can include provisions about visitation in your parenting plan to make your schedule run smoothly.

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The top fifteen cities in Alabama (by population, US Census Bureau, 2008) are: Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Dothan, Auburn, Decatur, Madison, Florence, Gadsden, Prattville, Phenix City, Vestavia Hills.

Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules, calendars, and professional parenting plan documents.

Make Your Schedule