Child Custody Bill Update from ALFRA


Submitted from The Alabama Family Rights Association

While lawmakers are home on their two-week spring break, there is no better time than now to visit with them, call them, email them – and let them know to VOTE YES for SB186! 

Click here for the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of Senate members.

●     The enclosed comparison chart and scientific literature irrefutably reflect SB 186 as the best child custody legislation, thus resulting in better outcomes for children.

VOTE “YES” on Senate Bill 186 (SB186) with the enclosed amendments

SB186 – Senator Larry Stutts (R-Sheffield)

Senate Bill (SB) 186, the Children’s Equal Access Act, passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee March 15, 2017 and could be up for a floor vote in the Senate April 4, 2017.

•          The Children’s Equal Access Act, SB 186 incorporates the latest scientific research and creates a rebuttable presumption of equal (50%) or approximately equal (35%) parenting time between both fit parents.

•          SB186 also comes as a result of surveying and consulting other experienced attorneys and judges in this field of practice; members of the Alabama Law Institute Family Law Standing Committee, Alabama Family Rights Association Advisory committee, and state executive and local branches of government proclamations calling on community and state leaders to support shared parenting because of its benefits for children.

You can read the bill in its entirety here.

VOTE “NO” on Senate Bill 191 (SB191) and House Bill 239 (HB239)

SB191 – Senator Vivian Figures (D-Mobile)

Unfortunately, Senate Bill 191 (SB191) passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 15th with a vote 9 – 0.SB191 is now eligible to move to the Senate floor for a vote.

HB239 – Rep. Jim Hill (R-Moody)

Unfortunately, House Bill 239 (HB239) passed out of the House on Wednesday, March 15th. HB239 will now move to the Senate committee on Judiciary.

Senate Bill 191(SB 191) and House Bill 239 (HB239) are companion child custody bills written by attorneys of the Alabama Law Institute, Family Law Committee.

Both SB191 and HB239 are flawed. They do the following:


•          Fail to protect the parent-child relationship by neglecting current research 

•          Exclude the presumption that equal (50%) or approximately equal (35%) parenting time is in the best interest of the child

•          Dismiss the need to define “frequent and continuing contact” with each parent

•          Maintain the status quo in many courts ordering standard visitation, 48-56 hours a month as the starting point and best interest of all children regardless of the facts of the case.

•          Here’s a quote from the 2016 judges survey conducted by the AOC:

o   “I have never in ten years awarded ‘true custody’ or ‘50/50 custody’ in a case.” “I do not believe that such instability is ever in any child’s best interest. Therefore, I do not do it of my own accord.”

o   SB191 and HB239 do not fix or address this systemic problem.

Together, we will make a difference, but we have to let our voices and concerns be heard in Montgomery.

Contact: Debbie Zeiger, State VP                                    

Phone: (205) 626-9458



 All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2017.