Ask A Divorce Lawyer: Do I file for custody or divorce first?


I have been separated for nearly three years now, and we have two children together. I’m interested in finally filing for divorce and filing for custody as the children would rather live with me. 

Do I file for custody first or get the divorce first? Does one happen before the other? What’s the best approach?




Before I answer your questions, I must state that I am not licensed in Alabama and the answer to many questions, especially child support and maintenance, can vary from state to state. For more specific answers to your question, please consult an attorney in Alabama.

In most states you would need to file for the divorce first before custody can be determined. After filing for divorce the Court may issue temporary orders of custody that will be in place until the divorce is final.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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