Parental-Presumption Rule Law and Legal Definition

Parental presumption rule is a principle that ordinarily custody of a minor child should be granted to a fit parent rather than another person. However, this preference can be rebutted by showing that it is against the best interest of the child. There are exceptions to this rule.

The parental presumption does not apply after a voluntary forfeiture of custody or a prior decree removing custody from the natural parent and awarding it to a nonparent. Where these exceptions apply, "'the parent will not be permitted to reclaim the custody of the child, unless s/he can show that a change of the custody will materially promote his/her child's welfare.'" [Ex parte D.J., 645 So. 2d 303, 306 (Ala. 1994)]