Child support is a critical issue in any divorce settlement or suit involving children.
At The KJ Law Firm, we understand the impact child support has on your child’s welfare as well as your own finances.
Alabama Child Support
If you’re divorcing and have young children, it’s likely that either you or your spouse will be ordered to pay child support.
Child Support Calculation
The court will look at a number of different factors in order to decide who pays child support and how much they pay.
Kristine Jones is The KJ Law Firm’s child support attorney.
She is here to help you work out the support needed so that your children receive everything necessary.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is defined as payments made to the parent granted primary custody by the other parent or by both parents if a third party is granted custody.
These payments are usually made until the child turns 19, the age of majority in Alabama.
The person who receives the child support payments should always use the money to purchase items or services that directly benefit the child, although the guidelines that determine how the money is spent are very broad and non-specific.
Alabama Child Support Payments
How Is Child Support Determined?
The court uses a number of different factors to determine payments.
New Alabama child support laws were enacted in 2009. The guidelines state that the court shall consider:
- The income of both parents
- Their earning potential
- The number of children they have
- How old those children are
- And whether or not one or more of the children may have unusual expenses.
Can Child Support Be Modified?
Yes, Alabama does allow either of the parents to petition to have the child support payments modified.
This is usually done when the financial circumstances change due to unemployment or an increase in one parent’s income. A child support lawyer is very helpful in these circumstances since, again, there aren’t any hard guidelines that determine how the child support is changed.
Usually, support will be modified if one of the parent’s income has changed by ten percent, but that’s not always the case.
How Does Custody Affect Child Support?
Alabama sees child support and child custody as two separate issues.
Custody does not always determine who pays child support.
For example, even if the parents have joint custody split 50/50, one may still be required to pay support to another. Also, if the parent ordered to pay child support does not, he or she can still visit the child.
Unlike some states, Alabama does not punish failure to pay with blocking visitation.