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What are the Child Support Guidelines and Can Couples Deviate from them in their Divorce Agreement

What are the Alabama child support guidelines and can couples deviate from them in their divorce agreement? The Alabama child support guidelines are governed by Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration and any Anniston divorce lawyer should be aware of them. The child support guidelines state that: “there shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the establishment or modification of a child support order, that the amount of the order that would result from the application of these guidelines is the correct amount of child support to be ordered.  Deviate from Child Support GuidelinesA written finding on the record indicating that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption if the finding is based upon: (i) A fair, written agreement between the parties establishing a different amount and stating the reasons therefor; or (ii) A determination by the court, based upon evidence presented in court and stating the reasons therefor, that application of the guidelines would be manifestly unjust or inequitable.” 

There are a few reasons for deviating from the guidelines under the rule and your divorce attorney in Birmingham should be able to tell you them. These reasons may include: “(a) Shared physical custody or visitation rights providing for periods of physical custody or care of children by the obligor parent substantially in excess of those customarily approved or ordered by the court; (b) Extraordinary costs of transportation for purposes of visitation borne substantially by one parent; (c) Expenses of college education incurred prior to a child’s reaching the age of majority; (d) Assets of, or unearned income received by or on behalf of, a child or children; (e) The assumption under the Schedule of Basic Child-Support Obligations that the custodial parent will claim the federal and state income-tax exemptions for the children in his or her custody will not be followed in the case; (f) The actual child-care costs incurred on behalf of the children because of the employment or job search of either parent exceeds the costs allowed under subsection (B)(8) of this rule by twenty percent (20%) or more; and (g) A parent incurs child-care costs associated with the parent’s training or education necessary to obtain a job or to enhance that parent’s earning potential, not to exceed a reasonable time as determined by the court. To justify deviating from the guidelines on this basis, the parent must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the job training or education will benefit the child or children being supported, and child-care costs associated with such training or education shall not exceed the amount required to provide care from a licensed source for the child or children, based on a schedule of guidelines developed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources; and (h) Other facts or circumstances that the court finds contribute to the best interest of the child or children for whom child support is being determined.”

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