What the Heck Are the Child Support Guidelines in Alabama

What are the child support guidelines in an Alabama divorce? Both parents have a continuing legal duty to financially support their children. The amount of support depends primarily on the number of children and the combined income of both parents, but it is not so simple. It is a good idea to retain a local divorce lawyer in Tuscaloosa, or wherever you live, to help provide counsel to you as you go through the divorce process.  What are the Child Support Guidelines in AL

Parents who care for the child most of the time (custodial parents), tend to receive the child support payments, because the law assumes these parents already spend their share of the support obligation directly on the child. So the parents spending less time with the child (noncustodial parents), are the ones who typically make the child support payments. 

Alabama uses the “income share” method for calculating child support payments, which is designed to ensure that both the custodial and noncustodial parents contribute. Under the income share model, the court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children. The noncustodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost that is based on their proportional share of both parents’ combined income.

In the event of parents sharing custody of a child, the Alabama judge who sets child support may deviate from the basic child support formula to account for this. These special situations may include childcare costs, extraordinary medical costs and college costs. These costs may be additions to the basic Alabama child support order.

What Factors are Considered in Determining Child Support?

Upon granting a divorce in Calhoun County, or anywhere else in Alabama, the court may give the custody and education of the children of the marriage to either father or mother. Courts take into account the moral character and prudence of the parents and the age and sex of the children; and pending the action, may make such orders in respect to the custody of the children as their safety and well-being may require.

What Is Imputed Income for Child Support?

Sometimes parents purposely decrease their income in an effort to reduce or completely avoid paying child support. Not a smart move. If a parent is willfully unemployed or underemployed, a judge may “impute” income when calculating child support. Basically, that means the judge will decide on an amount the parent should be making, based on things like employment history, education, and training.

So, how does someone file to start child support? When parents who are married to each other split up, one of them will normally request child support as part of their divorce in Alabama. If they agreed on everything, then it is an uncontested divorce in Alabama but if there is no agreement then they’ll have to argue their cases to the judge.

You can hire a lawyer to help you establish a child support order. This can be particularly wise when you have child support issues with your ex. It can be necessary if you have other problems with your ex that concern your child. A Birmingham divorce lawyer can help find your ex, serve them with a legal notice that you want child support, document any income your ex receives, and determine the financial information you need to correctly calculate a child support obligation for your ex. Issues such as child custody and visitation are important and often must be resolved through the court system. Hire a local divorce attorney in Alabaster, or where you live, who is experienced in family law matters may be very beneficial.

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