In Alabama, child support is based on the income of both parents and the number of children. The amount of child support a parent must pay is determined using the Alabama Child Support Guidelines, which are found in the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration.
Under the guidelines, both parents are responsible for supporting their children, and the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child (the noncustodial parent) is required to pay child support to the parent who does have primary physical custody (the custodial parent).
The guidelines provide a formula for determining the basic child support obligation, which is the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent is required to pay. The basic child support obligation is based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children. Talking to a local divorce lawyer in Birmingham can help get you fully informed as well.
To calculate the basic child support obligation, the court will first determine the combined monthly adjusted gross income of both parents. The combined monthly adjusted gross income is calculated by adding together the monthly adjusted gross incomes of both parents and then subtracting any court-ordered child support that either parent is already paying for other children.
Once the combined monthly adjusted gross income has been determined, the court will look at the child support guidelines table to find the appropriate basic child support obligation. The guidelines’ table provides a range of basic child support obligations based on the combined monthly adjusted gross income and the number of children.
The basic child support obligation is just the starting point, and the court has the discretion to deviate from the guidelines if it finds that the basic child support obligation would be unjust or inappropriate. When you are doing an uncontested divorce, the guidelines will be ran by your uncontested divorce lawyer,
Factors that the court may consider in deciding whether to deviate from the guidelines include:
- The financial resources and needs of the child
- The financial resources and needs of the custodial parent
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved
- The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child’s educational needs
- The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent
- Any extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses
- Any other factor the court finds relevant
The court may also order the noncustodial parent to pay additional child support for the child’s extraordinary medical, psychological, educational, or dental expenses. The court may also order the noncustodial parent to pay a percentage of daycare expenses if the custodial parent is working or attending school.
Child support orders in Alabama are typically reviewed every three years, or sooner if there has been a significant change in the financial circumstances of either parent. Either parent can request a review of the child support order if they believe that there has been a significant change in circumstances that would warrant a modification of the original order.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!