Huntsville Child Support Lawyers & Attorneys
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Child Support Lawyers in Madison County
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When child support is determined by the court, the non-custodial parent is usually responsible for making child support payments until the child becomes a legal adult. In Alabama, that means 19 years of age. Sometimes things change, though, and the court understands that. Especially if a considerable amount of time has passed since child support was first ordered. In order for our Huntsville child support attorneys to get your child support obligations modified, you must file a petition in the Circuit Court. Your child support lawyer in Madison County should file your petition in the Circuit Court of Madison County if the child’s custodial parent lives in Madison County or if the original child support order took place in the Madison County Circuit Court.
You will need to file a Petition to Modify Child Support with the Circuit Clerk and our child support lawyers in Madison County can help. Our Huntsville child support attorney will ensure that the petition is listed using the exact same names used in the original case. If you are not using a local Huntsville child support lawyer then you will need to fill out the top portion of a summons (available on the Circuit Clerk’s website). Additionally, the filing fee for the petition is $124, which must be paid in exact cash, money order, or cashier’s check. The clerk will not accept a personal check. The clerks cannot help you fill out the forms and will advise you to seek a Madison County child support attorney for legal questions. The final document you will need for your filing is the CS-47 form, which is the Child Support Information Sheet. Call our child support lawyers in Huntsville today and let us help you file the petition correctly.
The court will usually want to see an income change of more than 10% to consider a child support modification in Madison County, Alabama. That can be a greater than 10% change for either parent. So if the custodial parent is now making 50% more per year than they were when child support was last determined, and you are making the same, you could petition the court to lower your monthly child support obligation.
Other situations that could warrant our Huntsville child support attorneys filing a petition include: the child support currently being paid is no longer adequate to meet the needs of the child, the financial situation of one or both parents has changed, there is no provision for medical support for the child, or the child has significantly more needs than he or she did previously. Either parent can petition the court to modify child support obligations in Madison County, Alabama. The changes will take effect after the judgement and will apply retroactively to all payments made after the petition was filed. Call our child support lawyers in Huntsville today for a consultation.
Child Support Attorneys in Huntsville
When filing a Petition for Modification, you should always state your reason(s) for requesting a modification of child support and offer substantiating documentation. Once our Huntsville child support lawyer files your petition, a copy will be sent by the court to the child’s other parent for service of process. Once served, our child support attorney in Madison County will go to the hearing with you and argue your case to the judge.
At the hearing, the Madison County judge will listen to both sides to determine if any modifications should be made, and if so, how much. That is why it is so important to seek an experienced family law attorney. At the Harris Firm, our Huntsville child support lawyers work on a retainer basis to file child support modifications. We will fill out and prepare the documents, file them for you, and attend the hearings with you. At the hearing, our Madison County child support attorneys will use their knowledge of the law and your specific circumstances to be your advocate to the court. It is not uncommon for a court to modify the amount of child support a non-custodial parent has to pay each month, but it is less common for child support obligations to be terminated.
Parents that are subject to paying child support are generally obligated to pay until the child turns nineteen and becomes a legal adult. The only other straightforward way for a court to terminate child support obligations is in the tragic event of the child’s death. Other situations where the court may consider terminating child support is if the non-custodial parent loses/forfeits his or her parental rights, the non-custodial parent obtains physical custody of the child, or non-custodial parent requests the child be emancipated. Emancipation is typically only approved in very specific situations. For example, if an 18 year old child joins the military. Our Huntsville child support lawyers can advise you if you think your obligations might be terminated.
In very limited circumstances, a court may extend child support obligations beyond the child’s 19th birthday. One of the most common reasons a court would extend child support is if the child is disabled. Child support does not end at nineteen if the child is unable to care for themselves due to physical or mental disability.
The law has gone back and forth on parents helping adult children through college. Currently, per Christopher v. Christopher, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that there is no requirement for a parent to pay tuition, fees, books, room/board, etc. for their adult children in college. Parents can, of course, make their own agreements and arrangements about those expenses. But it is no longer an extension of child support. Call our Madison County divorce and child support attorney today for a quick phone or video consultation.
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