Montgomery Child Support Lawyers & Child Support in Montgomery County
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If you are the parent of a child under nineteen, our Montgomery child support lawyers can help you request to modify the amount of child support whenever a change in circumstances occurs. Child support modifications in Shelby County are governed by Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration. A court will generally only consider a modification request if a parent’s income changes by more than 10%. There are other circumstances where the court might consider modifying child support obligations as well. For example, if the non-custodial parent payed a lot of money for a child’s medical care. In Montgomery County, child support modifications are handled in the Domestic Relations division of the Montgomery County Circuit Court at the county courthouse. Whether you need a child support attorney in Shelby County or Montgomery we can help.
You should file your Petition to Modify Child Support petition in Montgomery County if the custodial parent lives in that county, or if the original judgment on your child support came from the Montgomery County Circuit Court. The filing fee to file a petition to modify a court order in Montgomery County is $297.00. Additional fees, like to serve process on the custodial parent, may also apply. In addition to your income, the court can look at any of the following to determine child support amount: monthly income of both parents, child care expenses, insurance costs, number of children/dependents, and the amount of time spent with children (visitation and custody). The court can look at any other relevant factors as well. Call our child support attorneys in Montgomery today for more information.
Note that the custodial or the non-custodial parent’s income could change to trigger a modification. For example, if the non-custodial parent is paying $500 per month to the custodial parent for child support, and the custodial parent gets a raise at work and is making $30,000 more per year than they were when the child support was ordered, the non-custodial parent could petition the court to pay less child support. Generally, child support petitions will only be reviewed every three years or so, unless a significant change of circumstances occurs.
Once our child support lawyers in Montgomery County file your petition a hearing will be set in court to consider it. If you are the non-custodial parent, you and the custodial parent will both have a chance to make your case to the court about why there should or shouldn’t be a modification in the amount of child support being paid. Make sure to bring any documents that could serve as evidence to the hearing, such as pay stubs, W-2s, income tax returns, bank statements, and any extraordinary bills you may have incurred in caring for your child. In deciding whether to award a modification of child support, the court must consider whether you proved a “material change in circumstances that is substantial and continuing.” Substantial and continuing is important because it indicates that your change in circumstances is likely to be ongoing and not just a one-time windfall of money you received, for example, that made your income look higher for just one year.
The child support formula used by the courts in Alabama is what is known as the “income shares model.” The income shares model is based on the presumption that children should receive the same ratio of support from each parent as they did when their parents were married. It presumes that when the parents were married, they pooled their resources together and both paid for things like the mortgage/rent, bills, food, clothing, and other expenses related to raising and providing children. The income shares model calculates how much a family would spend on children using the parents’ combined income, then divides it by how much money each parent makes. Our Montgomery child support lawyer can help you navigate the legal principles like this one and generally help advise you through the process.
Using the income shares model, your Montgomery child support lawyer can estimate your child support obligations in four steps: 1) Calculate the gross income of both parents and add them together. 2) Apply the combined gross income to Alabama’s schedule of basic child-support obligations. 3) Add expenditures for work-related child care expenses and extraordinary medical expenses. 4) Divide the total child support obligation between the parents in proportion to their Adjusted Gross Income. Each parent’s obligation is totaled by multiplying the total child support obligation by each parent’s percentage share of their combined Adjusted Gross Income. The parent that has custody of the child will be presumed to spend their share directly on the child.
At the Harris Firm, our Montgomery child support lawyers do child support modification cases on a retainer basis. You pay a flat fee up front for us to begin working on your case. Our retainers for filing child support petitions in Montgomery County start at $2500. Our Montgomery child support lawyers are here to answer any questions you may have about the filing process. We will file your petitions and also attend hearings with you to be your advocate in court. While child support modification is a matter of state law, each county may do things a little different in terms of procedure and filing. Our child support lawyers in Montgomery County know each county’s requirements, including Montgomery County, and look forward to working with you on your case.
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