For parents with children under the age of nineteen (19) in Tuscaloosa County, your Tuscaloosa child support lawyer may be able to request a modification in child support whenever a change in circumstances occurs. Rule 23 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration governs child support modifications in Tuscaloosa. If a parent’s income changes by more than 10%, a court may consider a child support modification in Tuscaloosa County. If a parent pays a lot of money for a child’s medical care or has any other outstanding expenditures, these factors will also constitute grounds for a modification to child support payment amounts. Reach out to our Alabama child support lawyer today for a consultation.
In Tuscaloosa County, our local child support lawyer should file your petition in the Family Court Division of the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court. Your Tuscaloosa County child support lawyer should generally file the Petition to Modify Child Support in the circuit court in the county where the custodial parent lives or in the county that issued the original child support order.
When you file the petition, the Court will consider your grounds for the request. What has changed in your circumstances to make the court consider a change? Be sure to have evidence of income changes, like pay stubs, available for your Tuscaloosa child support attorney to show as evidence. If you had to cover a child’s expenses for something extraordinary (such as an extended hospital stay) be sure to get copies of those bills and proof that you paid them (such as a cancelled check or bank statement).
Child Support Attorneys in Tuscaloosa
After you have gathered the evidence, our child support attorneys in Tuscaloosa County will obtain a Petition to Modify Child Support (Form PS-02) and a financial affidavit (Form CS-41) to file along with documents we prepare for you. The court clerks cannot fill out the forms for you, but they can make sure you get the right form to fill out. Once your Tuscaloosa child support attorney files the petition, a copy will be sent by the court to the child’s other parent for service of process. This can be done by certified mail or they may have a deputy sheriff deliver it in person.
A hearing will be set in court to consider the petition. Your local child support lawyer will argue your case for you to the Court and your ex-spouse will argue their case. 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.”
If you are seeking to change or modify a prior child support order in a Tuscaloosa County divorce, then this is generally how the process works. But after it is ordered, when exactly do the modifications go into effect? If the court orders a modification, all child support payments after the date of filing the petition are subject to the revised amount. So if you lose your job, for example, it is generally advisable your Tuscaloosa County child support lawyer file your petition as soon as possible. That’s because sometimes it can take months to reach a hearing date and a ruling, but all payments after the date of filing are retroactively adjusted once the ruling is made.
Attorney’s fees for these petitions can vary from one Tuscaloosa County family law firm to another. Generally, you pay your Tuscaloosa child support lawyer a retainer. A retainer fee is money paid in advance for services that will be rendered. It is usually paid monthly based on the attorney’s estimate of the work they will be doing for you during that time. If the child’s other parent opposes the modification, the retainer can cost more money since the case will be argued longer. When both parents agree on the modification, the retainer is fairly inexpensive, because it is an uncontested request. The more adversarial the process is, the more expensive it generally becomes. Call our Tuscaloosa child support attorney today to file your child support petition in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.