A Basic Outline Of Child Support

Any parent knows that children are a blessing in life, but that they can also be an expensive blessing. Alabama law recognizes that raising a healthy and happy child comes with a significant financial responsibility, which is why child support laws exist. But how do they work?

This is only a general description of child support laws in Alabama. There are many nuances to the law and circumstances that can affect support calculations. You should always consult with an experienced family law attorney.

  • What is child support? A court-ordered payment to support the financial needs of a minor child.
  • Who is obligated to pay? Under Alabama law, both parents have an obligation to support his or her child financially. It is a shared responsibility, a percentage of which is allocated to each parent. Practically speaking, only one person (the noncustodial parent) needs to write the other a check.
  • How is the amount determined? The Child Support Guidelines are used to determine the amount of the support obligation. The income of both parents, number of children, day care expenses, health insurance costs, and support obligations from a prior marriage are considered in the calculation.
  • Is it modifiable? Yes. Child support orders can be modified based on a substantial change in circumstances for either the custodial or noncustodial parent, or if the child's needs have changed such that the order is no longer adequate.
  • Is it easy to modify an order? You can request a support modification, if there has been a material change of income or circumstances, but you should not rely on this option during initial calculations. Make sure you have adequate legal representation for both initial determinations and modifications.
  • Can you enforce a support order? Yes. There are many methods available for enforcing support orders, including income withholding, interception of tax refunds, credit bureau reporting, liens, and criminal sanctions. Interest also accrues on any unpaid balances.

Talk To Our Attorney About Your Child Support Needs

If you need to speak with an experienced attorney about an initial determination or a modification, we encourage you to schedule a consultation. Call our office at 251-964-7774 or send us an email.

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

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