A Basic Outline Of Child Support
Any parent knows that children are a blessing in life, but they can 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 their children 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? 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. Many methods are 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.
We Will Explore Every Option To Resolve Your Issue
We know that whether you are looking to establish child support or modify it, the effort comes with challenges that are unique to you. We will work to find the course of action that protects your best interests. Our experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution can save you considerable time and money out of court.
Talk To Our Attorney About Your Child Support Needs
If you need to speak with an experienced lawyer about an initial determination or a modification, we encourage you to schedule a consultation. We will explore all options to resolve your issue, including mediation and alternative dispute resolution. Call our office in Baldwin County at 251-964-7774 or send us an email.