Financial concerns are among the most hotly contested issues in family law cases, and, unfortunately, child support is no exception. Even though child support is the right of the child, it is not uncommon for parents to argue over the amount.
If you’re in the Birmingham area and need assistance with child support, speak with an experienced child support attorney. At Vella & King, Attorneys at Law, our lawyers have more than 40 years of collective experience as family lawyers. We represent mothers and fathers whether they are married or unmarried. Our extensive experience allows us to protect the child’s right to child support while also ensuring that one parent is not being treated unfairly.
In Alabama, there is a statutory formula used to calculate the amount of child support payments. This is what the court will follow when determining child support in the majority of cases. If there are extraordinary circumstances, such as the high net worth of a parent and/or a lifestyle the children are accustomed to, payments may be set higher.
Typically, child support lasts until the child is 19 years old, so it is important to have an attorney on your side when the amount is calculated. It is also important to work with an experienced attorney in cases that involve the following:
Pursuing child support without the help of a well-versed Birmingham child support attorney could have a major negative impact on your child support order. As Birmingham child support lawyers, we can explain the Alabama child support guidelines and ensure your child receives the appropriate amount in child support or that you are not ordered to pay an unfair amount in child support.
Whether you’re seeking to establish temporary or permanent child support, are seeking a child support modification, or are terminating child support payments, our child support lawyers can help you navigate the Jefferson County court process and give you peace of mind that your child’s interests are being fairly advocated for.
In Alabama, child support is required when parents live in separate households. However, each parent has a financial obligation to care for their child. Child support payments don’t have to be court-ordered if both parents can agree on the amount to be paid, usually by the non-custodial parent.
Although it’s not always necessary for the court to get involved, it’s in the best interest of all involved, especially your child(ren), to work with a Birmingham child support lawyer to determine payments. An experienced child support attorney can take both parents’ income, number of children, and other considerations into account to determine how much financial support is necessary based on Alabama child support guidelines.
In Alabama, child support calculations typically follow a set of guidelines and formulas to determine the amount of child support that a non-custodial parent is required to pay the custodial parent. These guidelines aim to ensure that the child’s financial needs are met fairly and adequately.
Alabama uses the Income Shares model to calculate child support. The child support guidelines of Alabama provide a schedule of basic child support obligations based on:
According to Alabama law, all sources of income must be reported. This includes severance pay, workers’ compensation benefits, veteran’s benefits, social security benefits, trust income, and capital gains—any form of income whatsoever.
Based on these values, each parent’s share of the child support obligation is based on their proportion of the combined income.
In addition to basic child support orders, parents may be required to contribute to other expenses like childcare, health insurance, and educational expenses.
Child support covers any and everything necessary for raising the child. How the recipient parent chooses to spend it is up to their discretion. Alabama residents paying child support in Jefferson County have no control over how the child support they pay is used, which can sometimes be a point of contention.
Any expenses related to raising the children that the custodial parent incurs can be paid for by child support. This includes childcare, healthcare and health insurance, housing costs, food, entertainment, and extracurricular activities.
However, if the paying parent suspects the other parent is misusing their child support payments or neglecting the child, there is legal action they can take. They should promptly hire a Birmingham child support lawyer to bring the issue to court if they don’t have one already.
If you have a valid reason for why you should stop paying child support, contact your child support lawyer. Valid reasons for termination include your child turning 19 years old, the death of the child, child emancipation, obtaining full or majority child custody, and termination of parental rights.
Birmingham, AL, child support attorneys can help you apply for termination in court and ensure you’re complying with Alabama rules pertaining to stopping payments.
The death of a parent automatically becomes a child support matter in Jefferson County. Whether you’re the paying or receiving parent, you should contact an attorney at a family law firm immediately. Child support attorneys for the receiving parent can make a claim against the deceased parent’s estate for the remainder of the amount due if it’s not specifically addressed in the will (i.e., naming the child as an heir or beneficiary).
As the paying parent, you should speak with your attorney as soon as possible regarding custody or visitation rights if you don’t plan to obtain full custody.
Oftentimes, two parents disagree on the amount one parent should give in child support payments. If the custodial parent and non-custodial parent cannot come to an agreement on child support obligations, one parent may submit a child support petition for the court to issue a child support order.
Rule 32 in Alabama is how a court calculates the amount in child support payments that the noncustodial parent must pay.
It depends. Alabama uses the Income Share method to determine how much the payments will be. Under this model, the paying parent gives a percentage of the total calculated costs based on the total income of both parents.
The age of majority in Alabama is 19. At this age, child support is usually terminated unless the child is pursuing higher education or has special needs.
Child support is only terminated under 5 circumstances in Alabama:
This is usually up to the judge’s discretion. However, just because custody is 50/50 doesn’t mean one parent won’t have to pay child support. It’s very rare that parenting time is evenly split between both parents. The deciding factor is usually based on the financial circumstances of each parent (who earns more).
Certain situations may warrant deviation from your child support obligation. These could include high transportation costs related to visitation, shared physical custody arrangements, childcare expenses, college education expenses, and a significant change in income, just to name a few factors. It is ill-advised to deviate from your child support obligations without the consent of a court order. Contact a professional law office in Shelby County that specializes in child custody and child support law if you’re in need of child support modifications.
We know you may have many questions, and we are here to provide the answers you need. The attorneys at Vella & King, Attorneys at Law, understand the challenges that sometimes arise in child support cases. We will be on your side throughout the process, explaining your rights and options from start to finish. Please call our Birmingham office at 205-868-1555 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation so we can discuss your case.