The Alabama child support system was set up with the goal of seeing that children didn’t suffer as a result divorce. The ideal situation is that the child receives the same amount of support that she would have received if her parents had stayed together. In determining child support levels, the judge in each case carefully reviews all aspects of the situation including:
- The insurance needs of the child
- The anticipated financial needs based on the child’s age
- Physical custody and visitation rights
- Federal and state income tax exemptions
- Each parent’s income
Petitioning the Alabama courts for child support is called “establishment.” The court looks at standards developed by the state that try to ensure that every child’s interests are protected.
Child Support Laws in Alabama: Finances
In Alabama, both parents are expected to provide financial support for their children. Alabama is set up on the “income shares model.” First, it’s determined what a two-parent family would probably spend on their children, and then this amount is split between the parents based on their income.
Of course, there are many potential complications in parenting arrangements. The parents may be paying different childcare costs, and this is also taken into account when determining child support responsibilities. There are so many possibilities that most judges want the authority to determine child support on a case-by-case basis. Judges are particularly likely to make adjustments if the parents’ income is very high or very low.
Sometimes people try to reduce their income in order to reduce their child support payments. In these situations, courts will ordinarily make their child support decisions based on the amount the parent could earn, not the amount the parent is actually earning.
Alabama Child Support Laws: Modifications
Modifications to a child support order are ordinarily only made if there is a significant change in circumstances. If the calculated amount based on changed circumstances varies more than 10% from the current child support amount, the courts will decide in most cases that the modification is appropriate. Child support usually isn’t terminated until a child is 19 years old.
Get Help with The Child Support Laws in Alabama
The specific calculations for child support can be quite complex. If you have any questions about child support in Alabama, contact us and give us a call and we’ll be glad to answer them.