Child Support Lawyer in Birmingham, AL

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Our child support lawyers want you to be comfortable with your child support order, knowing that it is what is best for your child and a fair outcome based on your and the other parent’s incomes. The best way to obtain this comfort is to work with an experienced and skilled attorney at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC. To discuss your rights and options in regard to child support, contact us online or call our Birmingham family lawyers at (205) 255-1155.

How Our Child Support Lawyers in Birmingham, AL Can Help You

At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, we handle all types of matters regarding child support, including:

  • Establishing temporary or permanent child support – Child support calculations can be complicated, particularly if you or the other parent’s incomes are not consistent hourly wages or salaries. Matters can also become complex if you believe the other parent is hiding income or intentionally not working to avoid paying support.
  • Asking for a child custody modification – Child support hardly ever remains the same throughout a child’s entire life. There are many reasons why the amount you owe or receive may increase or decrease. If you believe it is time for a change, do not hesitate to contact us for advice.
  • Terminating child support At some point, child support must come to an end. This is usually when your child turns the age of majority. However, you may also believe your obligation should end early. If you want the court to allow you to stop paying support, call a lawyer right away. Never stop paying without an order for termination.

Whether you are a mother or father, whether you are a custodial parent or non-custodial parent, we are here to help. Never hesitate to schedule a free consultation with is to learn how we can assist you with your child support issue.

When is Child Support Necessary in Alabama?

In Alabama, legal parents are both required to financially support their children until the children are adults, emancipated by the court, or parental rights are terminated. If you have one or more minor children and your rights have not been terminated, then as a parent, you have the right to obtain child support or may be required to pay child support. Financial support is required even when you or the other parent choose not to have a relationship with the child.

While there are some instances when child support is not ordered, whether you are going through a divorce, or you and your child’s other parent were never married, child support is required when two parents have separate households. Typically, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. That is, the parent who has physical custody of the child the most receives financial support from the parent who has the child a lesser amount of time.

Obtaining Alabama Child Support

To obtain child support from your child’s other parent, you should first speak with a child support attorney in Birmingham, AL. By hiring a lawyer, you have someone to thoroughly explain the Alabama child support guidelines and the court process.

You will need to file a petition in court requesting child support. Through the court system, you and the child’s other parent must establish your incomes. You will each be required to fill out a Child Support Obligation Income Statement/Affidavit and a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. Depending on your circumstances, this could be a simple or complex matter. If you believe the other parent is hiding income or intentionally not working, tell your attorney right away.

If you are going through a divorce, or you and the other parent are also determining child custody, then you may need to seek temporary child support. A judge will recognize when it is important for an immediate resolution to the child support matter and will make a relatively quick decision regarding child support while other family court matters progress. This ensures the custodial parent receives some amount of financial support while other issues are addressed. Child support can then be addressed again in the future after other matters are resolved, particularly if child custody changes significantly.

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Calculating Child Support in Alabama

Whether you wish to ask for child support or you may be obliged to pay support, it is a good idea to speak with a Shelby County child support lawyer about how child support is calculated. When it is a court’s duty to calculate child support, it does so based on Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration, which was amended June 2018.

Calculating child support requires first determining each parent’s gross income, which includes income from any source, including hourly wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pension, trust income, annuities, capital gains, Social Security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, and pre-existing periodic alimony. However, your gross income does not include child support you receive for other children or benefits through a means-tested public assistance program like food stamps.

After calculating each parent’s gross income, the child support guidelines factor in how many children require support. The basic support amount can be found in Alabama’s Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations.

Additionally, the court may stray from the traditional guidelines based on:

If you are obliged to pay child support, but also pay your child’s health care costs, then your support obligation could be decreased based on this additional contribution.

When your child support matter is heading to court, it may be best to hire one of our Birmingham child support lawyers from Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC.

What Does Child Support Cover?

A common issue we see entails the paying parent wanting to control how the recipient parent uses child support. Generally, this is not how it works. The recipient parent has a great deal of discretion in how to use child support payments. Child support may go toward housing, including a mortgage, rent, and utilities. It can go toward food, including groceries and eating out. It can go to clothing, toiletries, and toys. Child support covers any expenses the custodial parent needs to pay in order to care for your child. It can also be used for child care expenses, health care, dental expenses, extracurricular activities, and entertainment.

The custodial parent is not required to prove how they spend the child support. However, if you believe the recipient parent is misusing the payments and not properly caring for your child, then contact a child support lawyer for Jefferson County. Depending on the situation and the evidence of have of misuse, you may be able to take the matter to court.

Modifying Child Support

Your child will grow, and their needs will change, so it only makes sense that child support obligations can change overtime. Depending on the situation, you may want your child support obligation to decrease. If you wish to ask the court for a modification to lower your child support payments, you should talk with a child support attorney. At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, we understand there are many circumstances in which it can become hard to pay your child support. Financial trouble does not make a deadbeat parent. You simply need to address this situation as soon as possible so that you do not get behind in support. You may face serious legal consequences for owing the custodial parent a great deal of child support.

As the recipient parent, you may want the financial support to increase. Similarly, you need to speak with an attorney about reasons to increase child support in Alabama.

For a court to raise or lower child support, there must be a material change in circumstances. This is a high bar to cross, though events that usually support a modification include:

You may also need to return to court to alter your child support order if your child’s other parent obtained an unexpected financial windfall through the lottery, gambling, or an inheritance. The effects of a windfall on child support vary depending on the circumstances and the amount of income.

Terminating Child Support in Alabama

There are many situations in which child support in Birmingham, AL or elsewhere in the state should come to an end.

The most common reason for terminating child support in Alabama because your child reaches the age of majority, which is 19 years old in Alabama. Your child support order may enable you to automatically stop paying on your child’s 19th birthday. Or, an agreement between you and the other parent may end the obligation earlier, such as when your child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school. If you do not have a court order allowing you to stop making payments, speak with our child support lawyers in Birmingham, AL about asking the court to terminate your obligation.

Other reasons you may request a child support obligation terminate include:

The reasons are typically straightforward in court. However, emancipation of a child in Alabama can be a complicated legal matter. A judge may approve emancipation if a parent can prove that their child is under 19-years-old but is acting as an independent adult. For example, your son or daughter may join the military at 18-years-old, or they may move out of their other parent’s home and live own their own.

Child Support After a Parent’s Death

If your child’s other parent passed away, you may have a number of questions regarding financial support. You may wonder if you have to do it all on your own now. Child support after the death of a parent varies based on the circumstances. You should speak with a child support lawyer in Alabama as soon as you can. In most cases, the ability to obtain ongoing child support ends. However, your child may be entitled to compensation as the other parent’s heir or beneficiary. If the deceased parent owed child support, you may be able to make a claim against the estate for the amount due.

Do You Have Child Support Lawyers Near Me?

At Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC, our child support lawyers represent parents throughout Jefferson County, Shelby County, Calhoun County, Etowah County, Cullman County, Madison County, Montgomery County, and the rest of the state. We have two offices located in Birmingham, AL, and we often travel to where our clients’ matters take place.

If you are wondering whether we can take your case, do not hesitate to contact us at (205) 255-1155. We will always make the time to return your call or email and discuss your potential family law case.