Many individuals dream about winning the lottery or gaining an unexpected and significant inheritance, but individuals often fail to appreciate the many complications that such an amount of money can create. One of the areas that individuals must consider is the effect that financial windfalls might have on child support. An amount gained through inheritance or the lottery might not even be considered a substantial amount and still have a substantial impact upon child support. Individuals must also realize that amounts of money gained through either inheritance, the lottery, and gambling winnings have the potential to be seized and used for the payment of back pay for child support. An entire inheritance, gambling amount or lottery winning can be withheld in order to pay child support. A child support lawyer in Birmingham, AL can best explain how the law might apply to your situation.
The law in the state of Alabama allows courts to use discretion when child support exceeds the listed child support schedule. Alabama law also considers “gross income” when considering income that can be used to provide child support. In this context, gross income includes things like wages, bonuses, and stock interest in addition to inheritance, gambling winnings, and amounts won through the lottery. As a result of a court’s ability to use discretion, courts in the state of Alabama can use income from numerous sources when determining the amount of child support that must be paid by a non-custodial parent. An amount of money that an individual either wins through the lottery or gains through an inheritance while a divorce or custody hearing is pending is likely to be considered in a child support determination.
If the amount in question is gained by an individual after a court has created a child support order, a court will likely modify the amount. In the event that either a custodial or non-custodial parent receives an amount through either inheritance or gambling and a child support order has been created, the other parent must request a modification of a child support order. The only difference is that in this situation, the non-custodial parent would generally request a decrease of child support payments while the custodial parent would request an increase. Even in the event of an inheritance or gambling win, a court is unlikely to modify a child support order if the court finds that the exist child support order is sufficient to support the child’s needs.
If you have inherited an amount, won the lottery, or have any questions about child support, consider contacting an experienced Birmingham family law attorney at Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC who will be able to help handle your situation no matter what the exact details may be.
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