Alabama Domestic Relations Law
WHAT IS CHILD SUPPORT?
Alabama recognizes that both parents have a legal obligation to support their children. When the parents no longer live together, courts often order one parent to pay the other parent to help provide financial support for the child.
WHO PAYS THE CHILD SUPPORT?
Normally, the non-custodial parent pays the support to the parent who has sole or primary physical custody. In other words, the parent who is not living with the child will be required to pay a set amount each month forthe upkeep and care of the child.
HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED?
The courts follow a formula using the total incomeof both parents and a chart called the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations to determine the threshold child support amount. The court could increase this amount to account for any other extraordinary childcare expenses. For example, ongoing medical care of the child. The courts could decrease the basic child support obligation for many reasons. For example, if the non-custodial parent has extensive visitation rights.
In general, the non-custodial parent would pay a percentage of the child support obligation equal to the percentage of his/her contribution to the total income. Anyone contemplating a divorce should keep in mind that these are guidelines, which gives the court discretion to deviate from them based onthe unique factors of each case.
Child support guidelines were developed with the best interest of the child in mind. The best thing divorcing parents can do is to also work together for the best interest of the child.