Mobile, AL Child Support Attorney

Raising a child is not easy. From the moment a child is born until they reach adulthood, parents have a responsibility to provide for all their material needs. Even if the parents decide to end their marriage, they are still obligated to provide for their children’s needs. It’s the very basis of the legal theory of child support. Data shows that the average monthly child support payment in Mobile, Alabama is $758, which is higher than the national average of $430 per month.

The Mobile, AL child support lawyers at Brent Day Law have extensive experience in handling child support cases and can provide you with the personalized legal assistance you need. We can work with the other parent’s attorney and come up with a child support agreement that works for all the parties involved. We can also help you with modifying an existing child custody order if the circumstances under which the order was issued have changed.

Who Is Required to Pay Child Support in Mobile, Alabama?

Under Alabama law, the non-custodial parent is the one who is required to pay child support to the custodial parent. While both parents have a duty to provide for their children’s material needs, the law presumes that the custodial parent has already paid their fair share by raising the children and catering to their day-to-day needs.

It usually becomes the responsibility of the non-custodial parent who does not spend as much time with the children or take care of them on a daily basis to provide financial assistance to the custodial parent.

How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Mobile, Alabama?

Child support payments in Mobile, Alabama are generally calculated based on the parents’ adjusted gross income (AGI) and in accordance with the government’s schedule of basic child support obligations.

The most common types of income that are included in your AGI include:

  • Your wages or self-employment income
  • Bonuses, commissions, and other financial benefits
  • Pension
  • Interest payments, dividends, and capital gains from investments
  • Gifts and prizes
  • Workers’ compensation benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Social security payments
  • Unemployment compensation

Food stamps, supplemental security income, and the alimony and child support payments you receive from your ex-spouse from a previous marriage are not included in your AGI. Similarly, if you are paying alimony and child support payments to an ex-spouse or children from a previous marriage, you can deduct it from your AGI.

Once both the parents’ AGI is calculated, the amount of child support to be paid can be determined in the following manner. Let us assume that you have an AGI of $2,000 per month and the other parent has an AGI of $1,500 per month. According to the schedule of basic child support obligations, the amount of child support to be paid on a combined AGI of $3,500 is $632 per month.

It’s, however, only a nominal figure. The court will determine the total amount to be paid after taking a wide range of other factors into account including:

  • Whether the non-custodial parent has to travel a significant distance to be able to visit and spend time with the child
  • Whether the custodial parent is paying for childcare
  • Whether the child in question has any source of income or assets
  • The total cost of medical and dental insurance for the child
  • The child’s educational expenses

The aforementioned method of calculating child support payments is only applicable if one parent is granted physical custody of the child. In the case of joint custody (where both parents spend equal time with the child) or split custody (where there are two or more children and each parent is granted custody of a child), the child support amount to be paid will be calculated differently.

It should also be noted that the judge has the discretionary authority to deviate from the government’s guidelines under certain circumstances. For instance, if the judge believes that the child support amount calculated based on the existing guidelines is unfair to the non-custodial parent – due to their financial hardship or any other reason – they might choose to revise it.

Also, if one parent – particularly the non-custodial parent – is unemployed or underemployed willfully, the judge will determine the amount of money the parent in question can actually make if they choose to – based on their educational qualifications, skill set, employment history, and training – and use it to calculate the amount of child support to be paid.

Modifying a Child Support Order in Mobile, Alabama

At any time, either of the parents can choose to petition the court to modify the child support order – if there has been a material change in the circumstances under which the original order was issued.

For example, if the paying parent gets demoted and if they cannot find another job that pays the salary they were receiving earlier, they can petition the court to reduce their child support obligations. Similarly, if the receiving parent gets a significant raise or inherits a large sum of money, the paying parent can petition the court to reduce their child support obligations.

Child support payments in Alabama typically end when the child in question reaches the age of 19. The payments can also be terminated when the child becomes emancipated or gets married before they turn 19.

Get Legal Representation from Our Highly Experienced Mobile, AL Child Support Lawyers

Issues related to financial matters like child support can disrupt an otherwise peaceful and agreeable divorce. The seasoned family law attorneys at Brent Day Law have several years of experience in resolving child-related disputes and can provide you with highly effective legal representation that can get the results you need.

Attorney Brent T. Day has been through the legal trenches before, and he is a former prosecutor and a judge who knows the system inside and out. He can protect your rights as a parent, ensure you are not forced to pay more than you should and make sure the other parent keeps their end of the bargain.

To find out more about how we can help you with your child support issues, call us today at 251-441-1925 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Mobile, AL child custody attorney.