Alabama courts control child support agreements:
- Only the court can decide the amount of child support that is to be paid by each parent.
- Only the court can decide if the amount of child support being paid can be changed.
How Are Child Support Amounts Set?
In Alabama, Rule 32 guidelines are used in legal actions or court proceedings to establish or modify the amount of child support either temporarily or permanently.
These guidelines are based on the income shares model developed by the National Center for State Courts. They are founded on the premise that children should not be penalized as a result of the dissolution of the family unit but should continue to receive the same level of support that would have been available to them had the family unit remained intact.
What’s the Process?
To establish a child support agreement, each parent is required to submit forms that illustrate to the court the income and expenses of each parent. A portion of the adjusted total child support obligation is then ascribed to each parent based on his or her percentage share of the combined family income.
In setting child support awards, the court considers whichever parent pays the cost of health insurance. The court may make additional awards for extraordinary medical, dental and educational expenses.
To invalidate an established child support agreement amount requires a written finding proving the guidelines are unjust or inappropriate. The finding must be based upon a fair, written child support agreement between the parties that establishes a different amount and states the reasons for the change. Based on the evidence presented, a determination by the court is entered into the court record.
Let us Help
Jim Holliman, Family
law Attorney, and Diane Dunlap, Paralegal, will help you through the child support process so you can take care of your children.
Call us today at 205-663-0281.
Dianne Dunlap, Family Law Paralegal