Child support is often determined through the divorce process. However, if the parties have never married, a parent must file a petition with the Court in order to receive child support. In Alabama, child support is determined by guidelines established by the Court for use in any action to determine temporary or permanent child support. Although the guidelines are the preferred method of calculating child support, a party can deviate from the guidelines as long as there is a sufficient reason for doing so. Essentially, the party must justify his or her request to deviate from the guidelines to the Court and the Court will make a determination as to whether or not it will approve the parties’ request. The Alabama guidelines for child support is essentially a mathematical formula based upon each parent’s gross monthly income, the combined monthly gross income of both parents, whether a parent is already paying child support or alimony from a previous case, the cost of any day care incurred by a parent, the cost of insurance for the child’s medical care, and the recommended child support amount as established by Rule 32 of the Alabama Child Support Guidelines. The Whitaker Law Firm will assist its clients in making sure that child support is calculated correctly or in making sure that sufficient justification exists for deviating from the Child Support Guidelines.
In addition to determining the initial child support amount to be paid, The Whitaker Law Firm has assisted clients in locating non-custodial parents, determining paternity, modifying an original child support order, enforcing a child support order, obtaining or enforcing medical support, and in collecting and distributing child support.
After an initial child support determination has been made, it may become necessary to modify the initial child support amount for a variety of reasons. A party must prove that there has been a material change of circumstances in order to change an initial order of child support. For example, the financial situation of one or both parents has changed, the needs of the child have changed and the original child support order does not cover the expenses of the child, there is no provision for medical support or any other reason where a material change has occurred.
Contact The Whitaker Law Firm today for a free in-person consultation to determine whether or not a child support order may be modified in your case or if you are seeking child support.
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