Child Support Lawyers and Attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama
Under the law, both parents are required to financially support their children to adulthood. Divorce does not end this responsibility. If you are getting divorced, you may need to make decisions about child support payments. If you have had a child and are not married, you may need to establish paternity so that you can receive child support payments.
Alabama child support guidelines provide an amount for child support based upon a number of factors. Parents who want to estimate the amount of money they will pay or receive in child support can use Alabama’s child support guidelines. The calculator factors in health insurance premiums, child care, and any alimony or child support from a previous marriage. Although the calculated amount is not set in stone, it is generally accepted by the court unless there are conditions that may necessitate greater support. For example, if your child is medically fragile or has special needs, that amount may be modified to take these needs and relevant costs into account.
Although these child support guidelines exist to help parents calculate a fair amount of child support, some couples may come to a different agreement. If both parties agree with the amount of support, it is generally approved by the judge. The Zwiebel Law Firm are child support lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama who can help you and your ex determine a fair child support amount. Sometimes child support settlements come along with a divorce settlement that considers alimony, division of assets, and other factors.
Modifications of Child Support in Alabama
Changes in situations may necessitate a modification of child support. An increase in day care expenses or health insurance premiums, the development of a medical condition, or a change in income for either parent may be a reason to reassess child support obligations. If there has been a significant change in any of these areas, it may make sense to return to court for a child support modification. It is important to understand that modifications in child support must be made through the court. Although both parties may agree to a greater or lesser amount of child support, unless the Decree is modified by the court, the initial Decree stands. Perhaps you lost your job and the mother of your children agreed that for a year you could pay $300 a month in child support instead of $600. Unless your Decree is modified, your former spouse can come back and demand that money at a later date. Remember that it is important to have all changes approved by the court. If you need a modification of child support, contact the child support attorneys at the Zwiebel Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama.
Income Withholding and Child Support in Alabama
If you have an ex who refuses to pay child support, you may have certain rights under the law. In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek income withholding or garnishment of wages in order to get your child support payment. This means that your child support is deducted from the other party’s pay before they receive it. This can also be a way to receive past child support payments that were not made.
Child support must be paid until the child is 19 (in some cases), becomes self-supporting (moves out of the home and can support themselves financially), or is married. At the Zwiebel Law Firm, we are eager to help you achieve a divorce settlement that is beneficial to you in every way. Contact us today either online or at 205-623-1001.
Other Factors to Consider in Child Support Settlements
Child support can cover a range of fees for your child—from medical costs, school fees, extracurricular expenses, entertainment, and food. Child support fees are not restrictive. This means that unless there is an agreement in place about where the child support payment will go, the parent receiving the payment can use the money for whatever purpose they see fit. Some parents who are paying child support want to make sure the money goes to the benefit of their children. In order to ensure that this happens, sometimes parents will include specifics about what child support payments should cover. Some parents ask that payments go to school fees, others ask that it go toward medical expenses, or clothing.
Child support payments only support a child until he or she turns 19, moves out of the home, or gets married. Child support can be extended beyond this period if both parents agree. For example, child support traditionally doesn’t cover college expenses. However, the government does expect that both parents will contribute money to support a child’s education. More and more parents are including college educational expenses as part of their child support agreements. If you have questions about child support payments, consider speaking to the Zwiebel Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama today. Our firm can help you review your child’s needs and anticipate any questions that may arise.