# How is Child Support Calculated in Alabama?

In Alabama, child support is calculated using an “income shares” model. This is to determine the amount of support that will be paid. Here is how you can come up with an estimate for your monthly child support payment In Alabama.

Step 1

Calculate the gross monthly income for both parents. If either parent pays child support on a previous case, subtract that amount from that parent’s gross monthly income.

Step 2

Divide the gross monthly income of each parent by the total gross income. This gives you the responsibility percentage of each parent.

Step 3

Use the Alabama Child Support Obligation Chart to check the Child Support Obligation. Also add any day care costs and monthly insurance for the children.

Step 4

Multiply the number from step 3 by each parent’s responsibility percentage (obtained in Step 2).

Step 5

Answer this question: does the custodial parent pay insurance for the children? If so, then the estimated monthly payment is the number you reached for the noncustodial parent. If the noncustodial parent pays insurance, then you subtract the insurance payment from the noncustodial parent, and that is the estimated number.

Other Variables that can Affect the Child Support Payment in Alabama

This is only an estimate. However, the courts have the discretion to deviate from these guidelines when certain specific factors are present.

Some of the factors in determining child support in Alabama include:

• Shared Physical Custody: In some cases, parents may have shared physical custody. When this is true, it is assumed that the paying parent will incur a greater financial obligation simply by spending more time with the child, and the court could lower their child support payment to account for this.
• Extraordinary Transportation Costs: If the noncustodial parent must travel a significant distance to visit the child, these transportation costs can be factored into the overall support payment.
• Unearned Income of Minor Children: A minor child may receive income from various sources. This income may be considered in calculating the child support payment.
• Parents’ Inheritance Income: If either parent receives interest income from a large lump sum that they inherited, this could be counted toward their gross monthly income when doing the calculation.

Child Support Modifications

The child support that is awarded is legally binding, and if the paying parent does not fulfill his/her obligation, they can incur harsh consequences. However, both parents have the right to petition the court to revisit the original support arrangement if they can show that there is good reason to do so.

To be successful in modifying child support, you need to show that there has been a “material change in circumstances”. For example, the paying parent loses his/her, or the receiving parent getting a significant salary increase.

With a child support modification request, the burden of proof is with the petitioner to show the court why the original calculation should be changed. However, the respondent will also need to offer valid reasons if they disagree with the petitioner’s request.

If you need assistance with child support, contact our experienced family lawyers for a consultation today at 334-560-1936. We look forward to serving you!

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