When parents go through a divorce, they are required to settle a number of legal matters to determine the future of their children. In Alabama, the court stresses the importance of both parents financially supporting their child as they continue life after the divorce. It is because of this that child support payments are made from one parent to another. This exists so that the child maintains stability and a similar standard of living that they were used to before the divorce. Continue reading below to learn more about child support in Alabama.
How is Child Support Determined?
In Alabama, child support payments are determined in the court through the use of the income shares model. This is a formula that estimates the obligation each parent has in total. This calculates the amount of support the child would have received if the parents did not divorce and is then divided according to the parent’s income. In addition to this, the formula considers a variety of other factors, such as:
- Pre-existing agreements to child support and alimony
- The cost of health insurance
- Child care expenses
- The number of dependent children under the age of emancipation in the family
What is the Age of Emancipation?
When a parent is awarded physical custody of their child in a divorce, they are known as the child’s custodial parent. This is the individual with whom the child lives and spends the majority of their time with. It is because of this that the parent has significant responsibility in comparison to the non-custodial parent. They are required to provide a home, clothing, food, an education, and more. These expenses are often overwhelming for one parent to handle on their own, which is why child support payments are made from the non-custodial parent for assistance. These payments are required by law to be made until the child reaches the age of emancipation. In Alabama, this is generally 19 years old.
While this is true, the court understands that every family situation is different from one another. It is because of this that there is not a “one size fits all” solution to child support and each case is treated differently. That is why payments do not always end at 19 years old. Sometimes, the court will make an exception to extend payments or terminate them early. If the child is unable to support themselves, payments may be extended. On the other hand, if a parent believes their child can support themselves and can prove it to the court, they may be able to terminate support payments earlier than 19.
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