During a divorce, spouses have many legal matters to consider. If they are parents, this involves arrangements for their children. Courts in Alabama stress the importance of both parents financially assisting their child after a divorce. Because of this, child support payments are required to be paid from one parent to another. This exists so that a child can still maintain the standard of living they were once used to before the divorce happened. Support payments can ensure the child keeps stability in their life.
In order to determine support payments, the courts in Alabama use the income shares model. This is a formula that estimates the total obligation that each parent has. The formula calculates the amount of support that the child would have had if the parents did not divorce. Then, it is divided according to the parent’s income. The formula considers several other factors including pre-existing agreements to child support and alimony, the cost of health insurance, and child care expenses. In addition to this, the number of dependent children in the family that are under the emancipation age is taken into consideration.
Age of Emancipation
The parent who is awarded physical custody during a divorce is the child’s custodial parent. Because the child lives with this parent the majority of the time, the parent has a great amount of responsibility. They are required to provide the child with a home, food, clothing, an education, and more. Often times, these expenses can become overwhelming for one parent. It is because of this that the non-custodial parent is required to make child support payments to balance out the cost of living for the child. These payments must be made throughout the child’s life until they reach the age of emancipation. In the state of Alabama, the age of emancipation is usually 19 years old.
However, every family is unique and is presented with different situations than another. This is why there is no one solution for child support cases. Each family and case is treated differently. Because of this, payments do not always end at 19 years old. Sometimes, courts make exceptions to extend payments or terminate them early. If the child cannot support themselves, payments may be extended. If a parent believes their child can support themselves and prove so to the court, they may be able to end support payments early. It is important to know that modifying support payments can be very difficult, as it is necessary to provide an overwhelming amount of evidence to do so. If the court approves of ending child support early, the parent is no longer required to make these payments.
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