When a couple with children divorces, both parties are to financially support their children. Generally, one parent pays the other a certain amount on a monthly basis as part of the divorce settlement. The amount paid is determined by utilizing the state of Alabama's child support formula. This formula really only offers a base amount. Those who feel that more or less support is justified can take the steps to achieve a support amount that they feel fits their family's needs.
Every family's financial position is different and the courts understand this. There are a number of factors looked at when determining how much a support paying parent is to be responsible for each month. Some of these factors include:
- Income of both parties
- Custody order
- Number of children requiring support
- Children health care and health insurance needs
- Housing expenses
- Childcare costs
It is possible to deviate from the standard child support guidelines in certain situations. The reason behind asking for a deviation has to be good and the individual asking for the increase or decrease in support needs to have evidence to back up his or her request. A few reasons the court may agree to deviate from the state approved support guidelines include:
- To maintain a certain standard of living
- To cover extraordinary transportation costs
- To cover college expenses
- To cover extracurricular activities
- To offer relief to a parent in a poor financial position
Alabama parents can help themselves by trying to negotiate the terms of their child support orders without having to go to court. Legal counsel can assist with the divorce negotiations process. If an agreeable support settlement cannot be reached this way one's attorney can help litigate the matter.