Relationships and marriages between two people who already have a child together may come to an end for different reasons. When this happens, the child is left in the custody of one parent, being brought up on the income of just one person instead of both parents. This article will give information about child support in the State of Alabama.
What is Child Support?
Child support payments are scheduled payments made by one of the parents of a child to the other parent in order to support the child’s welfare. The child support payments are made to the parent with custody of the child by the other parent.
Child Support Process After Divorce
In order to apply for child support, the first step is getting across to the non-custodial parent. This is usually done by finding the home or work address of the parent. After this, court papers are served, and the case can proceed. Usually, the Department of Human Resources is in charge of finding the non-custodial parent. Various information sources such as name, social security number, tax records, etc. are relied on to make the location process easier.
Once the other parent has been located and paternity has been established (in the case of a male non-custodial parent), the case is decided upon in the court and child support is awarded to the custodial parent. Often, these payments are to be made monthly into the account of the parent caring for the child. The amount decided upon is calculated with consideration for income levels, health insurance and more.
Depending on the income of the parent applying for child support, there may be a fee of $5 or $25 for the application process. However, parents benefiting from Medicaid assistance will have the fee waived for them.
How Do You Receive Child Support
Child support payments in the state of Alabama are remitted in either of two ways. The agreed amount of child support payment is done by the non-custodial parent through MoneyGram or ExpertPay. The money paid is sent directly to the account of the custodial parent who can then withdraw the funds for use in taking care of the child. Apart from transferring money from bank accounts, ExpertPay offers an option for non-custodial parents to pay using their credit cards. This is available via their sister site http://www.e-childspay.com/. For more information on both payment services, visit their websites at http://www.moneygram.com/ and http://www.expertpay.com/.
Maximum Amount Receivable as Child Support
The maximum amount of money which can be paid as child support in the state of Alabama varies based on several factors. In calculating child support payments, factors like number of children, income of parents, child support payments from prior marriages, alimony payments from prior marriages, daycare costs, health insurance, etc. are all accounted for. These factors are considered both for the custodial and the non-custodial payments. As would be expected, higher income of the non-custodial parent would lead to higher child support payments. A calculator for the exact child support payments can be found at https://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/alabama. Even if the non-custodial parent does not have any steady income, they may still be required to pay up to $50 as child support. Child support payments will be required until the child finishes from high school or get to the age of 19 years, whichever happens later.
Enforcement of Child Support
In cases where the parent defaults on child support payments, various measures may be taken to ensure settlement of the child support bills. The court could instruct the employer of the non-custodial parent to deduct the outstanding child support payment from his/her wages. Unpaid child support can also be deducted from the tax refund of the non-custodial parent; however, this incurs a $10 fee on the money collected. Credit reporting agencies are reported for arrears of more than $1000 as well. Parents who leave the state to avoid payment of child support would be prosecuted by the federal government.
All these measures deter non-custodial parents from skipping or avoiding the payment of child support to the custodial parents.
More details on child support in Alabama can be found at the website of the Department of Human Resources, https://dhr.alabama.gov/child-support-enforcement-division/.