Alabama Child Support Guidelines

There’s a nice update in yesterday’s Montgomery Advertiser about the status of the proposed update of the Alabama Child Support Guidelines.

Last month the members of the Alabama Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Child Support Guidelines and Enforcement voted to take no action on a $20,000 study that recommended adjustments of the guidelines, deciding that the study wasn’t specific enough to Alabama. That means the proposal has now bounced back to the Supreme Court, which could (a) do nothing, (b) authorize a new (and undoubtedly more expensive) study, or (c) make a decision on the basis of available information. The gist of the story is that, so far, the Supreme Court is opting to do nothing.

In its report to the Supreme Court, the Advisory Committee suggested hiring the economics department of a college or university to compare the national economic data from the study with data specific to Alabama.

Had the study’s recommendations been accepted, the child support for one child whose parents earned a combined gross income of $34,000 per year would increase by 32%, from $414 to $547. For less wealthy parents, where the combined income was $12,600 per year, the support would have dropped by 28%, from $194 to $140 per month. Under the study’s recommendations, many more child support orders would rise than would drop.