Big Changes in Alabama Child Support?

Alabama hasn’t revised its child support guidelines in 18 years. Is it time to change them? That’s the question that will confront a Supreme Court committee when it meets tomorrow morning. The Alabama Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Child Support Guidelines will be reviewing a report from Policy Studies Inc. (PSI). Acording to this story in the Montgomery Advertiser, some noncustodial parents paying child support could see their payments jump by more than 30 percent.

If you have Internet Explorer, you can calculate child support under the present guidelines using the interactive child support calculator on my web site. As soon as the new figures are available, of course, I’ll get them posted here so you can see what the changes would be.

The Advisory Committee will submit its recommendation to the Alabama Supreme Court, which will make the decision whether to implement changes.

7 thoughts on “Big Changes in Alabama Child Support?”

  1. Lee

    One of your article’s comment about one of desirable advantage of the State of Alabama updating it’s it Child Support table struck a cord. Specifically, your observation that publishing updated support tables may well help families; where the parent’s joint income exceeded $10,000 per month.

    This seemed a sensible observation; as an expanded guideline would provide due process for all and cut-out a good deal of unnecessary haggling. So, I started researching how the guidelines are established.

    To my surprise, I found that that the federal law under which Rule 32 was written already appears to require the States to do so. Specifically, that this requirement has been established under 45 CFR 302.56 (c) (1). Which states “The guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section must at a minimum :…(2) Be based on specific descriptive and numeric criteria and result in a computation of the support obligation;”

    In other words, it appears the State of Alabama is already under federal mandate to give its citizens a prior understanding of their obligations – i.e. one which they could independently calculate regardless of their financial circumstances.

    Part (f) of the same section goes on to say “the State must provide that there shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.”

    So, not only is the State required to provide prior understanding, but, it is also required to assume that the listed amount is the proper amount; unless there are extenuating circumstances.

    Part (g) goes of the same section goes on to say “Findings that rebut the guidelines shall state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines and include a justification of why the order varies from the guidelines.”

    So here’s the rub. If the State is required by the federal government to provide specific guidelines for all of its citizens, is required presume those guidelines are correct, and when varying from the guideline has the obligation to both “state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines” and include a justification of why the order varies from the guideline”…well then why isn’t the State doing so?

    Am I missing something here (case law, etc.)? It seems to me the State it acting contrary to federal law. Worse, a good many Alabama citizen’s are paying for a good deal of unnecessary legal haggling as a result.

    David Kelly

  2. I am very disapointed in Family Court, they tell you rule#32 for child support but to get you in and out the rules are not followed. They could have saved alot of time and money if they would tell people the law does not matter. I would truly like to sit down and talk to someone who cared about what has happed to Family Court.

  3. I am a non custodial parent paying child support through an IWO and also through my personal checking account. I know that I am not the only non cust parent paying child support and I would venture to say that what is happening to me is happening to others. When DHR receives the payments they are dispursed according to the DHR way which means that the $225 that is sent in each and every month on a $225 per month court order is somehow distributed in a manner that makes me go into arrears each month. How is this I ask and no one at DHR or the Judge can explain to me how the bill is $225 per month with $225 per month submitted yet at the end of the month, I am a few dollars each month in arrears. If there are others out there that are having this problem, please contact me at and reference child support in the subject line. Let’s stop DHR from taking our children’s money.

  4. how is the gross wage calculated and what time periods are used. i work a job were overtime is mandated but is not consistent. i submitted to my lawyer my gross wages for a one year time period at 74k. i was informed that the state calculates projected income from the current calender year only and they estimate my income this year at 79k. what is the proper method.

  5. If your lawyer is telling you that this is how your judge does it, I think you should trust your lawyer. My experience is that judges tend to listen to and take seriously any evidence that circumstances have changed and that what has happened in the past will not continue in the future, but in most cases they tend to assume until it’s proven otherwise that what has happened in the past will continue in the future.

  6. I am a custodial parent, who in the three years I have been divorced, has only seen 5 child support payments in the past 2 years. This was also a man who was given visitation with a child that he has had little or nothing to do with since the day our daughter was born 5 years ago. I have had sevreal threats of phyical harm, phone slander, and threats of court, custody, and kidnapping. Through all of this, he has, until recently, had supervised visits with our daughter. The supervision was given by his parents, who have stated that their son does not deserve the right to be called a father, he ahs pawned our daughter off, hit our daughter, and they have even stated that despite weather it was in our daughter’s best intrest to go through with a step-parent adoption he was her daddy and they would make sure it stayed that way.

    I totaly agree that the state of Alabama not only needs to update the child support laws but also their family laws. I have been trying for three years to convince someone to look at what I like to call Collyn’s Law. Which simply states, if you have had more than three encounter’s with a previous spouse or family of said previous spouse, provided you have the documentation to prove it, parental rights should be severed and a permant protection order should be considered for the child and her/his family.

    It seems that now, those who have the power to help don’t; and I often wonder if they are just as cold, underhanded, and manipulative as those they claim are the criminals…..however, it is criminal justice…..protecting the criminals.
    I wonder if this “Great Nation” looked at all of their cold case files, missing persons, kidnapppings, and murders, if they would find a common flaw……they never looked for custody papers, case action summaries, divorce or legal seperation, domestic dispute or violence……I guess that’s just to large a concept of some to grasp.
    I admire the stuggle it takes for some to be human.

    Kristina Livingston
    Oxford, Alabama
    24years old

  7. The state of Alabama has held funds for “tax purposes” when I call for my card amount. Finally weeks later they put a deposit of 62.88 in my account when I know my ex has paid well over that.
    I’m not on any kind of state fund so why did they not put the full amount back?

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