Top Somerville, AL Child Support Lawyers Near You

Child Support Lawyers | Decatur Office | Serving Somerville, AL

117 2nd Ave NE, Decatur, AL 35601

Child Support Lawyers | Decatur Office | Serving Somerville, AL

517 Bank St NE, Suite D, Decatur, AL 35601

Child Support Lawyers | Decatur Office | Serving Somerville, AL

214 Johnston St. SE, PO Box 2688, Decatur, AL 35602-2688

Somerville Child Support Information

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Visit our free Child Support Resource Center.

Will I Have To Pay Child Support in a Divorce?

In a divorce where the couple has children, they will have to decide how to divide the property and how to share time with the children. The child custody order can determine which parent will pay child support. In most cases, the parent with the most parenting time is usually the custodial parent. The other parent is the noncustodial parent.

In general, the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent but it depends on the individual situation.

How Is Child Support Calculated in Alabama?

The amount of child support is usually based on Alabama child support guidelines. Child support guidelines are calculated based on several factors, including parents’ income, number of children, custody time, child care, health insurance, other child support obligations, and other expenses. Calculating child support also takes into account where the parents live and travel expenses for visitation time with the child.

Can a Lawyer Change Child Support Payments?

If a parent thinks they didn’t get enough money, they may want to increase child support payments to properly care for their child. The parent paying the money may want to reduce the child support order because they don’t think the other parent will use the money properly. If you want to modify an existing child support order, you need to show a “substantial change in circumstances.” Your child support lawyer can file a petition for a child support modification.

How Can My Lawyer Enforce Child Support?

If the supporting parent is not paying child support or only pays a portion of the support, you can enforce payment. Your family law attorney can advise you on how you can enforce child support through court orders or with help from the Alabama child support services. Enforcement can include putting a levy on their bank account or lien on their property, garnishing wages, or taking tax refund money.

Does Child Support Affect My Taxes?

Child support payments are not tax deductible for the parent paying the support and the payments received are not considered income for the custodial parent. However, if you owe past-due child support, a taxpayer’s refunds may be reduced to pay the back child support.

What Happens if I Fail To Pay Child Support?

If you are having trouble paying child support, you can go to the court to petition to modify the support obligation. In general, you will have to show a substantial change in circumstances to get a reduction. This could include loss of your job, disabling injury, getting sent to prison, or facing a medical emergency.

If you fail to make child support payments, they will continue to build. Back child support does not go away and it is not erased. Even if you go through personal bankruptcy, it will not erase child support debt. You may also have your driver’s license suspended or lose public assistance if you fail to pay child support.

When Does Child Support End?

A parent’s obligation to pay child support ends when the child reaches the age of majority. However, some states extend the age of majority obligations if the child begins attending college or other qualifying school. The parent’s child support obligations also end if the child becomes emancipated through the courts, gets married, or enters active-duty military.

Does Child Support Affect My Taxes?

Child support payments are not tax deductible for the parent paying the support and the payments received are not considered income for the custodial parent. However, if you owe past-due child support, a taxpayer’s refunds may be reduced to pay the back child support.

Can I Deny Visitation if My Ex Doesn’t Pay Support?

Child support matters and visitation rights are separate. It may not seem fair but whether or not your ex pays child support doesn’t mean you can violate the child custody order. Similarly, if your ex doesn’t let you see your child, you still have to pay support. If you want to enforce a child custody agreement or enforce child support issues, you should go to family law court instead of taking matters into your own hands. Talk to a child support attorney or law firm for legal advice about your child support case and legal issues.

What does child support cover?

A judge will order child support payments to make sure all of your child’s needs are met when you and your ex are no longer together and spending money. These payments can help cover expenses for your child like school, health care, food, clothing, housing, and more.

How much is child support?

Each state calculates child support according to its formula. This formula will take into account your earnings, your ex’s earnings, and your child’s financial needs for things like school, health care, food, and other necessities. A child support lawyer will be able to better help you anticipate what you expect to either owe or receive in child support payments.

How does child support affect my taxes?

Because child support payments are solely for the child’s benefit, they do not affect tax filings. If you pay child support, you cannot deduct those payments from your income, and if you receive child support, those payments will not count toward your taxable income. If you are late on child support payments, your state may intercept your tax refund to help pay off those debts.

How can I change my child support payments?

If you feel you pay too much child support or receive too little, you must prove a “substantial” change in circumstances to change your child support obligations. This means major changes will need to happen to either your or your ex’s income or your child’s financial needs. Some changes that can bring about a modification of support could include a raise, losing a job, or a serious illness.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

Types of legal fees:

Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.

Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.

Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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