Child Support and Visitation
Under Alabama Law, every child has a right to receive child support and each parent has a duty to pay it. It is not the custodial parent’s right to tell the other parent that they do not have to pay child support. If there is a child support order in place, it should be followed or the parties should attempt to have it modified.
CALCULATION OF CHILD SUPPORT
There are standard rules that apply to the calculation of child support and a court will usually abide strictly by those rules. In determining the amount of child support due, the court will consider all income of both parents, expenses such as daycare and medical insurance, and each parent’s percentage contribution to the total income of the family. A court may deviate from the guidelines if the situation warrants, however, the child’s best interest will control in those circumstances. If one parent is unemployed the court may decide to impute income to that parent at a level consistent with that parent’s earning ability.
In most cases, the non-custodial parent will be granted some form of visitation with the child or children. The most commonly referred to “standard visitation” includes overnight visits every other weekend and a period of 5 or 6 weeks in the summer. Generally, the parties will alternate holiday visitation between even and odd years.
It is important to note that child support and visitation are not directly linked together. If the non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodian is not allowed to withhold visitation in response. Failure to pay court ordered child support is a breach of the court order, but so is failure to allow visitation. If the non-custodial parent fails to make child support payments, the remedy is for the custodial parent to file a Rule Nisi or Contempt Petition. The same remedy is available if the custodial parent denies visitation to the other parent.
Attorney Chris Allen offers a free initial consultation if you are experiencing problems related to child custody, child support, or visitation. Call the office to arrange a meeting where you can have all of your questions answered in person by Chris Allen. Call todayto schedule your free initial consultation.
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