How do courts determine the total child support obligation?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Family Law |

As parents go through a divorce in Alabama, they need to make different decisions regarding their children. Parents will no longer live in the same house and will need to split the parenting responsibilities. While they will be splitting responsibilities, they will both need to continue to contribute to the financial needs of their children. How they do this will be different than it was during the marriage. Generally, one parent will need to pay the other one child support.

The total amount parents pay depends on a few different factors. There are three different parts of the total child support obligation. There is basic child support, healthcare support and childcare support.

Three parts of a child support obligation

Basic child support pays for the basics such as food, clothing and shelter. The amount a parent pays is based on guidelines. These guidelines state how much a parent will pay based on the parents’ combined adjusted gross income and the number of children the couple has together.

Healthcare support are payments to ensure that both parents are contributing to the children’s healthcare needs by each helping pay for the health-insurance premiums. Each parent pays a portion of the premium based on their percentage of the combined income of the parents.

Childcare support is for daycare and other childcare costs associated with a parent’s job or education. Like healthcare support, each parent pays a portion of the childcare costs based on their proportion of the total combined income.

Going through a divorce is not always an easy process for parents in Alabama. As they split the life they shared together during the marriage, they will need to divide up their responsibilities to their children. This means that they will need to make determinations about child support.

While the total obligation is based on the child support guidelines, it can still be a complicated process. Consulting with experienced attorneys who understand child support could be beneficial.