It is a basic principal of Alabama law that parents have a duty to support their minor children and that it is a fundamental right of minor children to receive that support. Child support is almost always a matter within a divorce, but can occasionally be in a separate legal action depending on the case. Child support in Alabama is based on Rule 32 Child Support Guidelines of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration. These guidelines are in place to determine how much child support will be owed by one party to the other. Child support is calculated based on many factors such as the income of each parent, the health insurance costs for the child, the daycare costs of the child, and how many children are included in the calculation. Child support is awarded for the benefit of the minor child until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 19 in Alabama.
Unlike spousal support, if there is child support, the parent receiving child support does not claim the support as income, meaning that child support is not taxed. Similarly, the parent paying child support, cannot claim the support for tax deduction purposes.
Until recently, under the Bayliss case, parents could be obligated to provide financial support for their children’s education and related living expenses even after the child reached the age of majority (which is 19 in Alabama). Based on the 2013 case of Ex parte Christopher, however, new requests for post-minority support in Alabama will be denied. Unless the legislature acts, children over the age of 19 will not be entitled to receive post-minority support from non-custodial parents. If you are divorced or thinking of divorce, and have children, it is important to know what Alabama state law says about post-minority support and how this ongoing legal battle may affect your child’s future.
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