In Alabama, child support is governed by Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration Rule 32 (A.R.J.A.). This is often referred to as the “Child Support Guidelines.” When determining the amount of child support owed whether in a divorce case or simply in a child support case, the court must apply the guidelines. The guidelines use an income share method to calculate child support. In other words, the guidelines provide that both parents shall contribute to the support of the children. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist the courts, lawyers, and parties in getting a more consistent determination of child support. Furthermore, there is a legal presumption that child support amount calculated based on the guidelines must be used and followed. However, the court can deviate from the guidelines for certain legal reasons.
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