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How much child support will you need to pay?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2022 | Child Custody And Support |

Alabama uses an “income shares” formula to determine how much child support has to be paid after two parents separate or divorce. Using this kind of formula, both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration while determining how much support should be paid.

The court has the final say in how much child support you’ll pay based on many factors, but using the income shares formula can give you a rough estimate on what would be considered fair.

How do you use the income shares formula in Alabama?

To use the income shares formula, the first step is to figure out how much each parent earns monthly. This should be the gross income for each person, not the net income.

Next, you’ll want to set aside how many children are involved in the case and note down the percentage of time you and the other parent will spend with your child(ren).

Example child support estimation

Here’s an estimation. If John earns $4,000 a month and Rachel earns $3,000 a month while splitting time with their single child equally, John would be expected to pay approximately $527 monthly to Rachel. Doing this would make the incomes in each home similar, helping make sure the child has the necessities in both homes.

In another situation, imagine John earns $4,000, Rachel earns $3,000, and they have two children together. If John spends only 25% of his time with the children, then he could be told to pay around $781 monthly in child support.

How much you’ll pay could be affected by these factors and others

If you and your ex-spouse or partner can come up with a different arrangement, you may be able to avoid using the income shares formula exactly, but it is the usual way to determine how much to pay. Other factors, like a child’s disability, the need for specific daycare or educational costs or other essentials, could also influence your case in some instances.

It’s helpful to discuss the formula with your ex-spouse and attorney, and then begin looking into the options for making sure the support you pay is reasonable.