According to data from Custody X Change, the average child support payment in Alabama is $758 per month, which ranks 24th in the United States. However, there are many reasons why a parent may actually pay more or less than that per month. Child support payments are determined by a parent's ability to pay as well as any special financial needs that the child may have.
Furthermore, Alabama is one of 46 states that considers the mother's income when determining a child support payment. In some cases, the parents themselves will decide how much the noncustodial parent will provide. Ideally, this amount will help a child maintain a reasonable standard of living, and a judge may still need to approve a private agreement. Generally speaking, a parent will not be asked to make payments that he or she cannot reasonably afford.
Parents generally have an obligation to provide for their children regardless of whether they are in a relationship with the child's other parent. However, this obligation may be waived if a child becomes emancipated or if another person adopts the child. This may occur if a custodial parent gets remarried and his or her new spouse is willing to raise the child. Parents do have the option of asking for a child support modification order if they are struggling to make payments.
Those who are dealing with child support issues of any kind may benefit from the advice of an attorney. An attorney may be able to help a parent secure a child support modification order or compel a noncustodial parent to pay as ordered. Parents who fail to make payments could face penalties such as jail time or wage garnishment. Tax refunds may also be garnished until a back balance is paid in full.