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Serving Central Alabama
Photo of attorneys Nicholas A Jones and Alyssa L Hawkins

Can a parent quit a job to lower child support?

Raising a child in Alabama involves parents needing to pay for their needs. This can be fairly expensive at times whether parents realize it or not. Often times they simply pay for the things their children need and then budget for the extras. However, those items they simply pay for can add up. Parents may realize this more if they divorce though. This is because one parent is often required to pay the other parent child support each month.

The amount of child support that the parent pays depends on the unique circumstances of the parents. The guidelines that determine child support amounts takes a number of different factors into account when stating the presumed amount of child support. The main factors are the incomes of each parent, the amount a parent pays for medical and dental insurance, whether there is child-care and how much time each parent has the children in their care.

Imputing income to unemployed parents

One of the most important factors in determining the child support amount. Generally, the more parents earn the more they will pay, so there is some incentive to keep income lower when determining child support. Parents may take a lower paying job or quit a job to keep their income low around the time child support is determined.

If a parent does this the court may impute income to that parent when determining child support. The court will look at the parent’s past employment, their earning capabilities, their education, qualifications and experience and other factors to determine what they are capable of earning. That amount will then be used to determine the child support amount.

There are many parents in Alabama who are no longer together and child support will be ordered. Calculating that amount is based on guidelines which may seem somewhat rigid, but determining which numbers will be used in the calculations can be a complicated process. Experienced attorneys understand the factors though and could guide one through the process.

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