Focused Family Law Advocacy In Tuscaloosa And Surrounding Counties

Alabama’s 50/50 child custody guidelines explained

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Child Custody |

In the past year, the Alabama Supreme Court has provided clear guidelines regarding child support calculations for cases involving 50/50 custody arrangements.

Many parents might assume that with equal custody comes an equal split of financial responsibilities right down the middle. However, this is not necessarily the case as per the new guidelines.

Calculation methodology

Alabama utilizes an income shares model to calculate child support, which takes into account the income of both parents. This means that each parent’s income is a factor when determining the appropriate amount of child support. However, in cases of 50/50 custody, the court aims to ensure that both parents provide proportional contributions to their child’s upbringing.

Adjustments for equal custody

In instances where both parents share custody equally, there will be adjustments to the child support calculation to reflect this arrangement. For example, the court takes into consideration the number of overnights each parent has with the child to determine the appropriate adjustment. This ensures that the financial responsibility is fairly split between both parents based on their respective incomes and the time spent with the child.

Additional expenses

Beyond basic child support, there may also be a need for parents to contribute to additional expenses. These might include healthcare, childcare, education and extracurricular expenses. These costs are typically divided proportionally between the parents based on their incomes.

The child custody order issued by the Supreme Court of Alabama on March 3, 2023 explains in detail how courts should calculate child support payments for 50/50 custody arrangements going forward. For parents experiencing financial uncertainty in the face of a divorce, these new guidelines can provide a sense of predictability and stability.