I have primary custody of my two female children. My (almost) 13 yr old daughter has expressed that she wants to go to live with her father. My ex-husband pays child support according to the guidelines set forth by the State of Alabama. He begged me not to have his support taken out of his payroll check, so he has been paying me "weekly" and it does not go through "the system". If my daughter does go to live with him and he becomes her primary parent, will he need to legally petition the court to have his child support amount changed?
State/Country relating to question: Alabama
I expressed to him that I want a legal document for any change to take place. And...if this change does take place, I want him to make a MONTHLY payment instead of weekly payments.
Hi and thanks for your question.The answer is that it depends upon the wording of your current child support order. If the court order re: child support specifies that there is a specific amount he owes "per child", with you having primary custody of both children, but then one of those children moves in with him and he becomes primary, then his obligation would change. This is not the common way that court orders are typically worded, though. The more common way a court order is worded is that the child support obligation is not "per child" and doesn't have modification provisions built in so that if one child goes to move with him, his obligation would not automatically be modified, but he would have the obligation of obtaining a modification order from the court. This would likely be a formality, though, if you were unable to reach an agreement as to a new child support amount, as the court would likely reduce his child support obligation if one of the children went to live with him primarily.You are correct and smart for telling him that you want a legal document for any change to take place. This is a smart move, and you should stand by this. You and he can file an Agreement or Stipulation with the court to modify the existing order, laying out the agreement, that one of your daughters will continue to primarily reside with you and one of your daughters will begin to primarily reside with him. You can address the change in his child support obligation in this same agreement.You can request that the court approve it and issue an order related to this modification.The courthouse should have agreement forms that you can use to complete, sign and file with the court.I hope that this answers your question; if so, please click Accept. Thanks very much and I wish you the best here.
more than 12 years experience as an attorney - current family law litigation + mediation practice
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).