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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13754
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I live in the state of Alabama and just signed uncontested

Customer Question

I live in the state of Alabama and just signed uncontested divorce papers this week. My wife and I are both listed as having joint physical and joint legal custody, with neither of us being the custodial parent. I did agree to pay her $1000 a month child support to be paid the first of the month following execution of the divorce. As I understand it execution of the divorce is defined as the judge signing off on the paperwork and the divorce becoming legal. I have been told that process could take up to 30 days. However, she called me today and is saying I should start paying the child support immediately. I disagree! I plan to start paying it the first of September assuming the judge has signed the paperwork and it is official. Is this correct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to helping you today.

Legally, you are not required to make child support payments to your spouse unless the court orders the payments. Parties are always free to make arrangements and offer agreements on child support, but the court retains the final word for the best interests of the children. An uncontested divorce could take up to 45 days on average in Alabama but tends to be quicker, so 30 days is probably a reasonable amount of time before the court signs off. So I would agree you don't have to start paying now.

At the same time, however, while the court hasn't signed anything, both parents do have an obligation to support their children financially. It is not uncommon for a court to order temporary support upon petition of one parent while a divorce is pending. Additionally, I think you have to look at the language in the agreement you signed this week. If the agreement says you will start paying the 1st of the month following execution of the divorce agreement, then I would say your first payment is in August. Legally speaking, the document is considered "executed" once you have both signed. It is considered ordered and final upon a judge signing it.

If you need clarification or additional information, please REPLY and I'll be happy to assist.Otherwise, kindly remember to leave me a positive rating by clicking on the stars, so that I am credited for my time and information today. Thank you!