Court order establishment refers to court actions to obtain an order for child support, medical support or possibly retroactive support. The court uses the Alabama Child Support Guidelines based upon Alabama State Law (Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration) to make fair and consistent support orders.

Copies of the guidelines are available to the public free of charge at court clerk’s offices throughout the state, or online at the Administrative Office of Courts.   The guidelines are based on the monthly gross income of both parents. There are other things taken into consideration such as day care expenses, health insurance costs and additional children for whom support is court ordered or provided. Situations that may require the establishment of a support order could be one of the following:

Separation Cases

This is when the parents of a child(ren) are married but separated, and the non-custodial parent is not providing support for the child(ren) and has no court order to do so.

Paternity Cases

When the court establishes paternity, it must also issue an order addressing support, medical support and an order for Income Withholding. In such cases, the court may also decide other issues such as child custody, visitation, court costs and genetic testing costs. The Department of Human Resources and the State’s attorney, however, can only address matters of child support.

Acknowledgment of Paternity Cases

This is when the mother and the alleged father complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity at the hospital or at the Department of Human Resources Office.

Divorce Cases

This is when the parent of a child or children are divorced and there is no provision for child support or medical support in the divorce order. If there are custody, visitation or other non child support related issues, you may need to seek legal counsel to represent your interest in these issues.

Foster Care Cases

These are cases where children are in the custody of or are receiving out-of-home care from a State agency.