The Alabama Child Support Enforcement Program is a Federal, State and locally funded program that helps children receive needed medical and financial help. The program also makes sure that children have the financial support of both parents and assists with the establishment of paternity, finding missing parents, court orders for support, and collection of child support.
Finding Parents and Paternity for Alabama Child Support
Finding a non-custodial parent and establishing paternity is an important part of this service. For this to happen, the State of Alabama must be able to search state and national computer bands to look at IRS, SSI, Department of defense, state motor vehicle as well as labor and law enforcement agencies. A genetic test may be required to prove paternity.
Child support staff collect the information about the father and then refer the case to a State Attorney so that legal action can take place. A parent can also hire a private attorney to represent the mother and child.
A case for paternity can be made at any time up until the child is 19 years old. You can only collect a minimum of retroactive or “back support” for a period of two years up until a case goes to trial.
If the non-custodial parent is not living in Alabama, the State will ask the county where the missing parent is living to help get an order.
After child support is ordered, it can be changed or modified. If the financial situation of one or both parents changes, or if the order does not meet the needs of the child, or if medical provisions are needed, then the amount of support can be ordered to be 10% more or less. You must also report any Family Assistance payments you receive directly from a non-custodial parent and if you do not, then you could be cut from the program. For more information about this go to the Alabama Department of Human Resources section on the Periodic Review and Adjustment of Child Support Orders.
Collector of Alabama Child Support Responsibilities
In Alabama you must cooperate by fully disclosing all that you know about yourself and the other parent. You will also be required to testify at a court hearing about the establishment of paternity before you can receive support. You are absolutely required to provide any clues possible to find a custodial parent including names, addresses and phone numbers of friends, relatives and organization of which the non-custodial parent is a member.
This is just half the battle. Once the parent is located, the court must then establish a legal relationship between the father and child before a court order can be issued to order the child support. This entails that the alleged father must sign a paper acknowledging the paternity. For more information about this visit the Alabama Department of Human Resources Child Support Enforcement Division at http://dhr.alabama.gov/services/Child_Support_Services/Child_Support_Enforcement.aspx.