If you have a good job, you might get lots of benefits without having to pay them. Life insurance, health coverage, you name it. Sometimes, even if you lose your job, you may still get to keep some of those benefits. If you are not working, it makes sense that you might have a hard time paying child support. If you are providing health coverage to your children but you do not pay for those benefits, do they count towards your child support contribution?
The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals looked at this issue in the recent case of Humber v. Humber. The father, a twenty-one year employee of United States Steel Corporation, was laid off in 2015. As a result, he filed a petition to modify his child support payment. His unemployment benefits at the time of the trial were only $250 every two weeks.
The trial court, based on his monthly income, found that the father could pay $318.23 per month in child support. However, they also considered the father’s providing health insurance to the children. The court gave the father a $400 credit for his health insurance payments. As a result, the father was not required to pay any child support. The mother would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the father could pay it for the child support to be resumed.
On appeal, the mother argued that the father did not prove that his reduced income from being laid off was substantial and continuing. The appeals court did not agree, but looked closely at the trial court’s crediting the father with $400 per month for health insurance. The appeals court found that the credit the trial court gave did not fit in the rules for calculating child support. Stating that the rules were mandatory, the appeals court sent the case back to the trial court to recalculate the level of support the father could pay.
Navigating a child support modification does not need to be a hassle. If you have an attorney who understands child support law and has experience with child support modification, you may find yourself with much less stress. It is important to find an attorney who can give you what you deserve.
If you need help with child support, please call INGRAM LAW LLC at (205) 656-0044.