My friend Candi Peeples, who has a family law practice in Birmingham, Alabama, has developed an app for calculating child support. It is brand new and I have only had a chance to use it a few times but it can provide you with a good estimate of what child support you should receive or pay. The app can be found by going to the app store and searching for “Alabama child support calculator”. The app is free and literally takes seconds to download.

The interface is very simple and the information can be entered quickly. The app gives you a child support amount at the end and also provides a link to let you look at a calculation page that is similar to the one required to be submitted to a court. The only issue I can see so far is that it is not clear that the income amounts that are entered should be your GROSS monthly income and not net income. I expect that this will be corrected soon.

Please be aware that child support calculations can be very simple or very complicated depending, for example, on how easy or difficult it is to determine income. Candi’s disclaimer makes it clear that you should at least consult with an attorney who is familiar with child support calculations before relying on the numbers the app provides. I think this app will be useful to me during client meetings as well as in-court situations where I need a quick calculation. Give it a try yourself and see how you like it and call me if you have any questions.

Having your divorce settle prior to trial can be a great thing. Settlements are possible at any point while a case is pending but sometimes one or both parties have an idea about what they think they are entitled to and refuse to budge. Getting a divorce ready to go to trial can be expensive. Attorneys generally try to find options to settle a case as it proceeds toward the trial date. However, when that doesn’t work a good alternative to going to trial can be mediation.

Mediation can be conducted by court order or by agreement of the parties. It is nonbinding (at least until a settlement is reached) and takes place outside of the courthouse, generally at the mediator’s office. A mediator is simply a lawyer skilled in handling divorce cases who attempts to help parties figure out a suitable way to settle their divorce. The process of conducting a mediation is non-confrontational and takes place in the relatively casual atmosphere of an office rather than a courtroom. The parties are usually in separate rooms during the entire process. If you are not able to settle your case everything that you have said to the mediator is confidential unless you specifically authorize the mediator to tell the other side.

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Jim Jeffries | Mobile & Baldwin County Attorney

Jim currently is a member of the Alabama Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Child Support Guidelines and Enforcement as well as a statewide committee that has been tasked with reviewing and making recommendations for possible revisions to Alabama's version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). Jim was also recently appointed by the President of the Alabama State Bar Association to a serve on a committee whose purpose is to review and comment on Alabama legislation regarding joint custody for a proposal to the Alabama Legislature for possible changes in this legislation.

Jim has attained a Peer Review Ranking of AV from Martindale-Hubbell® - The highest an attorney can be ranked by his peers.

He continues to lecture to attorneys across the state regarding family law issues.

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Jeffries Family Law, LLC

Divorce Attorney | Child Support & Child Custody Attorney | Prenuptial Law Attorney

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