Legal Question in Family Law in Alabama

Divorce and a Disabled 19 year old boy

My husband's 19 year old son has cerebral palsy which we have supported along with his mother for over 7 years without missing a payment. Now that he is 19, he wants to control his money, but his mother will not allow him to. Keep in mind that he receives SSI on a monthly bases and she has a van paid for by SSI. All medical is paid by us and equipment is paid by Medicaid. She will not supply us with any information about my step-son's financial situation so we were advised to stop paying her. We are going to court with this in September and the resolution we would like to see happen is, any support we send goes to my step-son to control and it is decided by us how much. My question is, Are we required by Alabama law to pay support for a 19 year old that receives SSI? And are we required to pay his mother this money? If so, what is the typical percentage of income?

Asked on 8/08/00, 12:46 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Forrester Forrester & Associates

Re: Divorce and a Disabled 19 year old boy

If a petition for postminority support was filed prior to the son's 19th birthday, then yes your husband will have to pay support (also if the child is severely disabled, many judges will ignor the age 19 dead line.

If the son is mentally or physically unable to manage his affairs, then the money will be paid to his guardian, i.e. his mother. Note he can file a petition to gain control of his finances or your husband can petition to become his guardian/custodian.

Child Support in Alabama is determined by Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administation and is reflective of the national standard.

A good rule of thrumb for one child is approximately 15 to 25% of the payer's gross income. Note that in special needs situations, the Court may order a higher level of support.


If we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact us at Forrester & Associates, 256-435-1007.

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Answered on 9/23/00, 6:02 am

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