Jonathan D.Watson             256.599.4113
                       ATTORNEY AT LAW

                                                                                                                                    123 Lee Street, NE, Ste. A
                                                                                                                                    Decatur, Alabama 35601

Child Support 
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Frequently Asked Questions

How is child support calculated?

How much will I have to pay?

I've missed some payments, will the Judge put me in jail?

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Child Support | Know the Lasting Consequences

Child Support cases can take many forms and often involve several legal issues: paternity, support, contempt, and more.  These issues require a thorough understanding of the law.  The money at stake can often surpass thousands of dollars and the consequences of not paying include possible jail time.  Ensure that you are fully represented.  Child Support cases comprise a high percentage of Mr. Watson's practice, and he is glad to fight for you.

Types of Child Support Cases

There are five basic types of child support cases.  Often, various types overlap.  Regardless of the type, the complexities and potential consequences require strong and effective representation. 

Jail (Incarcerated for Contempt)
      Are you currently incarcerated for failure to pay child support?
       Are you unable to pay your purge amount?

Mr. Watson has had great success in challenging the State's common practice of seeking the incarceration of those individuals who have failed to pay child support.  Often, these individuals are jailed illegally.  Mr. Watson has developed a strategy, utilizing common principles of law, to secure the swift release of such individuals.  If you or your loved one is currently incarcerated, Mr. Watson is able to assist.

Paternity (Determining the Father and the Initial CS Obligation)
      Are you the possible father of a child?  Is a DNA test in your future?
       Have you recently had a child and need CS?

The recent rise of DNA testing means that when a child is born outside of marriage, determining the Father is as simple as a cotton-swap rubbed on the inside of the cheek.  The Mother and the alleged Father each have rights that should be aggressively protected.  Once paternity is established, issues of child custody and child support immediately follow.

Contempt and Rule Nisi (for failure to pay CS)
        Have you been accused of failing to pay Child Support?
        Are you facing a court hearing before a Judge?
If you have been accused of paying child support, you need legal assistance.  The consequences of being found in contempt include jail time, higher child support payments, the withholding of your tax return, and more.   

Modification (Increase of Decrease of CS)
        Has your income, or that of the other parent, increased?
        Is your child now nineteen (19) years old?
Numerous factors can affect the amount of child support owed: uemployment, income changes, the age of the child, and more.  If you believe you may be owed more in child support, or that you are paying too much, contact our office to receive quick and competent answers.

Enforcement (when the other parent is not paying CS)
        Are you not receiving the child support you are owed?
        Does the other parent refuse to pay child support?
Child Support is mandatory; the obligated parent does not have a choice of whether or not to pay.  If you are not receiving your Court ordered child support, contact our office so we can immediately begin to pursue the money you and your children need.   

A Brief Note about DHR (Alabama Department of Human Resources)

DHR is commonly involved in child support cases.  Though DHR sometimes represents a Father seeking to establish his paternity, the Department normally represents Mothers seeking to establish parternity and child support and Mothers who are not receiving child support (Contempt/Rule Nisi).  DHR, through caseworkers and contracted attorneys, communicates and sends pleadings to the other party.  Mr. Watson advises those who find themselves in a paternity/child support case with DHR on the other side contact an attorney immediately.  DHR frequently handles these cases and does not care about what's best for those they oppose. 

Finally, please note, the information provided on this page is strictly information.  Oftentimes, court hearings and legal processes involving child support issues are very complex.  Jonathan D. Watson advises those faced with a CS case seek the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney regarding such matters.
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