Alabama Child Support Default Judgment Laws
- A default judgment can be entered in Alabama for child support if it is legally established that the money is owed to the parent filing in court for relief and the defendant fails to participate in the support proceedings or present evidence to the contrary. One possible scenario is when paternity of the child is established and the mother sues the legal father for child support. The mother can ask the court to enter a default judgment of child support to obtain money owed if the father does not dispute the claim or attend court hearings on the matter. Default support judgments can be vacated, or eliminated, after entry by court order if the debtor parent proves the money is not owed to the recipient parent.
- A parent with a default judgment for child support can collect the money owed from the obligated parent using legal methods. Garnishment, or taking a portion of income belonging to the debtor parent, can be established. Income that can be garnished includes employment wages, and for child support debts, also social security and pension benefits in this state. Judgments can also be filed in the local county recorder's office against real property the debtor parent owns in Alabama. Generally, the parent who owes the support will have to pay the judgment in order to obtain a release when the property is being sold as long as the lien is still in effect. Liens of this type are valid for 10 years after the date filed in the Alabama recorder's office.
- Per rule 55, section 2 of the Alabama code, default child support judgments cannot be entered against certain individuals. Entering a default judgment against someone under the age of 16 or an incompetent person is prohibited by law, unless the person is being represented by a legally appointed guardian in court. In divorce and annulment proceedings, default judgments for child support cannot be entered unless it has been proved in court that the money is owed. If an agreement about child support was made between a divorcing couple and signed by a judge, the recipient parent can sue the obligated parent to obtain a default judgment if the payments stated in the document were not received. Changes in a custodial situation, such as a move to joint custody, can also limit the ability of one parent to obtain a default judgment for child support.