from Montgomery Circuit Court (DR-17-405)
("the mother") appeals from a judgment entered by
the Montgomery Circuit Court ("the trial court") to
the extent that it awarded W.C. ("the father")
visitation with B.W. ("the child"), whose date of
birth is May 26, 2016, and determined the father's
child-support obligation. We affirm the judgment in part and
reverse it in part.
18, 2017, the mother filed a complaint seeking a judgment
awarding her custody of the child and requiring the father to
pay child support. The father subsequently filed a letter
responding to the mother's complaint; the father asserted
that he should be awarded joint custody of, and visitation
with, the child.
an October 18, 2017, trial, the trial court entered a
judgment that same day declaring that the father is the
father of the child, awarding the parties joint legal custody
of the child, awarding the mother sole physical custody of
the child, awarding the father visitation with the child, and
ordering the father to pay $509.28 per month in child
support. With regard to child support, the trial court
"That the award of child support made herein was
determined by application of the Child Support Guidelines
established by Rule 32, Alabama Rules of Judicial
Administration. The Child Support Guidelines (CS-42) and the
Child Support Obligation Income Affidavit (CS-41) forms have
been filed herein and are made a part of the record in this
case. The said child support amount is not in compliance with
the guidelines and is a downward deviation. The Father has
two other minor children residing with him who he provides
and cares for."
October 31, 2017, the mother filed a postjudgment motion. She
withdrew that motion on November 1, 2017, and subsequently
filed a new postjudgment motion on November 15, 2017. On
November 17, 2017, the mother filed a notice of appeal; that
notice of appeal was held in abeyance until February 5, 2018,
when the trial court entered an order disposing of the
mother's postjudgment motion.
mother and the father were never married to one another. At
the time the child was conceived, the father was married but
was living separately from his wife. The father had
subsequently reconciled with his wife, and they remained
married at the time of the trial.
mother has an older child in addition to the child. The
father and his wife have two children together; one of those
children is older than the child, and the other is younger.
The younger of the father and his wife's children was
evidence indicated that the mother had allowed the father to
visit the child at her house and that the father had provided
some support for the child. Approximately one month before
the mother filed her complaint, the mother and the father had
had an argument, and the father had not visited or provided
support since that time.
father submitted a Form CS-41 "Child-Support-Obligation
Income Statement/Affidavit" indicating that he earns $2,
581 per month. The mother submitted a Form CS-41 indicating
that she earns $1, 440 per month and that she incurs day-care
costs for the child in the amount of $440 per month. The
trial court completed a CS-42 form using those figures. The
calculations on that form resulted in the father's
monthly child-support obligation being $709.28.
father testified that he earns $14.91 per hour and that he
earns overtime pay once or twice per month. His most recent
pay stub for the week of October 2 through October 9, 2017,
was introduced into evidence. That pay stub indicated that
his hourly salary is $14.90, that his gross salary for the
period October 2 through October 9 was $619.18, and that his
year-to-date gross salary was $31, 798.69. The father
testified that his wife does not work, that she is in school,
and that she had been taking care of their youngest child. He
testified that his monthly expenses include $800 for rent,
$375 for utilities, $80 for diapers for his youngest child,
$135 for ...