Areas of Practice

Click on any of the links below to get more information on the areas of practice that Gabrielle N. Helix concentrates in.

CHILD CUSTODY  One of the most difficult and contentious areas of family law is child custody.  Child custody determines the legal rights and obligations to care for and control a child.  Child custody is split into two parts:  legal and physical.  Legal custody determines which parent (sole legal) or if both parents (joint legal custody) will have the legal right to make decisions regarding the care of the child.  Physical custody or primary physical subject to the other parent's right to visitation determines which parent will take on the primary care of the child and thus determine the primary residence of the child. 

A modification of custody or visitation can occur and may need to occur to reflect the child's needs or a change of a parent's circumstances.  Just as a modification of child support must be sought through the court, a modification of custody must also be pled into the court in order for a change to be legally recognized.  A modification of custody is a complicated matter.  There are many factors that need to be considered before a party will be successful in obtaining a modification. 

CHILD SUPPORT Child support is a re-occurring, periodic payment made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the support and care of their child or children.  The monies paid are to assist in compensating the child's living expenses which includes, food, clothing, extracurricular activites, daycare, etc. Alabama law requires that when a custody determination is made, child support be calculated and ordered. Child support is NOT tied to visitation.  Child support obligation cannot be waived by either parent as the right to support lies with the child.  However, there are exceptions to the actual payment of money.  Parents can in rare circumstances support a child by providing "like kind" support.  Child support is paid until the child emancipates by court order or by law. 

The amount of child support is calculated according to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration.  This rule sets forth how to calculate support and how to calculate the parents income.  Other factors which can affect a child support amount include:  each parents' income and assets, their ability to pay, the standard of living enjoyed by the child during the time their parents were a couple, and the child's needs.

MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT There are times when child support can be modified.  A modification by the parents without a court order is not recognized by the Court.  It is incumbent on the parent who desires a modification to file a petition for modification with a court of competent jurisdiction.  There is a rebuttable presumption that child support should be modified if a parent's income has increased or decreased by 10% or more.  Another reason for modification may include the needs of the child.

View the Ethical Statement

Gabrielle N. Helix
Attorney At Law

2117 Whitesburg Drive
Huntsville, AL 35801

T: 256.489.0595
F: 256.489.0596

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers