After a divorce or custody dispute, it is necessary that parents have the financial support they need to adequately care for their children. Both parents are financially responsible for their child no matter who has custody. When one parent has primary custody, the noncustodial parent pays child support, which are intended to cover the child’s basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing.

An Upper Marlboro child support lawyer could help you calculate payments or enforce an existing order. Our skilled family attorneys are dedicated to ensuring your child has the support they need, so give us a call to schedule a confidential consultation.

Maryland Child Support Guidelines

In Maryland, child support amounts are set based on state guidelines for parents with combined gross incomes less than $30,000 per month. When the combined income for both parents is more than $30,000, the court will not use the guidelines formula. Instead, it will set the amount of child support based on the needs of the child. The calculation is based on the mother and father’s income, and the number of children they share. Payments can be offset based on the cost of health insurance coverage for the children.

Other relevant factors include the parents’ schedules, the cost of housing or childcare, and out-of-the-ordinary medical expenses. The parents might also agree to an amount below or above the guidelines depending on their situation. Since child support calculation is unique to each family’s situation, consult an Upper Marlboro attorney for clarity.

Modification or Enforcement of Existing Child Support Orders

Once the court enters an order establishing child support, it is modifiable and the parent seeking to modify the order must file a motion. Financial support is modifiable only if there is a substantial change in circumstances since the last order was issued. Some examples of material changes include:

  • Disability
  • Change in custody
  • Unable to obtain or maintain employment
  • Unemployment or lack of resources to pay
  • Incarceration or institutionalization in a facility

Another common situation that justifies a modification of support is if either parent experiences a significant change in income. The court may adjust the order if there is a reduction or increase in income. However, a parent cannot purposefully take a lower paying job as an excuse to pay less in support.

If a child becomes sick or disabled, their financial needs may increase, and support may need to be adjusted to consider this. Once the child turns eighteen, the support must be modified, as the paying parent is no longer obligated.

When the parent responsible for paying child support does not live up to their legal obligation, the parent who is entitled to support could file a motion with the court to enforce the order. Depending on the situation, the court may order wage garnishment or intercept tax refunds.

Child support modification is only valid with a court order and a parent should never agree to only verbal changes. For assistance modifying or enforcing an order, contact a child support attorney in Largo or Upper Marlboro.

Reach Out to an Upper Marlboro Child Support Attorney

Children have a legal right to support from both parents. When your partner is refusing to make payments, you need a dedicated Upper Marlboro child support lawyer to advocate on your behalf.

We understand how important it is that your child has the financial support they need. While issues surrounding child support can cause tension, our legal professionals do their best to resolve your dispute in an amicable and efficient manner. Whether you are going through a divorce, need to establish payments from the other parent, or want to modify or enforce an existing order, we could help. If you have questions about the child support process in Maryland, contact us today.