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Despite the divorce, and regardless of who is the primary custodian of the children, both parties are financially responsible for the care and maintenance of their children. The person who pays the child support is usually the parent with whom the children do not reside on a daily basis. The determination of who pays child support and how much is based on a formula determined by the Uniform Maryland Child Support Guidelines. An experienced child support lawyer can help you navigate the unique financial dynamics of your family whether you live in Owings Mills or anywhere else in Maryland.

The formula uses both parties’ combined adjusted actual income, the cost of health insurance, work related daycare costs, alimony paid or received by either party, as well as several other expenses that may be applicable in each individual case. Those figures are factored into the general formula, and the child support amount owed by each parent for the care of their children is thereby determined.

Child support is used for the care and maintenance of the children, and in most circumstances is therefore not waivable by either parent. Child support is generally paid until the child turns 18 or graduates from High School, whichever is last to occur. However, child support will terminate at age 19 even if the child has not graduated from High School. Child support payments usually include health insurance premiums and any work related day care provided for the child. The amount of time the children reside with each parent is also a factor that can reduce the amount of child support that is due to either parent. An experienced child support lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of your particular situation.

What Happens When Child Support Payments Aren’t Made?

In the event that you or the other parent fails to pay child support, the consequences can be dire. After all, child support is set by a binding agreement and by court order. Therefore, if payments aren’t made, the offending party will be found in violation of the Agreement and the Court’s order. This can lead to a finding of contempt of court, which entitles the payee spouse reimbursement of attorney fees, wage garnishment, seizure of assets, and other penalties to ensure that the offending party complies.

What If I Can’t Pay My Child Support?

If there is a change in circumstances that develop after a child support order is in place, you may request that the child support be reduced and modified. Either party may request the court to modify the child support order, whether the change in circumstances is due to a decrease or increase of income.

The loss of a job, disability, chronic illness, and various other factors are examples of changes in circumstances that may reduce or eliminate income. Furthermore, a promotion, second job or a return on a good investment may also change circumstances in favor of an increase in child support. The changing needs or circumstances of the children may also determine whether a modification of child support is warranted. For additional information regarding your unique situation, call Zhanna A. Maydanich, an experienced child support attorney in Columbia, MD.

Whatever your personal circumstances are as they relate to child support, the success of your case is based upon your unique circumstances and the process can be rather complicated. One thing is certain, time is of the essence and it’s important to take prompt action. Advice from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney is imperative. ZM Law Group has 20 years of experience with child support matters and can help you through every step of the process. Contact us for further information and representation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can child support be waived in Maryland?

Child support in Maryland is generally not waivable because it is regarded as a fundamental right of the child. The state adheres to the Uniform Maryland Child Support Guidelines, employing a comprehensive formula. This formula factors in the combined income of both parents, health insurance, work-related daycare costs, and other relevant considerations. Courts prioritize the best interests of the child, and agreements attempting to waive the child’s right to support are typically not enforceable. The legal system aims to ensure that children receive the financial assistance necessary for their well-being, irrespective of agreements made between the parents.

How do I sue for child support in Maryland?

Initiating a child support case in Maryland involves filing a complaint with the local child support enforcement office or family court. The complaint should detail the child’s needs and the financial situation of the non-custodial parent. The court then applies the state’s guidelines, considering factors such as income, daycare costs, and health insurance, to calculate the appropriate child support amount. This legal process helps ensure that the financial responsibility for the child is equitably distributed between both parents.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Child support in Maryland is calculated through a meticulous process using the combined adjusted actual income of both parents. This includes elements like health insurance, work-related daycare costs, and alimony. The state follows a formula outlined in the Uniform Maryland Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount each parent owes for the care and maintenance of their child. The guidelines provide a structured approach, considering various financial aspects, to establish a fair and consistent child support arrangement tailored to the unique circumstances of each case.

How Long Does a Parent Have to Pay Child Support?

In Maryland, the duration of child support payments typically extends until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. If the child has not graduated by the age of 19, child support terminates. However, the court recognizes that circumstances may change. Either parent can request modifications based on factors such as a substantial change in income or adjustments in the child’s needs. This flexibility ensures that child support arrangements remain fair and responsive to evolving circumstances.

Does being married affect child support in Maryland?

Marital status does not directly influence child support calculations in Maryland. The state’s child support guidelines focus on the financial circumstances of both parents and the specific needs of the child. Even if a parent is married to someone else, their financial responsibility for a child from a previous relationship remains intact. The primary consideration is the well-being of the child, and the court evaluates the income and resources of both parents, regardless of their marital status. This approach ensures that child support determinations are equitable and based on the current financial standing of each parent.

View Areas Served

Baltimore County:

Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

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Howard County:

Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Carroll County:

Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Harford County:

Aberdeen (21001), Abingdon (21009), Bel Air (21014, 21015), Darlington (21034), Edgewood (21040), Forest Hill (21050), Jarrettsville (21084), Joppa (21085), Pylesville (21132), Whiteford (21160), White Hall (21161)

Anne Arundel County:

Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Gambrills (21054), Glen Burnie (21060, 21061), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Pasadena (21122), Severn (21144), Severna Park (21146).

And the rest of Maryland.

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