After a divorce, the court will make custody and child support determinations. Being involved in a child support dispute can be stressful, overwhelming, and emotionally draining. However, child support hearings are necessary to ensure your child’s well-being. If you or a loved one is going through a child support process in Maryland, we can help.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we know how challenging dealing with child support can be. That is why we dedicate all of our efforts to upholding your rights and help you during your child support hearings in Cumberland, MD. Call our law offices today and schedule your free, confidential consultation. Our phone number is (410) 694-7291.
Understanding Child Support in Cumberland, MD
Child support exists to ensure a child’s well-being after a divorce. Through child support, the court makes sure the custodial parent – the parent with primary or physical custody – receives support from the non-custodial parent – the parent without physical or primary custody. There has been a generalized misconception that the father is always ordered to make child support payments. Moreover, many believe the father will pay for all the child’s expenses, giving the mother the upper hand during custody. However, this is not the case.
It is essential to understand that Maryland courts do not play favorites when making child custody determinations. Instead, the child’s well-being primarily guides the court to determine who will pay for child support and who will receive it. The father retains custody in many cases, making him the child support recipient instead of the mother.
Additionally, the court will not make only one of the parents responsible for the children’s full financial support. The court will ensure both parents share the costs associated with the children’s upbringing equally. Like many court orders, child support obligations may be subject to termination or change, depending on specific circumstances.
It is essential to hire an experienced Cumberland, MD child support attorney who can help you through this process. With your lawyer’s assistance, you can fight for your rights as a parent and ensure you are treated fairly.
How is Child Support Calculated in Cumberland, MD?
Child support orders are not based on a guess or estimation of what you can pay. Typically, Maryland courts will utilize the state’s child support guidelines to determine how much child support the non-custodial parent should pay. However, there may be exceptions that may allow a judge to make a child support determination different than what is on the state’s guidelines. If the amount of child support that appears on the guidelines is too much for the non-custodial parent, the judge can determine differently.
To calculate child support, the court will consider different elements. All of the factors that the court considers, help ensure your child’s best interest.
For example, one of the things courts will use to calculate your child support payments is your income. The amount of money you earn every month can have a significant impact on your child support orders. Additionally, the court will factor in all of the expenses related to your child’s upbringing. These expenses include transportation, food, clothing, and daycare costs. Another factor the court will consider is healthcare costs.
All of these elements and more play significant roles in how much compensation you should pay in child support for your child every month. It is always in your best interest to hire an experienced Cumberland, MD child support attorney who can help you through this and other legal matters related to child support.
Can I Stop Making Child Support Payments in Cumberland, MD?
It is possible to stop making child support payments in Cumberland, MD. However, there are caveats to consider. It is essential to remember that child support orders are court mandates that must be followed at all times. This means that you cannot choose to unilaterally stop your child support obligations. If you fail to meet your monthly child support obligations in Maryland, you may be found in contempt with the court, and you can be arrested and charged. This scenario should be avoided at all costs. A criminal conviction for breaching your child support orders can be detrimental to your future.
However, child support payments can be modified or terminated under specific, extraordinary circumstances. For instance, you can provide the court with evidence showing there has been an extraordinary change in your finances that make it impossible to keep up with your existing child support obligations. For instance, you may have lost your job, which can justify a modification. However, no matter your circumstances, you should always ask the court first, instead of deciding to stop making payments on your own.
Your child support payments can also be terminated under specific circumstances. You can stop making your child support payments once your child reaches the age of 18. However, this deadline can be extended until your child reaches their 19th birthday if they are still enrolled in high school. Additionally, if your child enrolls in the military before turning 18, marries, or moves out on their own volition, you may no longer be obligated to pay child support. However, the court order will stand until you file a motion to terminate your child support obligation. You can achieve this by hiring an experienced Cumberland, MD, child support lawyer.
Cumberland, MD Child Support Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one is going through a child support process in Cumberland, our Maryland family law attorneys can help. Child support processes can be emotionally and mentally taxing. This is especially true if you have never been part of a child support hearing before. However, you don’t have to go through this trying time alone. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we can help you through this process and make sure your rights are upheld at all times. To learn more about our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.