When two individuals have a child, it is expected that each parent will play a role in supporting the child. However, if only one parent provides support for the child, this may lead to a child support claim. If this occurs, you should consider your legal options. If you need legal assistance to manage your child support case, you should consult with an experienced Maryland child support attorney as soon as possible.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice has worked on a wide range of family law cases, and we are to offer you our legal services for your child support case. We understand that a child support case can be stressful for a parent, and we would be pleased to help you through this difficult time. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your child support case, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. Our online submission form can also be used to schedule your free consultation.
How Does Child Support Work in MD?
In Maryland, each parent is under a duty to support their child. This duty continues whether the parents divorce or even if the child was born out of wedlock. When one parent believes that the other is not properly supporting their child, they may look for a way to obtain child support from the absent parent.
Before turning to the courts to settle a child support dispute, the parents can form an agreement regarding the payment of child support. For example, one parent may sign a contract agreeing to pay a certain amount per month for childcare and other needs. However, the Maryland family court still has jurisdiction over child support disputes, which may occur if one parent violates the agreement.
Maryland Child Support Laws and Guidelines
Maryland’s child support guidelines are intended to help a court determine monthly payments for child support. There are a number of factors the court may consider when approving a child support order:
- The gross income of each parent
- The cost of healthcare and childcare services for the child
- Whether the noncustodial parent is paying child support for other children
As you likely are aware, the noncustodial parent is the one that is ordered to pay child support. However, it is also important to note that the court will also consider the amount of time each parent spends with the child when determining child support payments. For example, if the child in question spends less than 128 overnights with a parent, the court will use a sole custody formula to set the amount of child support.
Alternatively, if the child spends at least 128 overnights with each parent, the court will use a shared custody formula to determine the monthly payments. As a result, the noncustodial parent will have to pay less money in support in comparison to the sole custody formula.
There are some cases where the court will use a different formula to determine child support payments. For example, if each parent earns more than $10,000 per month, the court will mainly consider the needs of the child. A parent may also be able to argue that the court should use a different formula depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you wish to learn more about terminating or modifying a child support order in Maryland, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland child support lawyer immediately.
Terminating or Modifying a Child Support Order in Maryland
If you are unhappy with the amount of money that you must pay for child support, you should consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options. However, you should never elect to ignore a child support order as this could lead to many civil or even criminal law issues. For example, a bench warrant could be issued for your arrest if you violate a child support order.
There are a number of ways that a child support order could be terminated. The most common reason for the termination of a child support order is that the child in question reached the age of 18. However, child support can also be terminated when a child becomes independent, married, or graduates from high school.
If you wish to modify your child support order, Maryland requires that the petitioner has a “material” or substantial change in their circumstances. For example, if the parent was laid off from their job, this may be enough to modify a child support order. There are other material changes that allow a person to modify their child support order:
- A parent becomes ill or disabled
- A considerable reduction in a parent’s assets
- Having additional children
- A child becomes severely ill
It is important to note that a child support order will not be modified solely because the custodial parent decided to remarry.
Speak with Our Experienced Maryland Child Support Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you or a family member need assistance with a child support case in Maryland, contact an experienced Maryland child support lawyer today. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice is here to help you handle your child support case. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about the services we can offer you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case with our Maryland family lawyers, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. You may also contact our legal team online to schedule your free case evaluation.