website image

Jul 8, 2016

Maryland Child Support FAQs and Considerations

Jul 8, 2016 - Family Law by |

Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions for Maryland Child Support

One of the most pressing issues at hand during a divorce and child custody case is child support, which is why it’s important to learn more about it. Here, we’ll provide a list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child support in Maryland.

Top 10 Maryland Child Support Questions

How is child support calculated?

Child support is determined pursuant to the Maryland Child Support Guidelines., The Guidelines factor in the income of both parents, and certain expenses such as health insurance and work related day care costs.  Maryland child support guidelines do not take into consideration general expenses such as food, shelter or clothing.

How does joint custody impact child support?

The amount of child support awarded will depend on whether one parent has primary physical custody, or whether hey share physical custody, meaning each parent has the child for a minimum of 128 overnights per year.  Once a parent has 128 or more overnights per year, the guidelines will adjust the support obligation accordingly.

Is there an income threshold that affects Maryland child support?

If the two parents combine to make more than $15,000 per month, then the court is able to deviate from standard calculation guidelines.

How long is child support owed?

Child support requirements remain in place until the minor turns 18, or until he turns 19, if the child has not yet graduated from high school.

Can child support requirements be changed?

Yes, if evidence is shown which indicates a material change in circumstances since the original issuance of the child support. Generally, a change of more than 25% of income and/or expenses is considered a material change. Other factors may include illness or disability of a parent, or a child’s illness or accident.

How long does it take to begin receiving child support?

Typically between one to two months after the order has been signed.  This depends on whether you are seeking an earnings withholding order from the obligor’s paycheck.

Can I take away visitation rights if I don’t receive my child support checks?

No. It’s important to maintain other aspects of your divorce such as visitation rights, even when you are not receiving child support. These are regarded as separate issues.

Then what happens if the other parent isn’t paying?

You or your attorney can request that the court find the other party in contempt of court, at which point a number of actions may be taken. These may include intercepting tax refunds, suspending a driver’s license, suspending professional licensure, wage liens, credit rating penalties and more.

Can I waive child support?

No. Maryland regards child support as the right of the child and not the parent, and therefore the parent generally cannot waive child support.

What happens if the non-custodial parent can’t be found, or is in jail?

If the non-custodial parent can’t be found to be served with child support complaint over a period of 120 days, the petition may be dismissed. Meanwhile, if the other party is in jail, it is unlikely that you will be able to collect child support, although there are cases when this is possible.

Of course, all cases and circumstances are different, and there are many other questions that you may have. That’s why it’s important to receive experienced, knowledgeable assistance so nothing is overlooked, and no mistakes are made. Contact the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein at 240.395.1418 for a free consultation to discuss your Maryland child support case.