Child Support Lawyers
Child Support in Anne Arundel & Howard County Divorce Cases
In Maryland, both parents have a duty to support their children. Kids are expensive and going from a two-income household down to one because of a Maryland divorce is often quite a shock. Those who are recently separated or going through divorce may wonder how they are going to make ends meet now that their financial situations have drastically changed. Living off of one income when you’re used to two can be quite a shock to the system, and when you have kids, it’s even more so. This is where child support comes in.
What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment made by one parent to another to help pay for expenses related to the child. Typically, the parent who spends the least amount of time with the child is who provides the child support. For instance, if the children live mostly with their mother, the father would pay the support. However, even parents who share custody often need to pay child support, particularly if one person makes a considerable amount more than the other parent.
How Child Support is Calculated in Maryland
The payment amount is calculated using Maryland’s Child Support Guidelines worksheet. Your attorney will sit down with you and determine the monthly amount you are obliged to pay.
A variety of different factors are taken into consideration when determining the amount. The considerations are the gross amount of actual income each party earns (that means before tax income from all sources), whether either party has a pre-existing child support obligation for another child, whether either party is paying or receiving alimony, the cost of daycare for the child, the cost of health insurance coverage for the child, and whether there are any transportation costs relating to education for the child.
The court also looks into your financial obligations, such as rent and electricity. However, the court will not reduce the payment so that the non-custodial parent can pay for non-essential items. For example, your child support payment will not be reduced so that you can buy an expensive car or donate large amounts of money to a charity.
Child support orders can be appealed, however.
How Child Support Can Be Provided
Child support isn’t limited to simply money given from one parent to another; the child support can be used to address other needs. For example, the court can decree orders such as these:
The court attempts to maintain the same type of lifestyle the children enjoyed before the divorce took place, if the parent’s finances allow. This could include keeping up with music lessons, sports and other similar activities.
Child Support Payment Schedule
The court will decide when the child support payment is due, and how much is given. For example, the parent may be ordered to make payments once a month, or split the payment a few times throughout the month.
When the Payment Ends
Many who are ordered to pay child support often wonder how long they will have such an expensive obligation. Maryland law typically states that child support is paid until each child dies or reaches majority, meaning when the child turns 18. The court may also order the support to end if a child becomes emancipated.
The attorneys of Jimeno & Gray, P.A., know that lots of questions come with the subject of child support. We want to help you find the answers.
Give us a call to find out how we may be able to help you with your Maryland divorce, or determining or obtaining child support. We have assisted many people who are in the same situation as you, and feel confident we can help you, as well.