If you are going through a divorce and attempting to figure out child support payments, it’s important you are well-informed so that your best interests and those of your children are protected. We’ve outlined the top 5 things to know about child support in Maryland to help you successfully navigate through the system.
The Most Important Things to Know About Child Support Include:
1. In Maryland, the law requires that each parent has a responsibility to provide for the support of their minor children. This means that both parents, regardless of how much money you make, will have a responsibility and will be expected to provide monetary support to the health and welfare of their children.
2. If you have minor children and are not living with the other parent, you may be subject to child support payments. When both parents live together, they tend to share the expenses of the mortgage, utilities, food, and clothing for their children. Even though the parents don’t live together, the children still have living expenses including shelter, food, clothing, and medical needs for which each parent is responsible.
3. In child support cases, the court isn’t concerned with what works best for you and your monthly bills. The judge is concerned with what is in the best interest of the children. There are a lot of factors that are considered before a child support award is made, including, but not limited to, the income of each parent, the overnights the child spends with each parent, and the monthly expenses required to care for the child.
4. Maryland has established Child Support Guidelines so that all Maryland courts can uniformly calculate an amount of child support, avoiding any biases or pitfalls. Of course, this does not mean that determining how much a child support award will be lies completely on a mathematical equation. The attorneys at Andalman & Flynn can assist you in making legal arguments to argue for or against the use of the Guidelines when a child support award is being determined.
5. Child support payments are not conditional upon visitation. This means if you stop seeing see your child, or you are denied visitation with your child, you are still required to continue to pay your child support payments. Problems that arise over visitation are common and can be worked out amicably or through the courts, but remember you can be held in contempt of court and will have to pay arrears for any payments you fail to make.
The parent who receives the payments has the right to have them paid through the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Therefore, if you are ordered to pay child support, be prepared to either send OCSE a check each month; or you can have it automatically withdrawn from your employment check if paying through OCSE.
Learn More About the Child Support System in Maryland
Each child support case is different and because determining child support has so many factors to be considered, it can be very complex. An experienced family law attorney can be of great assistance in explaining all the important things to know about child support and can assist you in the legal arguments for and against your case. If you have questions regarding child support in Maryland, please contact attorneys Kate McDonough, Mary Ellen Flynn, or Amanda Vann.