Prince George’s County Circuit Court Child Support Lawyer
Child support is usually one of the most dreaded and controversial topics before and after a divorce. But most families need to realize that discussing this issue without unnecessary conflict is possible. And, even during conflict, the child’s best interests should always come first. That is one area of family law the Circuit Courts in Maryland do not take lightly.
At Divorce With a Plan, our experienced Prince George’s County child support attorneys can help you understand the complex issue of child support in this Maryland, including your parental rights and responsibilities.
Above all, we can help find practical solutions to complex child support matters while avoiding conflicts as much as possible. We are dedicated to protecting you and your beloved child(ren), whether in or out of court. You can count on us to always go above and beyond for you and the child’s best interest.
What Does a Prince George’s County Child Support Lawyer Do?
A circuit court child support lawyer provides legal help and representation for child support-related matters. We will discuss their roles in detail shortly.
What Is the Legal Definition of Child Support in Prince George’s County?
Child support refers to the financial support a parent provides for the care and upbringing of their child(ren). In many cases, the non-custodial parent provides financial support to the custodial parent who lives with the child.
It is important to note that child support orders are legally binding and enforceable. Suppose parents don’t make their required payments for child support? They may face consequences like having their wages garnished , property liens, or even being sent to jail.
What Are Some Child Support Laws in Maryland?
In Maryland, child support laws are governed by the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Let’s take a brief look at some key provisions of these guidelines.
- Determination of child support: When determining child support, the guidelines provide a straightforward formula. It looks at the incomes of both parents and the number of children to figure out the right payment amount.
- Income of both parents: Maryland considers the income of both parents when calculating child support payments. This also includes salary, bonuses, and any other forms of income.
- Shared custody: Suppose both parents have joint physical custody of the children. Child support calculations consider the time each parent spends with the children. This helps determine the right amount of support to provide.
- Health insurance: Child support guidelines require parents to provide affordable health insurance for their children.
- Extraordinary expenses: Maryland child support laws also allow for additional support for extraordinary expenses such as medical, child care, and education.
- Modify support orders: You can modify child support orders in Maryland. This can happen if a parent’s income changes or the children’s needs evolve.
- Enforcement of child support: Maryland strictly enforces child support orders. If necessary, the state can take action to ensure compliance with these orders. Several methods exist, including deducting wages, placing liens, or suspending drivers, passports, or professional licenses.
Note that these guidelines are just that – guidelines. The final determination of child support in any given case may vary based on the specific facts and circumstances. Additionally, child support laws in Maryland are subject to change. It is always advisable to consult an experienced Prince George’s County child support attorney whenever you need help with such matters.
How Long Is Child Support Paid in Maryland?
In Maryland, child support is usually paid until the child turns 18 or finishes high school, whichever happens later. However, in some cases, a court may order that child support continue until the child is 19. This is usually when the child is still in high school, attending college, or has a physical or mental disability.
It doesn’t mean the paying parent is no longer responsible for the child support. If the child reaches the legal age of 18-19, an independent. Instead, the court will enforce the payment of past-due child support regardless of the child’s age. In other words, the parent paying support cannot avoid their responsibilities simply by waiting for the child to grow older.
Can Parents Split Their Children Apart in Maryland?
In Maryland, parents cannot split their children apart. This is because the Circuit Court in Maryland makes decisions regarding the custody and care of minor children. Above all, these decisions are usually based on the child’s best interests.
When determining custody, a court will consider several factors, including but not limited to the following:
- the relationship between the child and each parent
- the child’s needs and circumstances the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs
Suppose the parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement. The court may order a custody evaluation to determine the best custody arrangement for the child.
It’s also worth mentioning that Maryland favors joint custody in most cases. This is where both parents share the physical and legal custody of the child in Maryland. However, joint custody is preferred only if it is in the child’s best interests.
Ultimately, the legal process determines whether children should be separated in Maryland, ensuring it is done in their best interests. Therefore, parents are encouraged to work together and find a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of their children, rather than making one-sided decisions that could harm the children.
Suppose you need split custody and are unsure about the next steps. Divorce With a Plan attorney can assess your case and provide guidance. This ensures that your decisions are legal and in the child’s best interests, which Maryland takes seriously.
Does Maryland Offer a Schedule for Child Support Payments?
In Maryland, the court determines the amount and schedule of child support payments based on the Maryland Child Support Guidelines.
The guidelines provide a formula for determining the amount of child support. A parent should pay based on the income of both parents and the number of children. In most cases, child support in Maryland is paid every month. The payment schedule is usually included in the court order or agreement and is legally binding.
The Child Support payment schedule can be changed if circumstances change, like the income of any parent of the child. In such cases, a parent may request a to modify child support order by filing a motion with the district court.
The paying parent cannot suddenly stop honoring their child support obligations simply because of a significant change in circumstances. Instead, they must obtain a court order to modify their child support obligations.
What happens if you don’t pay child support in Maryland?
Failure to honor child support obligations in Maryland can lead to severe consequences for the parent owing support. For example, in some cases, the court may order wage garnishment to collect child support. Wage garnishment is when a parent’s employer takes out a portion of their paycheck. They give it directly to the custodial parent for the children’s support.
How to Avoid Paying Child Support in Maryland?
Maryland parents must financially support their children until they reach 18 or 19, depending on high school enrollment. This obligation applies even if the parent is unemployed, disabled, ill, or in jail. A parent can only be released from this responsibility if the court terminates their parental rights.
Unemployed or disabled parents are still responsible for paying child support. They can make these payments from sources such as:
- Unemployment benefits
- Social security disability benefits
- Workers’ compensation
Regardless of financial difficulties, evading paying child support is impossible. However, the recommended approach is petitioning the court to modify the support order or call the child support office. The only way to end child support is if the child achieves legal independence when they reach 18. For example, getting married or joining the military.
How a Child Support Lawyer From Divorce With a Plan Can Help
At Divorce With a Plan, we understand how complex child support cases can be. The legal perspective aside, many parents disagree for various reasons.
And since each family is different, each case usually has unique challenges. That is where the child support attorneys at Divorce with a Plan come in.
Our experienced Prince George’s County child support attorneys can:
- Provide crucial legal advice about your rights and obligations under Maryland family laws
- Negotiate and draft child support agreements on your behalf
- Appear in court to represent you in child support hearings and trials
- Navigate the complex legal process involved in determining child support payments
- Provide support and guidance throughout the child support process
- Assist in modifying existing child support orders
- Enforce child support orders
- Resolve disputes related to the calculation of child support or payment of child support
Let Divorce With a Plan Handle Your Child Support Matter
No doubt that child support issues can be overwhelming and complicated. But contrary to popular belief, there is always a way to work around this issue while avoiding unnecessary conflict. However, this is only possible if you have a plan, which is exactly where we come in.
Our ultimate goal at Divorce With a Plan is to help you and your ex-spouse reach a fair and reasonable resolution of your child support dispute in a manner that protects the child’s best interests. Contact us to book a free consultation with a skilled child support attorney in Prince George’s County. You can also visit our 1537 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230 office.