Howard County Child Support Lawyer
Are you going through a divorce in Howard County and are worried about your children’s best interests? If so, a child support lawyer from Divorce With a Plan is ready to learn more about your specific situation right now.
A Howard County child support lawyer can help you understand the complex child support process. This usually happens during the initial consultation with the attorney.
It is important to note that the child support process varies depending on the specifics of your case. However, a seasoned attorney will listen to your case and help you understand what needs to be done, including but not limited to paperwork, your rights as a parent, the terms, and potential payments.
Having a child support attorney is also crucial if you cannot seem to reach an agreement with your former partner. This is especially important if the other party is abusive or manipulative. In that case, the attorney steps in to fight for you and represent your best interests. Additionally, the lawyer can take over the communication between you and the other party, protecting you from intimidation and manipulation.
Suppose your former spouse also decides to hire an attorney. In that case, it would also be wise to have an attorney. This decision helps safeguard your best interests and creates an even playing ground regarding child support negotiations or litigation.
If you are the parent paying child support, a sudden change in circumstances can prompt the need to change the current payment plan. A child support attorney can convince the judge to approve the requested changes.
Lastly, such an attorney comes in handy if you have a complicated case. As mentioned earlier, each case is unique and requires an individualized approach. So when you have a complicated issue, you can trust an attorney to help you navigate these complex situations while keeping your best interests at heart.
What is Child Support?
Per Maryland family laws, child support is a term used to describe the money paid by a parent without custody of their minor child(ren) to the parent with custody to provide for the care and wellbeing of their child(ren). In other words, it is a form of payment made from a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent to support a child.
Important Laws Regarding Child Support in Maryland
Child support laws vary from state to state. In addition, they apply differently depending on the situation. That said, here are some of the most important child support laws in Maryland you need to know:
In Maryland, a child might be eligible for child support from both parents, even if the parents are legally separated, divorced, or were never married.
Before a child support issue goes to court, parents in Maryland can create their own child support arrangement, as long as it does not veer too far away from state guidelines. It is only when both parties fail to agree that it becomes necessary to take the issue to court.
The state calculates child support responsibilities based on the combined adjusted actual income of both parents. In Maryland, being unemployed is not an excuse for not paying child support; in that case, the state calculates support based on the unemployed parent’s potential income.
Generally, child support in this state includes the following:
- Health insurance coverage
- Medical expenses
- Educational expenses
- Travel expenses
- Child care expenses
In some cases, child support also covers extracurricular activities such as summer camps and sports.
Lastly, parents must pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever is later. Additionally, parents may need to pay child support until the child is 19 if they’re still enrolled in high school.
And here is one more thing to keep in mind; if a parent skips their child support obligations in Maryland, they will still owe child support regardless of the child’s age.
What is the Formula for Determining Child Support in Howard County?
As mentioned earlier, Maryland uses the ‘income shares model’ to calculate child support. This formula considers the following factors:
- Parent’s income
- Number of children being supported
- Children’s health insurance costs
- Any child support being paid for other children
- Alimony being paid or received
- Children’s medical expenses, if any
This system ensures that the child receives the same share of parental income as they would if the parents still lived together.
Maryland also has an online child support guideline calculator that you can use to better understand how the state calculates child support. Remember, the exact amount of child support depends on the unique circumstances of every child and parent.
When Does Child Support Obligations End?
Under Maryland laws, child support obligations end when the child reaches the age of 18. However, if the child is still enrolled in high school, child support obligations will extend to when they reach the age of 19.
Support also ends when a child becomes emancipated, meaning the law no longer considers them children even though, technically, they still are.
How a Child Support Lawyer From Divorce With a Plan Can Help You
Every child support case is different. Not to worry, though; we can help you navigate the complex processes. A typical child support case requires tons of paperwork and a deep understanding of child support laws in Maryland. Filing the wrong paperwork or not providing relevant documentation could jeopardize the entire process.
Since Maryland considers the facts we discussed above when calculating child support, it is important that you provide an accurate representation of your current financial situation. Failure to do so could mean owing what you cannot even afford. On the other hand, if you’re the parent claiming support, you may not fully understand what the other parent owes as child support if you do not engage a lawyer.
Our attorneys at Divorce With a Plan boast years of experience handling child support cases in Howard County and throughout Maryland.
For example, our founder, Josephia Rouse, Esq., began litigating family law cases in 2013. She was driven by her desire to create common sense solutions for families who have been struggling to solve various familial issues for years.
Attorney Ashley D. Edwards, Esq., started as a criminal defense attorney, a field she dominated for six years, before venturing into fighting for the rights of children and adults, adding 11 more years to her experience. The team at Divorce With a Plan has the experience and compassion required for any family law case.
During the initial consultation with our attorneys, we will review your case and address your concerns. And if we decide to take on your case, we will let you know what to expect from it based on its unique circumstances.
Most importantly, we are a family law firm that strongly believes in planning. Since each child support case is unique, we will help you develop a plan that protects your best interests and guarantees your child’s wellbeing before divorce or separation and even after.
The issue of child support can be overwhelming to deal with, especially emotionally. Things can easily get heated between you and your partner when you fail to agree on certain aspects. And when kids are involved, things become even more complicated. Specifically, it becomes important to resolve disputes for the sake of the child(ren).
In situations like these, you need an expert’s intervention. You need someone who will help you make decisions not based on emotions but on the rule of law and how it applies to your specific situation. Additionally, you need someone who cares and understands the amount of pressure and stress you are going through.
The fact that you are discussing child support with the other party means that things are probably not going so well between the two of you. You have probably had a legal separation, divorce, or simply decided to part ways without ever getting married to each other.
Life happens, and when it does, you must make the right decisions to protect your best interests, including your children’s. That is where we come in to provide the kind of legal advice and representation you need to navigate these complex processes.
Contact Divorce With a Plan Today
When it comes to child support matters, you should not travel this path alone. It is not good for you mentally and emotionally. Rather, you should trust experts who have your best interests at heart.
You need experts who will fight for you and your kids, ensuring their future is secure even as you part ways with your former partner.
If that is what you are looking for in a Howard County child support attorney, then you have found us. We serve clients all over the county, including Columbia, Ellicott City, North Laurel, Woodstock, Elkridge, Highland, Fulton, Lisbon, and their surroundings.
Ready to speak with an experienced, compassionate, and competent child support lawyer in Howard Country? Contact us here or send us an email at [email protected] to schedule a consultation. We might be able to fight for you and your child(ren).