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Child Support

The Maryland Child Support Lawyers at The Drazin Law Center, P.A. have successfully represented multitudes of parties throughout the State of Maryland with their pursuit of, or defense of, Child Support.

The health and well being of a child should be of the utmost importance to a parent. When parents are unable to live together, their child nevertheless requires both parents’ continued financial support. Maryland Child Support is based upon this concept coupled with the idea that both parents must, by law, financially support their child to the extent that they are financially able.

In Maryland, unless special circumstances warrant a deviation or the parties’ combined income is much greater than the regional norm, Child Support is determined using the mathematical formula within the State of Maryland’s Child Support Guidelines. The Maryland Child Support Guidelines were designed to create fair child support obligations to meet the needs of the specific child or children.

In sole physical custody situations, where one parent has the subject minor child in their care less for than one hundred twenty eight (128) overnights per year, the Maryland Child Support Guidelines formula provides that each party pay a share of the basic child support, day care expenses, and costs for health insurance based on the proportion of each individual respective parent’s adjusted actual income to the total adjusted combined income of the parties.

In order to calculate a Child Support obligation utilizing the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, at a minimum, the following data is needed:

  • Gross monthly income of each of the parents;
  • Amounts paid by either parent in child support for a child of another relationship;
  • Amounts paid by either party in alimony to a previous or present spouse;
  • Monthly costs for work related day care expenses;
  • Monthly costs for health insurance coverage for the children; and,
  • Any extraordinary medical costs paid on behalf of the children.

While the Maryland Child Support Guideline calculation is relatively straightforward and accessible, each person’s specific situation requires careful consideration of the statutory factors and relevant case law that may impact the Child Support obligation. An accurate Child Support calculation, of course, requires ascertaining each party’s respective incomes. Determining actual income for those parents who are entrepreneurs, contractors, freelancers, or beneficiaries of gifts or trusts might involve the necessity of subpoenaing bank records. The Child Support Attorneys at The Drazin Law Center, P.A. can utilize their knowledge, experience, and skills to assist you to accurately establish income and the true costs of meeting your child’s individual needs.

Issues, such as, “voluntary under-employment”, “voluntary impoverishment” and “attribution of income” as they related to Maryland Child Support are extremely complex and, if applicable in your situation, should be discussed with an attorney like those at The Drazin Law Center, P.A. who have had experience with these issues within the Maryland Family Law Courts.

If you are facing issues around the establishment of child support, even for sole custody cases, we recommend you seek competent legal counsel from Family Law Attorneys; such as, the Child Support Attorneys at The Drazin Law Center, P.A.

Further complexities commence when the parents share physical custody, defined for Maryland Child Support purposes as when the child spends at least one hundred twenty eight (128) overnights a year in the home of each parent. Should such be the case, each party’s share of the basic Child Support obligation is multiplied by the percentage of time that parent spends with the child. The parent owing the larger amount of the two resulting child support obligations pays the differential to the other parent. If either parent incurs work related childcare expenses and/or costs for the provision of health insurance coverage for the child, these costs are shared in proportion to the parties’ adjusted actual incomes.

Should the separated parents combined gross income be in excess of $180,000.00 per year, the Maryland Child Support Guidelines do not apply. At that juncture, the Maryland Child Support Court will have vast discretion in adjudicating the Child Support obligation. In exercising its discretion, the Court will consider, among others, the standard of living that the children enjoyed during the time the parties were living together or that was established prior to the filing of the Maryland Child Support action.

In Maryland, a Child Support obligation generally accrues from the date of filing an action; therefore, if no Child Support is ordered before the eventual trial, the Court can and should order retroactive (back) Child Support to the date of the original filing request.

Generally, the obligation to support a particular child ends when that child attains the age of eighteen (18) years; however, if the child continues enrollment in high school following the age of eighteen (18), the support obligation continues until the first to occur of the child graduating (or withdrawing from high school) or reaching age of nineteen (19).

One should note, if a Court ordered Child Support obligation is owed for more than one child, as the obligation ends for one particular child the total amount of the Child Support obligation will not automatically change. It will be necessary for you to obtain a Court Order to establish a new Child Support obligation based on the then existing financial circumstances (at the time of the modification).

At The Drazin Law Center, P.A., our goal is to effectively assist through the difficult Child Support processes and the intricacies involved with not only calculation based upon the Maryland Child Support Guidelines but (a) the allowed deviations therefrom when a strict application of the Maryland Child Support Guideline obligation would dictate an unjust or inappropriate result and (b) when the Maryland Child Support Guidelines do not apply.

The Maryland Child Support Attorneys at The Drazin Law Center, P.A. provide the legal services to achieve the client’s goals and realistic expectations. The lawyers at The Drazin Law Center, P.A. offer knowledgeable, diligent, and experienced legal counsel that can effectively assist you.

Come meet with a member of our team for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to learn more about how we can assist you.

Columbia Child Support Attorneys and Dundalk Child Support Attorneys serving clients with their Maryland Child Support needs throughout the State of Maryland; including, but not limited to, Howard County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, Carroll County, and Harford County.