Usually in Maryland divorce proceedings, the amount of child support is set using the official Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligation chart in the Code of Maryland’s Family Law section. It depends upon a strict accounting of each spouse’s:
- Actual adjusted income
- Potential income
- Ordinary and necessary expenses
- Extraordinary medical expenses
The amount of time each parent has physical custody of the child is also a factor, along with already determined spousal support/alimony payments.
But what happens if all the calculations are completed and you absolutely cannot afford to pay the amount specified?
Exceptions to the child support obligation schedule
Luckily, Maryland legislators have already addressed this issue in the Code, although it is very strict about adhering to the basic schedule whenever possible. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to engage a Baltimore County child support lawyer to help you fight for a reduction in an unreasonable child support payment plan.
There are two main conditions the court recognizes that allow modification of the guidelines.
Simply put, the first is the existence of a property settlement, agreement, or court order that requires you to make direct payments for a mortgage, marital debt, college education expenses, or other payments that directly benefit the child’s well-being or shelter that are not included in the income adjustment. The second exception is the presence of children by a previous marriage whom you are also obligated to support. However, there may be other exceptions that an experienced lawyer can uncover.
If you are struggling under an excessive child support obligation, Hunt Valley child support lawyer Gary Miles may be able to help. Call Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC today at (443) 589-0150 or contact us online.