Under Maryland law, child support continues until age 18 or until the child graduates high school. The Maryland state code does not mandate child support past the age of 19 or high school graduation, whichever occurs first. If a parent owes child support, those payments will continue to be collected regardless of the child’s age. It is also important to keep in mind that child support will not automatically terminate when the child turns 19. A parent will have to request that child support payments be terminated.
If a parent refuses to pay for child support, the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration has the right to collect payments by performing the following:
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Send reports to the consumer credit bureaus
- Withhold paychecks, unemployment, and Workers’ Compensation payments
- Hold the parent in contempt of court
Am I Obligated to Pay for College?
In the past, Maryland has tried to pass two different bills mandating that parents pay for post-secondary education, but attempts were unsuccessful. Although the courts cannot mandate that a parent pay for college, Maryland courts can order child support past the age of emancipation or mandate a contribution to college costs under the enforcement of a marital settlement agreement.
The Child Lives with You
It makes sense that child support payments should stop once a child begins to reside full-time with the non-custodial parent, but legal steps need to be taken before this can happen. To begin the process of suspending your payments, you will need to:
- Make an official change in the custody agreement.
- Send a written statement to the case specialist stating that the child lives with you.
- Continue your support payments, which can be placed in an escrow account until a legal decision has been made.
Money Given Outside Support Payments
In certain cases, the non-custodial parent may be providing extra money to the custodial parent to make ends meet. Unfortunately, this cannot be deducted from the monthly child support payment. Any money given to the parent or the child outside of the child support payment will be considered a gift by the courts.
Custodial Parent is in Violation of Visitation Agreement
Divorce does not always go as planned, and in some situations, a custodial parent may purposely withhold their children from visitation with the non-custodial parent. Using children as pawns after a divorce is damaging for all involved, but Maryland law considers child support and visitation two separate issues. Therefore, support payment should continue. If your ex-spouse is in violation of a visitation agreement, it is important to contact a Baltimore child support lawyer immediately.
Baltimore Child Support Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients with Child Support Matters
For more information about child support regarding payments, emancipation, or any other matter, speak with a qualified Baltimore child support lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Our experienced lawyers are ready to assist you and your family in all child support and family matters. Call 443-589-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. With locations in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland, we serve clients throughout the state.