Although child support payment orders are determined during divorce proceedings, later circumstances can affect how they are carried out. The parents’ obligations are normally based on their income, assets, the amount of time spent with the children, and how many children are involved. Other factors taken into consideration include the children’s medical expenses and health insurance costs, child care costs, travel expenses, and the amount of money needed to fund their education.
As time passes, many parents do not meet their obligations and fall behind on child support payments. Past due payments can cause great stress to the owed parent, especially if they are already facing financial hardships. In these cases, there are usually options for seeking these needed funds.
Maryland Child Support Laws
Every child in Maryland is entitled to receive support from both of their parents until they reach the age of 18, or when they graduate from high school. This is true whether the parents are divorced or separated. It also applies if the parents were never married in the first place. The parents can make their own agreement out of court if it adheres to state guidelines. However, an agreement outside of court that is not reduced to a court order is not enforceable.
If a parent falls behind on payments, the other one can contact Maryland’s Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA). CSEA is a resource for locating parents, enforcing court orders, collecting payments, and reviewing or adjusting payment amounts.
Inheritances and Gifts
Inheritances and gifts will not be considered as income that can be used for child support payments. There are exceptions, though. An inheritance could be counted as income if that parent is refusing to work and is using the interest for their own expenses.
There are different types of inheritances and gifts that can include funds such as stocks and other investments, lump sums, and more. Items such as cars, homes, jewelry, and other valuable articles can also be part of an inheritance. Usually, cars will not be used to recalculate child support. However, regular dividends or other incomes generated from inheritances may affect the payments.
Amending Child Support
If the child support or divorce case has not yet begun and one parent may be receiving an inheritance, either parent will want to either delay or speed up the proceedings. In the eyes of the court, a parent with higher assets may be able to pay more.
If the inheritance is significant and takes place after the child support order is complete, there may be cause to amend child support. If the payments are past due, the paying parent may wish to pursue child support modification. If the other parent’s income and living standards have increased substantially, the inheritance monies may be considered as income.
Baltimore Child Support Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients with Child Support Concerns
If you are faced with child support issues, including inheritances, contact an experienced Baltimore child support lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC today. Call us at 443-589-0150 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks, Parkton, Pikesville, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.