In the state of Maryland, the law requires both parents to provide financial support for their children in an amount proportional to their gross income. State guidelines are used to calculate child support unless either party can prove these standards do not apply for some reason. Couples who are unable to agree on the terms of child support turn to the courts to determine how much one parent pays the other. Generally, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent.
What Child Support Covers
Child support is used to cover a host of expenses related to a child’s care, including but not limited to:
- Rent or mortgage payments
In addition to support for these essentials, some state courts allow one parent to receive funds for discretionary, non-essential expenses like:
- Extracurricular activities
- Private schooling
The law assumes any funds given to the custodial parent are being used to pay for these expenses and not on non-essential items that are solely for the parent’s use.
Child Support Guidelines in Maryland
In Maryland, a typical child support order contains three main elements:
- It requires a financial payment made directly to the parent with primary custody.
- It is open to adjustment by the courts at any point in time, as each parent’s financial situation changes.
- It ends automatically when the child becomes emancipated or reaches the age of majority.
Determining Child Support
Child support orders are tailored to each couples’ unique needs and family structure. They are primarily determined by the income of the parties. However, at time, before the court can determine child support, each parent must complete a detailed financial disclosure to be signed under penalty of perjury. This disclosure includes detailed information about their income, assets, investments, and debts. In some child support orders, directives require a parent to carry the child on their health insurance, pay the costs of daycare, or fund the costs of transporting the child between both parents for visitation.
Child Support Restrictions
In most states, there is no clear way to gauge how child support funds are being spent. Any parent who suspects the other parent is misusing funds should contact a Baltimore child support lawyer as soon as possible. Parents who neglect to pay child support face severe penalties including having their wages garnished or property seized. Some may even be held in contempt of court.
Bel Air Child Support Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advocate for Parents’ Rights in Maryland
Child support is a complex issue that can be a source of contention for many couples facing divorce. To learn more about the laws in Maryland regarding child support accountability and restrictions, schedule a free, no-obligation family law consultation with a Bel Air child support lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Whether you are considering mediation for your child support issues or looking to change an existing order, we can help. Our child support lawyers understand your situation is unlike any others. We take the time to listen to your needs and concerns and provide personalized legal guidance to help you achieve the peaceful resolution you and your children desire.
Call 443-589-0150 or contact us online to get started. With offices in Towson and Hunt Valley, we work with clients throughout the state of Maryland including but not limited to the areas of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Freeland, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks, Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.