It is essential that custodial parents have the financial stability they need to in order to raise their children. In Maryland, there are established legal guidelines used to determine the appropriate amount of support. Both the paying parent and the parent receiving support need to know that they are being treated fairly without the other side taking advantage of them. The child support lawyers at Cohen|Harris use our expertise in family law matters to ensure that the correct amount of child support is granted. When it comes to child support, we are able to assist with:
- Establishment – The initial court order which determines the child support amount.
- Modification – Increasing or decreasing the initial child support order amount due to unpredictable circumstances affecting the child or the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay.
- Contempt – Implementing consequences for a party’s failure to follow court orders.
- Enforcement – Involves taking measures to collect on the child support order, including wage garnishment.
In Maryland, child support is granted to the parent with primary physical custody of the child or children. Maryland uses a complex formula to determine a recommended figure for child support. This formula can be more involved in the case of shared custody. Factors to determine the child support amount include:
- Actual monthly income – Each parent’s pre-tax income from wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, workers’ compensation or disability benefits, social security, interest, and trust income.
- Adjustments to income – Other support and alimony obligations paid are reduced from the actual monthly income to calculate the adjusted monthly income.
- Additional expenses – This includes work-related childcare expenses (i.e., daycare), health insurance, atypical medical expenses, physical therapy, uninsured medical expenses exceeding $100, dental and orthodontic care, mental health counseling, etc.
- Each parent’s percentage of income in relation to both parents’ combined income
- The percentage of overnights with each parent – Used to determine child support amounts in the case of shared physical custody.
The above factors are merely used to arrive at a child support recommendation for the non-custodial parent. It is important to understand that the actual amount of child support awarded may be higher or lower than the recommended guidelines. This occurs when the court is persuaded that an increase or decrease would be in the best interest of the child to meet their needs. Our Baltimore child support lawyers can help you by presenting a case to argue in favor of or in opposition to a deviation from the recommended child support obligation. For assistance with your child support issue, call Cohen|Harris today at 888-585-7979.