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MARYLAND CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

THE BURTON FIRM > Child Support  > MARYLAND CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

MARYLAND CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

MARYLAND CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEY

ABOVE GUIDELINES CASE

When dealing with child support, the state of Maryland adopted a guideline measured by the income of the parties involved. The new Maryland law tops off at a combined adjusted annual income of $180,000 per annum or $15,000 per month. Keep in mind, child support will increase depending on the number of children involved. However, just with the old guidelines, the court will have discretion in setting the support level for the parties and individuals.

The guideline defines “actual income” to include:

  1. salaries;
  2. wages;
  3. commissions;
  4. bonuses;
  5. dividend income;
  6. pension income;
  7. interest income;
  8. trust income;
  9. annuity income;
  10. Social Security benefits;
  11. workers’ compensation benefits;
  12. unemployment insurance benefits;
  13. disability insurance benefits;
  14. any third party payment paid to or for a minor child as a result of disability, retirement or other compensable claim;
  15. alimony or maintenance received and
  16. expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment.

Additionally, depending on the circumstance of the case, the court may consider severance pay, capital gains, gifts or prizes as actual income. Keep in mind the court will always have the right to consider what is required for parties to pay but they may also refuse certain payments or add additional requirements in above guidelines cases depending on the circumstances.

Proponents of these guidelines argue that it has forced custodial parents to bear a larger burden of increased family expenses, including housing which has historically been high in Maryland. In any circumstance, if you are trying to figure out child support, consult with an experienced attorney who can help you out. Maryland law can get tricky and it’s important you have all the right information.

CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER MARYLAND

DEVIATION FROM GUIDELINES

According to federal law, every state must use a standardized approach to establish child support order amounts and guidelines. Maryland has adopted an “income-shares” model child support guidelines which is calculated based on parents’ income rather than the children’s expenses. The child support is then apportioned between the parents but keep in mind the court may deviate from the guidelines amount if it would be unjust or inappropriate. There are other factors such as health insurance, medical expenses, private school, alimony, etc that are considered when determining the amount. An issue sometimes arises when a parent (or both parents) want to deviate from the guidelines.

In Maryland, there is flexibility to deviate child support amount if it’s “unjust and inappropriate” as long as the criteria take into consideration the best interests of the children. Usually, the factors that play into it are health insurance and extraordinary medical expenses, child care expenses, shared custody or extraordinary visitation, split custody, the needs of children of other relations and the needs of older children.

The court may consider the terms of any existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order and the presence in the household of either parent of other children to whom that parent owes a duty of support and the expenses for whom that parent is directly contributing. If the court finds a deviation is justified, there must be a written or specific finding on the record stating the reasons for the deviation and how those serve the best interests of the children.

Additionally, the court must specify what the obligation would have been under the guidelines, how the order varies and the estimated value of in-kind support. If you are in the middle of child support and find that the agreement is unjustifiable, consult an experienced Maryland Family Attorney who can guide you to a better solution.

MARYLAND CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER

OBTAINING & ENFORCING CHILD SUPPORT ACROSS STATE LINES

Divorce can be a very stressful and difficult time in one’s life, especially if the partners have children. Child support is an important matter and could be very tricky so it’s best to talk with a professional Family Law attorney who can guide you through the process. One tricky circumstance is if the parent paying the child support moves to a different state.

In 1997, the court passed the Maryland State Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) which enables states to work together in resolving child support issues.

Your local child support office can assist you in enforcing an existing order across state lines. Wages are withheld from the delinquent parent’s paycheck, or a Notice of Lien can be issued against property, Federal and state tax refunds, lottery winnings and other windfalls. Keep in mind it may be a long process when you ask another state to enforce your child support order.

If for some reason you are unable to receive child support across state lines, you can take it to the federal government. If the offender violates the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998, he or she could be punished with fines and/or jail time.

Many state child support enforcement agencies have agreements with foreign nations to recognize child support judgments so if the parent who is paying child support leaves the country, make sure to contact a lawyer. If the delinquent parent works for an American company, wages can be withheld even if the country does not have an agreement with the U.S. Child support is crucial in making sure the child grows up sufficiently.

CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEY MARYLAND

The process of obtaining and ensuring child support can be tough.

The Burton Firm can help ease this process. Maryland family law lawyer Aubrey Burton Jr. will help you understand how child support payments are determined and the necessary steps you need to take to receive or make payments. If you need assistance or simply need help with the child support process, call our office today. We will answer any questions you may have and guide you in the right direction.

The initial consultation is free. Get the help you need.