If you have primary custody you will not automatically receive child support. You must ask the Court to award child support. If both parents share equal custody of their children, it is possible that someone may have to pay child support. If the parents have disparate incomes, then it is very likely that one parent may be ordered to pay child support to the other even if there is a shared custody arrangement.
HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED?
In Maryland, child support is determined by the Maryland child support guidelines. The guidelines are set forth in statute. The guidelines require that the parents pay a proportionate amount of child support that is determined by the combined income of the parents. The child support obligation is calculated by inputting both parents’ monthly income along with expense for work-relate childcare, any extraordinary medical expenses, and health insurance expenses, into a child support calculator. The calculator determines the total amount of alimony based on the combined income and the allowed expenses, the payor pay an amount equal to his proportionate income (relative to the combined incomes). The guidelines will adjust the income of a parent who is paying alimony, whether to the other parent or a different former spouse. The income of a parent will also be downward adjusted for any amount of child support the parent is paying for other children.
WHEN DOES CHILD SUPPORT START? CAN IT START DURING A SEPARATION?
A parent must file for child support in order for the Court to Order another party to pay child support. However, a parent can begin to pay child support at any time. It is possible to receive child support from the court with a pendente lite order. A pendente lite hearing is a hearing that takes place while litigation is still pending. Thus, it is possible to begin receiving child support during a separation and prior to a final hearing.
HOW LONG DOES CHILD SUPPORT LAST?
Child support lasts until children are 18 years old and graduated from high school, or up until nineteen years of age if the child is still enrolled in high school.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE OTHER PARENT FAILS TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT? WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
Utilizing the local child support enforcement office is a good tool to ensure that support is paid as required. If the noncustodial parent does not pay on time or does not pay in full, the child support enforcement office may:
- Withhold child support from wages and unemployment benefits, Workers’ Compensation claims, etc.;
- Intercept federal and state tax refunds to pay child support arrears;
- Report parents owing past-due child support to credit bureaus;
- Report parents owing child support to new employers;
- Refer parents owing past-due child support to the Motor Vehicle Administration for driver’s license suspension;
- Intercept Maryland lottery winnings to pay child support arrears;
- Garnish accounts at financial institutions’
- Request the suspension or revocation of a professional or recreational license;
- Bring contempt of court actions against that parent;
- Issue an administrative lien on real or personal property and seize assets for past-due child support;
- Deny the issuance or renewal of a passport; and
- Refer cases for federal prosecution when non-custodial parents move to another state to avoid paying child support.
Additionally, if the other parent is Court ordered to pay support and fails to do so, then you can file a petition for contempt. The Court will issue a show-cause order which will require the other party to come to court and present evidence as to why they did not comply with the court’s order. The Court can compel the parent to pay child support in accordance with the Court’s order.
At Paré & Associates, LLC (formerly Law Office of Alice Paré), we have been helping clients in Germantown, Damascus, and throughout Montgomery County for more than thirty (30) years.
Our attorneys are available to meet with you in person, over the phone, or online – however, you prefer.
If you are ready to consult with an attorney, or just need some questions answered, contact us here, go online to schedule an appointment, or call us at (301)515-1190 to set up an initial consultation.