Most parents understand that raising a child can get expensive. There are clothes, shoes and toys to buy. Children need a place to sleep, and food to eat. There are educational expenses, child care expenses, doctor’s bills and transportation costs. There are also extras, like dance classes, soccer teams and field trips. Overtime, these expenses really add up for Maryland families. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs the average American family $234,900 to raise a child to adulthood. This number can be higher in certain parts of the country.
As any Howard County child support lawyer knows, with the high cost of raising a child in Maryland, courts take child support issues seriously. Family law courts will order child support when children’s parents are not married or are divorced. Child support is meant to ensure that both of the child’s parents are financially contributing to raising that child.
Child support is generally calculated using a series of guidelines that take into a consideration a number of different factors. Under Maryland child support laws, these factors can include the amount of time that each parent spends with the children, the number of children, the amount of money that each parent makes and child care costs. Courts then generally order the non-custodial parent to pay the custodial parent each month.
Many people may feel like their child support payments are unfair for one reason or another. People should keep in mind that the money is meant for the child, not the child’s other parent and the costs of raising a child. However, there are circumstances where a child support modification is necessary. In those cases, the court will raise or lower the amount of child support under certain conditions.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Child-Support: Paying Your Fair-Share?” Morghan Leia Richardson, Aug. 14, 2013
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