All parents are legally obligated to provide care and support to their children, regardless of marital status or custody. Child support payments are generally calculated by the court and depend on several, sometimes complicated, factors. To ensure payments are correctly determined in your case or to pursue other legal action related to child support, it is important to speak with a qualified Clarksville, MD child support lawyer.
A family attorney can review your case and advise you on all available legal options, whether you are attempting to collect payments from an ex-spouse who is refusing to pay or wish to challenge paternity in your child support case.
The legal team at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, has over 25 years of experience helping families in and around Clarksville, MD, with family law representation and trial litigation. As experienced trial attorneys, we understand what it takes to present courts with the necessary information to seek changes to existing court orders or to properly establish fair orders from the outset.
Our team is ready to help you pursue a fair outcome in your child support case, including establishing child support payments, enforcing payments, or requesting modifications to child support.
First, in order to calculate child support obligations, the court must establish whether physical custody is shared or there is a custodial parent with sole custody and a non-custodial parent with visitation. Then, depending on the number of total children and each parent’s income, the court can begin to determine child support amounts based on state guidelines.
Those guidelines also take into account whether spousal support is paid or if either parent is receiving additional benefits, such as Social Security. The actual costs of taking care of the child, including health insurance and daycare costs, will also be factored in, along with the time the children spend with each parent. Ultimately, the court will order a payment it believes is in the interest of the child.
Once a child support amount has been determined by the court, it cannot be modified without reason. This prevents a parent from attempting to circumvent payments by giving the child a gift of a comparable amount or otherwise trying to skirt paying. However, if living circumstances or income have substantially changed for either or both parents, a modification can be requested. The following represents a few valid reasons for requesting a modification:
The court treats child support payments with strict expectations of accurate adherence. If you are to receive child support, you should receive full and on-time payments. If you are ordered to pay child support, you should not have to pay any more than the law requires of you. A custodial parent, for instance, cannot demand additional amounts or payments any more than a non-custodial parent can legally neglect to pay.
Your attorney can go to court on your behalf if you are not being paid child support owed by your ex-spouse or if you are unable to pay the child support that the court has ordered for you.
A: Legally, a lawyer is not required to establish child support in Maryland. However, working with an attorney is highly recommended in order to ensure everything is calculated correctly based on all relevant information.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney can present the court with the necessary evidence for presenting an appropriate child support amount, even if it deviates from state standards. Child support lawyers are excellent negotiators and have the litigation experience to understand effective strategies.
A: Failing or refusing to pay child support in Maryland is a criminal offense, punishable by jail time of up to 36 months. Maryland Code of Family Law Section 10-203 establishes the legal obligation of the other parent to pay the defined amount in child support when there is a valid child support agreement or court order. The Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) will notify the Motor Vehicle Administration to suspend your license if you are 60 days late on payments.
A: Effective as of July 1, 2022, child support has increased for parents whose combined adjusted actual income exceeds $19,200 annually. The new law also increased the income threshold by which the court would apply the Child Support Guidelines, doubling it from $180,000 to $360,000 to allow for more predictable child support outcomes for parents in higher income brackets.
Those whose income exceeds this threshold will continue to have child support calculations left to the court’s discretion.
A: In Maryland, if a father or mother is ordered to pay child support and fails to, they will be found in contempt of court and be subjected to several penalties. Any parent required to pay child support will have their driver’s license suspended after 60 days of missed payments. Subsequently, the court can order their wages to be garnished to cover the owed amount. Continued refusal could result in jail time.
The family court system takes adherence to child support orders extremely seriously. Ensuring that the order reflects a fair amount based on all considered factors is a task that should be done in partnership with a qualified and skilled attorney with experience handling child support cases. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, offer diligent representation that can help you reach a fair outcome. Contact our office today for a free review of your case.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044