Will I Automatically Receive Child Support If I Have Custody Of My Child?
No, you will not automatically receive child support simply because you have custody of your child. Child support is calculated based on the income of both parents, health insurance costs, and some other expenses. Most often, the custodial parent will receive at least some child support from the non-custodial parent. An example of a time when the custodial parent might not receive child support is when the non-custodial parent is paying exorbitant costs for the child’s health care and daycare. The way to determine how much the custodial parent will receive in support is through the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Attorneys have software that, after inputting values for income of the parties, health care, and daycare, will calculate how much support would be ordered in that case.
Does Anyone Have To Pay Child Support If Both Parents Have Equal Parenting Time?
Again, even if the parents have equal parenting time, child support would still have to be calculated. For example, if one parent earns a lot more than the other, the higher earning parent would probably owe the other parent support even if they have the child equal amounts of time. But, if the parents earn about the same, they may agree not to pay each other support. In a case like that, the child support calculator might show that one parent owes the other parent $15 per month, for example. Because that is so low, they will typically just agree that it’s not worth the trouble of making child support payments. They just agree to fully support the child when the child is with them individually.
If the parties make a combined income of more than $15,000.00 per month, they will not use the child support guidelines to calculate support. Instead, the court looks carefully at what the expenses are for the children and determines an amount that is in the children’s best interests.
What Factors Do The Courts Consider When Determining The Amount Of Child Support?
Factors that the courts consider when determining the amount of child support are healthcare expenses, daycare expenses, extraordinary medical expenses, incomes of the parties, and sometimes, other expenses that may be relevant for child support purposes. Those would have to be discussed with an attorney to decide whether they would be used for calculating child support in your particular case.
When Does Child Support Actually Start In The Divorce Process?
Typically, one or both parents will include a request for child support in their initial complaint for divorce and custody. If, for example, a party requests child support in the month of January, and a child support order is entered the following December (11 months later), then the party who owes child support will not only owe child support every month going forward, but will also owe child support for the 11 months that past since the other parent filed. So, if the support order is $500 per month, the court might order the obligor to pay an additional $100 in arrears until the total amount owed for the prior 11 months is paid.
Can The Amount For Child Support Ever Be Adjusted Or Modified?
Yes, the amount for child support can be adjusted and/or modified. Whoever wants the child support amount changed must prove that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstance that warrants the modification. A lot of times, if one of the parties loses their job or the other party is making a lot more income or the expenses for the children have changed then one of the parties will move to modify the child support.
How Long Does Child Support Typically Last For?
Child support typically lasts until the child is 18 years old, or until the child is 19 years old if he or she is still in high school. In some orders, child support doesn’t terminate automatically. The payor of child support will have to pay attention to when the child support should end, and in some cases, file a motion with the court to make sure any obligation is terminated. We have seen scenarios where the payor does not move to terminate, and support is still being deducted from his or her wages far after the child reaches the age of adulthood. There are some cases where if the child has certain special needs, child support will last for even longer. It is important to discuss this with your attorney.
Does A Paying Parent Have Any Say In How The Child Support Amount Is Spent?
The payor parent absolutely does not have a say in how the child support amount is spent. Typically, once the support is paid, it’s up to the parent who receives the payment to decide how they will spend that money. It’s assumed that the parent receiving the support uses the payment to provide for the children. That could meant that the payment is used to put a roof over their head, the food on the table, care for their day to day needs, and buy them clothing and shoes. If you are a payor and you are uncomfortable with the fact that you cannot monitor how the money is spent, you are not alone. Many payors feel the same. But, for statutory and policy reasons, this is how child support is processed in the state of Maryland at this time.
For more information on Receiving Child Support In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 340-1911 today.