Prince Frederick Child Support Attorney Serving Southern Maryland
Divorce is often not easy, and with children involved, the issues can get more contentious and fought over with greater vigor. One thing both parents can generally agree upon is that they both want what’s best for the children, and they both want to have a positive and engaged relationship with their children. There’s no question that the custodial parent needs adequate financial support to raise the children properly, and Maryland law provides guidance to parents in what the appropriate amount of support should be. At Meng Law, our Prince Frederick child support attorneys represent parents in custody, whether paying or receiving child support, to ensure fair treatment for our clients and a support amount in the children’s best interests. Learn more about child support in a Maryland custody matter below, and contact Meng Law in Prince Frederick for help with a custody or child support issue in Calvert, St. Mary’s, Charles or Prince George’s County.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines
The first step in determining child support is to complete the worksheets provided in the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines will determine the monthly amount received by the parent with primary physical custody from the noncustodial parent. The Guidelines provide two different sets of worksheets depending on whether the child custody arrangement involves primary physical custody to one parent or shared physical custody.
The factors which go into determining the amount of child support include:
- The number of children to be supported
- Each parent’s actual income, including pre-tax wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, social security, workers’ compensation, disability, alimony, interest income, trust income, etc.
- Adjusted income, where actual income can be adjusted up or down based on existing child support or alimony orders or any alimony ordered in the present divorce case
- Each parent’s individual share of income relative to the combined income of both parents
- Childcare expenses while the custodial parent is working
- Health insurance
- Extraordinary medical expenses, including dentists and orthodontists, physical therapy, asthma treatment, mental health or psychological counseling, and uninsured medical expenses over $100
- Cash medical support and other additional expenses outlined in the Maryland Family Code
In the case of shared physical custody, the percentage of overnights for each parent is included to reach a theoretical child support obligation, but an additional worksheet is needed to calculate extra adjustments. Calculating child support in shared custody arrangements is much more complicated than calculating child support where one parent holds primary physical custody.
The Maryland Guidelines are Not Necessarily the Final Say in the Amount of Child Support
The amount calculated according to the guidelines is generally implemented unless one of the parents can show that the guidelines amount is unjust or inappropriate. The judge in charge of the divorce case can deviate up or down from the guidelines amount in the child’s best interests. It’s up to the parents through their attorneys to present compelling arguments and evidence demonstrating why a deviation from the guidelines should or should not occur.
How Meng Law can Help with Child Support in Maryland Custody Cases
If either parent is seeking a deviation from the guidelines amount, our experienced courtroom lawyers can build a strong case that supports your position and present it in a compelling fashion to the judge. Our child support attorneys can help in other ways as well, such as ensuring that a parent’s actual income and adjustments to income are fully and fairly reported. Some parents may change jobs or stop working to avoid paying child support, or they may underreport income. Our lawyers can help the court evaluate factors such as a parent’s health, education, prior work history, earning capacity, and efforts to find a job, in order to determine whether the parent is voluntarily impoverished and should have a certain amount of income imputed for fairness in child support. With our years of litigation experience and dedication to the best interests of our clients and their children, you can count on Meng Law to provide smart, strong and effective representation regarding child support in your Maryland divorce.
Experienced Maryland Divorce Attorneys Ready to Help You with Your Child Support Dispute
For help with child support and other issues in your Southern Maryland divorce, contact Meng Law in Prince Frederick at 410-535-5500.