Child Support Attorneys Serve Frederick and Rockville

Every child’s right, every parent’s obligation

Because of the intense emotions that come with divorce, some parents lose sight of the fact that child support is not about rewarding or punishing the ex-spouse. Child support is about taking care of your son or daughter. At Haspel & McLeod, P.C., our divorce lawyers fight for the best interests of your child while ensuring that your interests are protected.

How is child support calculated in Maryland?

The child support obligation extends to both mothers and fathers. In Maryland, child support is based on a formula that takes into account a number of factors, including each parent’s income, the number of overnights the child spends with each parent, childcare expenses and medical expenses.

The court has considerable discretion to deviate from the child support guidelines, based on the unique facts of your case. This is particularly true when the combined income of the parents is substantial, which is known as being “above the guidelines.” The amount of support also can be reduced if the noncustodial parent has physical custody of the child for at least 35 percent of the time. The divorce attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C., help you determine the amount of child support you should expect to pay or receive.

What happens if child support isn’t paid?

Failing to pay court-ordered child support can have serious consequences. Under Maryland law, the penalties for nonpayment of support include:

  • Jail time
  • Driver license suspension
  • Seizure of real estate and personal property
  • Seizure of tax refunds, lottery winnings and any other state or federal payments
  • Denial of a passport
  • Negative report to credit bureaus
  • Suspension or denial of any license, certificate or permit needed for an occupation or profession

The attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C., are experienced in the enforcement of child support orders.

Is support limited to payments to the custodial parent?

The court’s child support order can involve more than the noncustodial parent’s direct payment of money to the custodial parent. The order can require the noncustodial parent to take other steps, such as:

  • Making direct payments to the child’s daycare provider
  • Paying for the child’s round-trip transportation for visits with the noncustodial parent
  • Providing health insurance for the child
  • Maintaining the child as the beneficiary of the parent’s life insurance policy
  • Paying a percentage of the child’s uninsured medical costs and deductibles
  • Paying for the child’s music, dance or other extracurricular lessons
  • Making direct payments to the child’s private school

At Haspel & McLeod, P.C., we help you create a realistic child support arrangement through negotiation, mediation or litigation.

Can the amount of child support be modified?

The court that made the initial child support award can modify its order if one or both of the parents experience a material change in circumstances. The parent seeking the modification starts the process by filing a motion with the court.

Changes that might justify an increase in child support payments include:

  • The noncustodial parent’s income rises by 25 percent or more
  • The child’s needs increase because of illness or disability
  • As the child grows older, clothes, food and other necessities become more expensive

Changes that might warrant a decrease in support payments include:

  • The custodial parent’s income increases by 25 percent or more
  • The custodial parent receives a substantial inheritance
  • The noncustodial parent loses a job
  • The noncustodial parent becomes disabled
  • The noncustodial parent is in jail or prison

The experienced Rockville & Frederick child support attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C., help you pursue or challenge a modification of your child support order.

Contact Haspel & McLeod, P.C about your child support issues

The family law attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C., can answer your questions about child support. Call us at 301-424-8841, or contact us online today. Our Maryland attorneys represent individuals and families throughout Montgomery, Frederick and Howard counties. Our offices are in Rockville and Frederick.