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 & Drawbaugh, P.C., our divorce lawyers fight for the best interests of your child while ensuring that your interests are protected.
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 & Drawbaugh, P.C., help you determine the amount of child support you should expect to pay or receive.
Failing to pay court-ordered child support can have serious consequences. Under Maryland law, the penalties for nonpayment of support include:
The attorneys at Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C., are experienced in the enforcement of child support orders.
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:
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:
Changes that might warrant a decrease in support payments include:
The experienced Frederick and Rockville child support attorneys at Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C. help you pursue or challenge a modification of your child support order.
The family law attorneys at Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C. can answer your questions about child support. Call us at 301-631-0592, or contact us online today. Our Maryland attorneys represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery, Washington and Howard counties. Our offices are in Frederick and Rockville.