In Maryland, a material change in circumstances is necessary to modify child support. For the court to consider such an initiative, you must prove that something significant happened to prevent you from making payments or that your ex needs to pay more. Here’s a look at circumstances that could constitute a material change in Maryland.
A change in the paying parent’s standard of living
Family court can warrant a modification to child support if parents’ living standards change. This could be due to an increase or decrease in hours worked, promotion or demotion at your job, etc. If the paying parent’s income is higher now than when the court established the child support amount, the other parent can file to increase the payments because their child is entitled to benefit from that. On the other hand, you can file to reduce the payments if you lose your job.
The non-paying parent’s circumstances
Post-divorce modifications can also occur when the circumstances of the non-paying parent change. For example, if they get married or start earning more money, the courts may deem them able to contribute more to the child’s needs. If they lose their job or experience a decrease in income, the court can ask the other parent to pay more support to cover the needs of the child.
The child’s circumstances
If your child starts incurring new expenses, such as medical bills or educational costs, the paying parent may be required to pay more child support. Alternatively, if the child no longer lives with the non-paying parent or starts receiving income from another source, child support may decrease.
If you believe that your circumstances have changed enough to warrant a modification of your child support agreement, you will need to file a motion with the court. This can be done by yourself or with the help of an attorney. Once the motion is filed, a hearing will be scheduled where the judge will decide whether to modify the child support agreement.