Child Support Protects The Child(ren)’s Interests
Any couple with children seeking a divorce in Maryland will have to work with their divorce attorneys to create a child support arrangement. Working with an experienced attorney who is dedicated to advocating for your needs will ensure that your agreed-upon child support obligation is fair and justified.
If you are having legal concerns about child support in Maryland or the Washington, D.C., area, talk to an attorney at Hecht & Associates, LLC, in Rockville.
A support case involves an understanding of the relevant Child Support Guidelines, ascertaining the income of the parents, understanding the needs of the children, and all other factors that play a role in support agreements or decisions by the court. As most people understand, any one of these cases can be low-conflict or high-conflict. This typically depends on the litigants and their attorneys.
Various factors are considered when determining the amount of child support that must be paid, including:
- Gross income of both parents
- Health care costs
- Child care costs
- Visitation schedule
The Maryland Child Support Guidelines use a formulaic approach to calculate the child support obligation for most couples seeking a divorce in Maryland. However, if the couples’ combined gross income exceeds $15,000 per month, the guidelines are not required to be used.
It is important to hire an experienced and qualified attorney when you are seeking a divorce in Maryland. To learn more about child support costs in the state, contact us today.
What Do The Guidelines Say?
In every case that involves children, there will be a child support component. Child support can be calculated in a very formulaic manner using the Maryland Child Support Guidelines if the parents qualify based upon their combined gross income (under $15,000 per month). The child support guidelines take into consideration a limited amount of information from the parties, including gross income and child-related costs such as day care and health insurance. This information must be verified in a number of ways to ensure that the child or children’s basic needs are being met. Of course, the time-sharing arrangement between the parties is also a factor considered by the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Notwithstanding the child support guidelines, there are circumstances that dictate an upward or downward deviation from the recommended child support obligation under the guidelines. In these instances, it is incredibly important to have an attorney experienced and familiar with the circumstances justifying deviation from the guidelines, so they can present the case properly to the court if litigation on the issue is needed.
When the combined gross income of the parents exceeds $15,000 per month, the court is not required to consider the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Instead, the court looks to the actual needs of the child or children to ensure that those needs are met consistent with the parents’ time-sharing arrangement and respective incomes. In high-income family law cases that involve child support, it is critical to have a skilled negotiator and litigator to ensure that the correct amount of child support is being paid based upon actual evidence of actual needs. So while in some cases, the easiest thing may be to extrapolate the child support guidelines to arrive at a child support figure and obligation, this can often lead to an inequitable result. The ability to analyze the evidence as it pertains to income and children’s needs is critical.