Prince George's County Child Support Lawyer
Navigating the terrain of child support can be daunting, time consuming, and extremely frustrating, especially if you are unaware of the process. You don't have to do it alone nor rely on an overburdened system where you may be one of thousands. Whether seeking an initial order, modifying an existing order, or exploring private mediation outside of the courts, find out about the law regarding child support and how the Law Office of Robin Rucker Gaillard, LLC, can assist you and your family.
In Maryland, every parent has the obligation to support his or her child until that child reaches age 18 and has finished high school (or if still in high school, reaches age 19); marries; dies; or is otherwise emancipated, which ever occurs first. The age of majority for purposes of child support in Maryland is 18 but in some instances the obligation to pay child support may go beyond the age of majority. Child support payments are intended to help pay for some of the costs associated with child-rearing and the general proposition is that a child is entitled to benefit from the incomes of both parents and not simply of the parent with primary care of the minor child.
The parent who has the child in his or her primary physical care and custody is entitled to receive from the other parent on a monthly basis, an amount of child support for the care and maintenance of the minor child. When parents share custody, there is still a duty to pay child and an amount is still calculated. When a parent has a child for at least 128 overnights per year child support is calculated based on a shared model. Whether access/time-sharing is primarily with one parent or shared, the child support obligation of either parent can be calculated accurately using the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines were established to help ensure uniform results in child support cases across the state, given certain concrete factors. Child support is typically set by the court using the established guidelines whenever child support is in dispute and ordered to be paid by wage lien and through the Office of Child Support Enforcement, unless good cause is shown otherwise. However, there are instances when child support is calculated outside of the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, so long as such calculations benefit the minor child relative to the income of the parents.
The amount of child support is based on a number of factors, including both parents’ financial circumstances (namely actual gross income from all sources) and in some instances, the financial needs and expenses of the child of the parties. Other factors considered when computing child support include, but are not limited to, the following:
- a parent’s preexisting child support actually paid for the support of another child
- health insurance premiums paid on behalf of the minor child
- any alimony that the either parents pays or receives
- any expenses incurred for daycare so that a parent can work (or obtain employment)
- any extraordinary medical expenses incurred by the child (i.e. costs ~ or > $100/mo)
- additional expenses (e.g., private school tuition; counseling or tutoring; educational testing; airfare for time-sharing between parents’ homes, etc.)
Many factors impact families and child support, from identifying sources of income, to accommodating the changing needs of the children as they grow and develop. With the help of an experienced child support lawyer like Robin Rucker Gaillard, Esq., you can help ensure an equitable outcome in your case.