What is Child Support?
Raising a child doesn’t just take a village — it requires a financial commitment from both parents. Every parent has a legal duty to support their child financially. The court considers a number of factors in determining child support: income (including non-traditional income or business ownership), time-sharing, and the expenses necessary to build a bright future.
Also important to note is the unequivocal distinction between child support and spousal support; child support is money that’s allocated for the child’s benefit only.
Modifying Child Support Under Maryland Law
Child support orders aren't set in stone, and as familial circumstances change, support orders can be modified to match. A precipitating situational change is required to trigger a modification of child support. The courts have a term for this type of trigger: a material change, or a change in circumstance that arises after a child support order has already been entered. This means modifications can’t be granted based on arguments already heard in court.
The following situations would typically meet the “material change” standard:
- A shift in the child’s needs or schedule
- A change in a parent's income (whether up or down)
- Arrival of additional children
- An emancipation or graduation event
Non-payment of Child Support
As a caretaker, it can be disruptive and frustrating to realize that you’re the only parent pulling their own (financial) weight after child support is ordered. We empathize with your struggle, and if you’re struggling to collect the child support you’re owed, we can help. There are certain corrective measures we can take, such as calling on the court’s power of contempt, for starters. The one action you can’t take? Withholding access to your child in the meantime. If you’re missing a child support payment, contact your attorney or The Office of Child Support Enforcement Administration to initiate enforcement measures today instead of taking matters into your own hands.
Finding the Right Child Support Attorney in Maryland
At ZFL, we believe that the best attorney for you is usually the one that feels right from the start. When it comes to securing your child’s financial future, the importance of finding strategic, compassionate counsel cannot be understated, especially if you’re a business owner or if you have any type of non-traditional income. The reality is, nuanced financial child support cases require a legal team with the proven knowledge to navigate them. By combining our vast legal experience, our tenured team can design a tailored strategy to help you take back your power and build the new beginning you deserve.