Annapolis Child Support Lawyer

How is child support calculated in Annapolis?

patrickcrawford | February 12, 2019

Maryland like most states, hold each parent accountable for the welfare of the child. An Annapolis child support lawyer can explain the Maryland Child Support Guidelines (MSCG), legal entitlements and answer questions about enforcement or modifications as part of the divorce process.

In 2017, the National Vital Statistics System reported divorce rates per 1,000 total population residing in the state of Maryland at 2.5 compared to 2.7 in 2016. If you are considering divorce or already separated, you need to talk with an attorney to discuss which type of custody works best for you.

Primary Custody

Traditionally, the parent awarded the primary physical custody of the child is known as the custodial parent. Custodial parents receive child support from the noncustodial parent. Establishing child support involves evaluating both parent’s income minus the noncustodial parent’s allowable pre-existing expenses to reach a figure known as the adjusted income.

Allowable expenses include:

  • Existing child support or alimony
  • Medical costs and health benefits
  • Private school costs
  • Child care expenses including daycare

Joint Custody

Depending on the type of custody, the living arrangements will modify the MCSG formula used to calculate child support. An Annapolis child support lawyer needs to legally document the arrangements for court approval.

  • Joint custody parents share the care and control of raising the child living in one primary residence.
  • Shared custody allows the child to spend at least 35 percent of the year (127 days) with the other parent.
  • Customized joint custody agreements combine these two legal features permitting the child to live between two residences.

Split Custody

Sometimes there are two children from this union, and each parent agrees to take full physical custody of one child. MCSG guidelines have a slight twist in calculating one parent’s child support obligation to the other. The parent owing more pays the difference between the two calculations.

In this situation, the court’s decision considers the age of the child and the child’s preference for living with a specific parent. If it sounds confusing, it is, which is why you need a lawyer to walk you through the process.

Analyzing Financial Conditions

Being familiar with the MCSG, an Annapolis child support lawyer will assess all income sources including:

  • Salary, wages, or tips
  • Trust or estate earnings
  • Dividend or annuities payouts
  • Pensions or veteran benefits

There’s another aspect of child support called imputed income or voluntary impoverishment. It happens when one parent chooses not to work or intentionally hides assets to create a false sense of impoverishment.  The court will evaluate the parent’s health, ability to work, potential earning capacity or actual income earned. If the court finds the parent blameworthy, child support amounts will increase.

  • Imputing income to calculate higher or lower child support can backfire.

An experienced attorney can help protect the child’s welfare and your interests in a divorce case. Child support provides suitable living standards for the child as if the family was residing within the same household.

Call our office and speak with an experienced divorce and family law lawyer. Child support should provide children with the financial support they need to be healthy and happy.

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