When a married couple decides to split up legally, they generally split up their financial obligations towards any debts or liabilities they may have accumulated throughout their marriage. However, the most significant manner in which both individuals will be affected financially generally arises when there are children involved in the breakup. The children are entitled to receive child support and the amount of child support required by each parent depends on a variety of factors.
Maryland, in particular, utilizes a formula entitled the Child Support Guidelines to come to a final decision. In most cases, the parent who has primary custody of the children, or in other words, the parent who lives with the children and takes care of them on a daily basis will be the one who will receive child support from the other parent. However, this is not always the case. The tables can turn if:
- The income of the parents increase or decrease
- If parents decide to change custody of the children (for instance, they decide to share custody)
In Maryland, shared physical custody of the child is defined as when each parent keeps their child at their home for more than 35% of the entire year.
If the parents of a child have decided that they want to share the custody of their child or they want to have their case reevaluated they should get in touch with a child support attorney at their earliest convenience. A legal representative will be able to inform a parent of the rights which they hold and walk them through the legalities in order for them to live in the family structure which they believe is best for themselves and their children.
How does the court calculate the amount of child support which needs to be given by the parent who does not have primary custody?
The court will evaluate a variety of different factors when looking into how much money the parent needs to provide, including:
- The monthly income of each parent (both the actual income and the adjusted actual income)
- Health insurance expenses
- Financial statements
- Medical expenses
- Child-care expenses due to work
Every parent has the legal obligation to provide for their kids as best as they possibly can. If one of the parents has the ability to work but they choose not to, they may still be treated as having income. This potential income is termed ‘imputed income’. In order for the court to make the decision that a parent really does have imputed income, they have to be able to prove that the parent is in good health, both mental and physical, and they have the required education and skill set to get a proper job. A lawyer who specializes in dealing with child support cases can assist a parent in making the correct points in court to prove that they will require more child support or to prove that the other parent is able to offer more child support as well.