Maryland law requires that financial support for a child must be addressed in every case establishing custody of a child, and further provides that child support may be modified upon the occurrence of a material change of circumstance at any point until the child is emancipated.
Child support can, and often is, calculated utilizing state mandated guidelines that are largely influenced by each parent’s income and the physical custody schedule of the child. But even in these cases, complexities and disputes can arise in addressing facts and circumstances that may justify a deviation from the guidelines or in addressing how to pay expenses that are not encompassed within the guidelines, such as the costs of private school, work related childcare, health insurance and other medical expenses. For high income earners (parents who earn combined incomes in excess of $360,000), the complexities only increase as Maryland’s child support guidelines are no longer mandatory at those income levels and Maryland law instead looks to establish financial support based upon an assessment of the reasonable needs of the child. Not surprisingly, what is “reasonable” is regularly a point of contention among separating parents.
While some child support matters can be relatively straightforward for some parents, oftentimes issues arise that require the skilled experience of effective counsel. Our lawyers are adept at helping clients navigate the myriad issues that can arise in determining the appropriate amount of child support, including determining the appropriate income to use for self-employed individuals, how to address income that is not being reported, what to do when a parent is not earning at his or her fullest earning capacity, and how to handle establishing an individual’s income when it fluctuates substantially from month to month or even year to year. We can assist by reviewing with you the specifics of your family and advocate for the support amount that is right for your particular case.