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Child Support Attorney in Towson, Maryland

There is always stress involved in a divorce or when an unmarried couple decides to go their separate ways. The plans you and your partner had made for the future are suddenly disrupted as both of you chart a new and separate course. Even in the most amicable partings, there will be disagreements—when children are involved, the stakes are even higher. Divorce and separations certainly take a toll on them, even when both parents provide emotional support and attempt to shield them from the process. At the end of the day, most parents want what is best for their children, and that includes ensuring that they receive the financial support they need to disrupt their lives as little as possible.

Lebovitz Law LLC understands a parent’s wish to see that their children don’t suffer financially in divorce. This understanding is why they are committed to helping parents forge a child support arrangement agreeable to both parents, approved by the court, and conducive to helping children flourish. If you are a parent with children in Towson, Maryland, Baltimore County, or anywhere in Maryland or York, Pennsylvania, Lebovitz Law LLC can guide you through this challenging time.

Protect Your Child's Future

How Does Child Support Work in Maryland?

Maryland uses an income shares model when determining child support, which begins with figuring out how much support children received while the parents were together. Then, each parent’s share of the household is calculated, based on the percentage of income each earns, and that becomes the amount each is required to contribute to supporting the children.

Which parent pays and how much depends on who has primary physical custody of the children and how much parenting time each spends with them, so the custody agreement is a critical factor in determining child support. The number of children and their ages is also part of the equation.

There are also other factors the court will consider in the child support arrangement, including payments for the children’s health insurance premiums and significant medical expenses, transportation costs, daycare costs paid by a parent while they work, and the cost a parent pays toward the mortgage of the children’s primary residence. Furthermore, the court is not required to follow the formula for parents earning a combined monthly income of $15,000 or more. In that case, the court uses the child’s needs rather than the parent’s income as the basis for its decision.

It’s a complex calculation with several moving parts, which is why working with an experienced child support lawyer is so beneficial. Your family law attorney understands what factors affect the calculation and can help predict what a child support agreement will likely be. Your attorney can also help ensure that you don’t overlook any of the factors that should be considered during the calculation of support.

If a parent chooses to voluntarily become unemployed or underemployed hoping to reduce the amount of child support they have to pay, the court will use their imputed income in the equation. Imputed income is the amount a parent should be earning according to what is reasonable based on the parent's skillset and other factors, as opposed to what the parent actually is earning at that time.

Can Child Support Agreements be Changed?

A child support order can be changed if either parent experiences a substantial change in circumstances that affects the amount they can or should pay.

If a parent loses a job or health insurance benefits used for the children, that could qualify as a “material change in circumstances.” If a parent suffers a severe injury, medical crisis, or disability, it could be a material change that would warrant a child support modification.

Likewise, if a parent earns a promotion or changes jobs resulting in a substantial increase in their income, or if they increased their income through other ways such as a lottery win or investment payout, those too may qualify as material changes. Increased income that benefits a parent should also benefit their children.

Additionally, since there is the assumption that the parent with whom the children reside provide substantial financial support, modification may be warranted if the time spent with the other parent increases significantly.

How Long Is Child Support Required?

The termination of child support generally occurs when a child turns the age of 18 or 19 if they are still in high school. Child support would also terminate if the child joins the military, gets married, or becomes an emancipated minor prior to age 18 or high school graduation.

If a child has a disability that prohibits them from becoming self-supporting, the court could extend child support for a period or indefinitely.

Child Support Attorney in Towson, Maryland

Even when both parents agree that their children need sufficient financial support, they may not agree on the sum each parent will be required to contribute. Reach out to a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney to protect your child’s best interests as well as your own. If you have questions about child support in Towson, or throughout the state of Maryland, Lebovitz Law LLC can pursue answers. Contact their office today.