The primary concern for all parents should be to care for the needs of their children. Chief among those needs are the requirements for food, shelter, and clothing. If the parents of a child live under the same roof, the law assumes that both parents are providing a part of that burden.
Of course, if the parents are no longer living together, this equation changes. Any parent who has physical custody over a child may petition a court to require the other parent to pay support. In addition, a divorce case where the two people share a child in common must make accommodation for child support.
A compassionate Bethesda child support lawyer could help you work toward a fair child support payment by filing an initial claim or requesting that a court modify an existing order. An experienced family law attorney could even file complaints when you have not received the support required from the other parent.
Who Does the Law Require to Pay Child Support?
Raising a child is a collaborative effort. If parents are no longer living together, or if they never lived together at all, this does not change this fact. It is also true that courts have the power to grant primary physical custody to one parent over the other. A parent who does not receive primary physical custody over a child has the obligation to pay child support.
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It is vital to understand that this is a legal obligation. There is a presumption that every parent must pay something towards the support of a child, even if the other parent makes significantly more money or the payor is unable to work because of a disability.
According to Md. Code, Family Law §12-202, Bethesda family courts utilize a mathematical equation that determines the child support amount for most cases. A diligent Bethesda child support attorney could help people understand the purposes of child support payments, who is required to pay, and what the amount should be.
Common Issues with Child Support Payments
A child support order carries the weight of the law. That means that a person who fails to provide child support as ordered is in contempt of a court order. Any person who feels that a payor has not provided money as required can petition the court to hold the non-payor responsible. Courts have the power to directly garnish a person’s wages, to suspend their driver’s license, or even to sentence a non-paying parent to jail.
If a person is having trouble making payments, they can petition the court to modify an existing order. This could result in stopping payment problems before they begin. Under Md. Code, Family Law §12-104, any party to a child support order may ask the court to recalculate an appropriate support payment after experiencing a material change in circumstances.
A skilled child support lawyer in Bethesda could help evaluate whether a new event in life merits a change to a child support order. They could also help deal with allegations that a paying parent has failed to provide child support orders as required by the court.
Consult with a Bethesda Child Support Attorney Today
Raising a child requires cooperation between both parents, even if they do not live together. This concept is enshrined in state law through the use of child support orders. A parent who does not enjoy primary physical custody over a child must provide cash payments for child support. These rules are without exception, even for parents who make less money than a custodial parent.
A seasoned Bethesda child support lawyer could help work towards a fair child support arrangement for you and your child. This can include filing initial requests for payments, moving for a modification of an existing order, or even filing complaints in case of non-payment. Contact qualified legal counsel today to make an appointment.