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The path to a child support award can be rife with nuances and unexpected consequences. The attorneys of Grover & Badalian have extensive experience resolving and litigating child support cases and are well-versed in the various factors considered by the court when determining child support.
In Maryland for instance, courts colloquially categorize child support cases as either a “guidelines case” or “above guidelines case.” If the parents’ combined incomes are less than a certain threshold per month, the child support award calculated by using the Maryland Child Support Guidelines is presumed to be appropriate. The Guidelines is a statutory creation based on a formula devised by the legislature that accounts for income sharing and certain child-related expenses. If your case is a “guidelines case,” the pre-determined child support figure is mandatorily awarded by the court, unless using the Guidelines would lead to an unjust or inappropriate result.
If the parties’ combined incomes exceed the statutorily required threshold per month, the appropriate amount of child support is left to the discretion of the court based on a number of factors and variables. Factors and variables that may impact the child support calculation are the overall needs of the child which may include expenses such as special activities, private school expenses, special needs of the child, childcare needs of the parents, transportation expenses of the child (particularly when one parent relocates from the family home), the addition of other children for whose support a parent is responsible, and one parent’s existing alimony obligation.
Often overlooked is the possibility that the parties’ financial condition may change during and after the child support case. The attorneys of Grover & Badalian are well-equipped to handle circumstances in which a parent attempts to reduce support obligations by quitting a job or burying a salary in a solely-titled business.
After a child support case concludes, child support can be modified upon demonstrating a material change in circumstances. Grover & Badalian can help you evaluate whether to revisit and seek modification of an existing child support order based on your specific circumstances.