When parents divorce and one parent is awarded sole custody, the other parent often feels as though he or she should not have to make child support payments, as they believe that they are not required to pay for a child they rarely see, much less raise. Please continue reading and speak with our Maryland family law attorney to learn more about child support and whether custody affects it. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Maryland courts will consider many different factors when determining child support. To start, they will determine which spouse was financially dependent during the marriage. In most cases, the financially dependent spouse will be awarded child support payments so that parent can continue to uphold that child's standard of living. The primary concern of Maryland courts is your child's best interests, so your child support arrangement will function to best reflect your child's needs.
The first thing that you should understand about child support is that it is not dependent on child custody. This means that even if your former spouse has sole custody of your child, even if you do not have visitation rights, you will still have to pay child support if the court determines as much. When parents do not follow their support agreement, they risk facing very serious penalties, including jail time in the worst cases. That being said, you should understand that there are circumstances wherein either the supporting or supported parent can request a modification to their support agreement. For example, if you owe child support, though your child is either of emancipation age or you can prove that your child is financially independent, you may request that your support agreement be terminated.
On the other hand, however, if your child has special needs or plans on receiving higher education, the supported spouse may also request an extension on child support payment, which you will still have to make, regardless of whether you have custody of your child or not. If you are looking to obtain a modification, or you have any additional questions about support agreements in Maryland, please do not hesitate to speak with our experienced Maryland family law attorney today. Our firm is always here to help.
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