Modification of Child Support & Child Custody in Maryland
Maryland child custody and child support cases can be simple if legal custody, physical custody, visitation/access, and child support are resolved without attorneys or a trial.
However, if you and the other parent (grandparent or other third party) cannot resolve the matter, filing a child custody court may be the final step in resolving all child related issues.
Once the final decision is made or an Agreement reached, the Child Support and/or Child Custody Order remains in place until one of the parties file a Modification request with the Maryland Family Law Court.
1. MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT
Child support in Maryland is based on computation utilizing the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. The final child support amount that a parent will pay or receive is compromised of the gross monthly income of both parents (parties), work related childcare expenses, health insurance costs, extraordinary medical expenses, and an income deduction granted for payment of alimony or child support that is pre-existing.
Once the child support number is computed, an Order will be entered by the Maryland Family Law Court. Child support payments may be ordered as direct payments to the other parent or party, via payment through the Office of Child Support Administration, or paid by wage garnishment (earning withholding) through the Office of Child Support Administration.
Either party may request that the child support payment be increased or decreased if there is a material change in circumstances. Once one of the parties petitions the Court by filing a Motion to Modify Child Support, the Maryland Family Law Court may order that the payment amount be modified if the circumstances shown satisfy the Court and the modification is deemed to be in the best interest of the child or children.
Examples of material changes could be the removal of a substantial work related childcare expense, a change in physical custody, the loss of income, a substantial decrease of one’s income, or a substantial increase of one’s income.
A Child Support Hearing may be held and the Maryland Family Law Court will render its decision on the child support modification request.
2. MODIFICATION OF LEGAL CUSTODY AND PHYSICAL CHILD CUSTODY
In Maryland, custody refers to legal custody and physical custody. There are two (2) kinds of legal custody in Maryland.
Legal custody may be either sole legal custody or joint legal custody. Legal custody covers the decision making in the child or children’s lives. In Maryland, there is also physical custody. Just like legal custody, there are two (2) types of physical custody. Physical custody may be either sole physical custody or shared physical custody.
Child custody is based on a myriad of factors and the outcome of sole physical or shared physical custody will be decided by the Maryland Family Law Court based on the best interest of the child or children. Likewise, the Maryland Family Law Court will decide whether joint legal custody or sole legal custody is in the child or children’s best interest. Once the decision is rendered by the Court or an Agreement is reached, the Order remains in place unless one the parents or parties find that there is a material change of circumstances and the current Order is no longer in the best interest of the child.
A Motion to Modify Custody must then be filed with the Court. The Maryland Family Law Court must first find that a material change actually exists PRIOR to the examination of what is now in the child or children’s best interest.
A Child Custody Modification Hearing may be held and the Maryland Family Law Court will render its decision on the child custody modification request.
You may contact us today at the Firm, LLC (703 227 7157 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your potential issue/claim. If we believe we can assist you, we will set up a formal consultation with you to further discuss your matter. You may view our informational videos, testimonials, and client reviews on our website, thefirmllc.org, and to see more videos select the Facebook tab. Take Care!
Author: Attorney Mike Barrett, Founder/Owner
THE FIRM, LLC
Edited by: Legal Staff
Legal Disclaimer: The above information is created for general information purposes only. As such, the information and contents should not be deemed formal legal advice; nor does the information and contents create a lawyer/client relationship between any party and the editors/creators”. We encourage persons accessing this information to seek the advice of counsel to discuss their specific legal issues/situation.