Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

Maryland child support question- I am the noncustodial parent of 2 teenagers ( 16 & 14), I have a child support order and have been paying over 900.00 a month for years, but I only make before taxes, 43k. I have another child 4 years old but do not have an order because I have an agreement to pay all of daycare and help when needed. I am a part of my older kids lives but now that they are older and their mom is working, I would like to see if I can have the order reduced. Will the court take my younger child expenses into account when factoring my payments? I also take care of my older kids financially outside of the order when I can but the daycare is so high, I can't do much for any of the kids. I don't want the judge to think I don't want to take care of them, my bills are really catching up because I can't afford it. Do I have a chance for modification?

Asked on 6/05/13, 8:23 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher
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Generally the court will not factor in child support payments not made pursuant to a court order, as there is no legal obligation to pay them. If you have a written agreement pertaining to support of the younger child, the court might give it some consideration. More significant would be an increase in the mother's income from what it was when the original order was put in place, although changes in your income from then would also be a factor. If you can find out what the mother's pretax income is, you can add it to yours and see what the MD Child Support Guidelines, which can be found at http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mdcode/, calls for. Click "I agree", and on the next screen check the Family Law box and type in "12-204" in the search box. This will give you the table. For example, if you and the mom were each making $43k, you would each be responsible for $780/mo in basic child support. This would go up or down depending on who is paying for their health insurance, and whether you get credit for the 4 yr old. Since the mom probably won't voluntarily share her income info with you, you would have to file a petition for modification and get her pay info via discovery (and she'll get yours).

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6/06/13, 7:31 am

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