Family Law Firm Advises on Maryland and Washington, D.C. Child Support Issues
Experienced attorney represents parents in negotiations and court proceedings
In Maryland and Washington, D.C., The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC provides effective representation for mothers and fathers relating to child support issues. As an accomplished family law attorney, Michael A. Troy can summarize the factors used by governments when setting initial rates, as well as the pertinent standards courts use when considering if an existing order should be modified or enforced. In all types of child support matters, we help parents establish fair terms and avoid unnecessary problemsFactors used in determining a child support amount
After a divorce, child support payments are usually made by the parent who does not have primary physical custody. However, even if custody is shared — with the child spending at least 35 percent of their time in each home — one parent might still be required to assist the other financially. The required payment rate is usually based on the following factors:
- Average monthly income — Under the “income shares” model used in Maryland and Washington, D.C., each parent’s average monthly income is used to set the amount of child support that one party must pay the other. When a party intentionally limits their income to evade their obligation, the court can impute funds the parent should have earned.
- Medical costs — Each parent is required to pay a share of the child’s health insurance premiums in accord with their percentage of the combined parental income. Usually, a youth is covered under one parent’s policy, so the child support order would be adjusted to reflect that. Likewise, an extraordinary medical expense qualifies for a mandatory child support deduction, so if an obligor parent pays the bill, their child support amount is reduced. If the recipient pays the bill, the child support rate is increased.
- Child care expenses — Single mothers and fathers who work might need to rely on a child care provider. A noncustodial parent who pays day care or similar costs for their child receives a mandatory deduction from their support obligation.
Though the calculation of child support might appear to be simple, a skilled family lawyer can identify areas where incorrect information could result in an order that harms you and your child. Our firm is dedicated to ensuring fair treatment for our clients whether they are expecting to make or to receive payments.
Adjustments to a child support order when circumstances change
If your income changes materially, you can petition for a modification of your child support obligation to account for the adjustment. In Washington, D.C., a request will be considered if the recalculation would shift the obligation by at least 15 percent either way. Maryland has a similar standard, though the exact percentage might vary. Whatever situation you’re in, we’ll review the facts and advocate for an appropriate resolution. Even if both parents agree on a new rate, it is best to formalize the revised arrangement to avert potential problems down the road.
Enforcement measures when child support is not paid
Both Maryland and Washington, D.C. have agencies dedicated to enforcing child support obligations. When a payment is late, missed or incomplete, we advise clients on the administrative and legal options available to ensure compliance with the order. Various methods exist under the law to secure the amount that is owed, including wage garnishment, suspension of professional licenses or driving privileges, notification to employers and even contempt of court.
Contact a Maryland and Washington, D.C. child support lawyer for a free consultation
The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC in Greenbelt advocates on behalf of Beltway-area parents in child support proceedings, including enforcement and modification actions. Please call 202-864-2296 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.