Do You Have to Pay Child Support if You Have Joint Custody in Maryland?

It's essential that both parents contribute to their children's upbringing even when they have joint custody. Learn more about how Maryland determines child support payments.

Do You Have to Pay Child Support if You Have Joint Custody in Maryland?

It's essential that both parents contribute to the upbringing of their children, even in cases of joint custody. The amount of support charged to each parent depends on the amount of time each parent spends with the child, as well as each parent's income and parenting expenses. Child support is determined by a mathematical calculation established by law. The fact that one party has been awarded primary custody of the children does not guarantee that child support will also be awarded, but it is more likely that it will not.

Maryland expects both parents to contribute to the care of their children in proportion to their earnings. The calculation in cases of shared physical custody takes into account the time each parent spends with their children while living in the same house and provides a formula for adjusting child support. The court may decide not to order alimony if a parent is unable to work due to incarceration, hospitalization, rehabilitation, or permanent and total disability. The costs of child care, health insurance and extraordinary medical expenses are calculated in the maintenance obligation.

If the parties cannot mutually agree on a parenting schedule, the court will have to determine a time that it considers to be in the best interest of the child. In some cases, the court orders that support be paid through a wage garnishment, and the amount is automatically deducted from the responsible parent's paycheck. Yes, but it's important to note that any agreement on the amount of alimony that differs from the legal calculation of child support and guidelines will have to be justified in the best interests of the child. It should be granted in a setting where both parents are willing and able to effectively communicate with each other about decisions related to their children.

The more time a child spends with each parent, the more direct expenses the parent will pay on behalf of the child. Follow these steps to determine the child support payment required by a parent in divided custody cases. A lawsuit to modify custody can be filed at any time; however, for it to be successful, it must be demonstrated that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that the modification is in the best interest of the child. For physical custody to be shared, both parties have at least a minimum of 128 nighttime visitors (or 35% of the year) and both contribute to the child's expenses, in addition to any alimony payments.

The court may decide that child support be paid retroactively during the period between the filing of the plea seeking child support and the final decision regarding the amount of support. The term “visitation” generally refers to the time that the party who is not the primary guardian of the child spends time with the child, but it could refer to the specific time each party spends with the child. Payments for extraordinary medical expenses, health insurance premiums, and work-related childcare expenses can be taken into account when calculating child support, so that every father shares in these costs.

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