Understanding the basics of child support

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Child Custody on Friday, January 2, 2015.

People in Maryland who are responsible for raising children know how expensive it can be. Fortunately, Maryland lawmakers are not ignorant of this fact, and they believe that children should be entitled to every advantage possible within a person's economic abilities. For that reason, Maryland has a robust child support enforcement system which is set in place to help parents and guardians provide financial support for their children.

Some people may not know that people other than the child's biological parents may be entitled to child support. For example, grandparents, relatives, and other legal guardians who are primarily responsible for the child's upbringing are all potentially eligible to obtain continuous child support payments from the child's biological parents.

The first step to obtaining child support is to contact an experienced Maryland family law attorney, or the state child support services. With the help of an attorney to guide you, the process of dealing with the various legal motions and state agencies involved may be substantially simplified. Maryland Child Support Services can help with the filing of the proper petitions or motions, including the establishment of the child's paternity, if necessary. They can also aid with enforcing the order and providing other useful services, including collection. However, they are unable to provide legal advice on child support or any facet of the child custody situation.

When it comes to enforcing the child support order, the preferred method is to have the child support amount withdrawn from the paying parent's paycheck or other source of income. However, if this is not possible, or if the parent refuses to pay, there are more unpleasant methods available, including suspending the parent's driver's license or withholding amounts from tax refunds and other state or federal benefits. For more information, people may wish to consult a Maryland family law attorney and visit the Maryland Child Support Enforcement website.

Source: Maryland Child Support Enforcement Receiving Support FAQ, accessed on Dec. 29, 2014