Each parent has an absolute duty to support a minor child. Child support payments are determined based upon a variety of circumstances including where the proceedings take place. As family law attorneys we will help you resolve child support payments in Maryland and D.C. through negotiation or, when necessary, through courtroom proceedings.
Child Support in Maryland & D.C.
Establishing the child support payment is an important step in the divorce and child custody process. Child support in Maryland and D.C. are approached differently, so it is also dependent upon where the child support proceedings are located as to how support will be established. Maryland has developed a matrix that establishes child support payments based upon income. In D.C., child support payments are determined by the judge. We help clients decipher all the mitigating circumstances and assist with resolution either through a negotiated settlement or, if necessary, through courtroom proceedings.
Maryland Child Support
Maryland has acted to simplify child support payments by issuing child support guidelines based upon income. Passed into law in 1990, the guidelines established a matrix which standardized monthly child support payments. Updated in 2010, the guidelines are useful for families where income does not exceed $180,000 per year. In the wealthy enclaves surrounding D.C., this income threshold is often exceeded. “Above the guideline” cases are subject to interpretation and often rely upon a needs-based approach or an extrapolation approach.
The job of your Maryland child support attorney is to help determine actual income and child maintenance needs. We structure an argument for child support needs by considering a variety of factors. Expenses, income, alimony, use & possession of the home, and legal guidelines all play an important role in child support calculation. We also help determine the actual child support needs to maintain the same care and lifestyle for the child. When analyzing needs, we evaluate factors such as medical care, private school tuition, living expenses, health insurance costs, and all other extenuating circumstances that contribute to the cost of raising children.
Child Support in D.C.
Child support payment in D.C. differs from Maryland. In D.C., there is no standard child support payment guideline. Instead, child support payment is decided during the divorce. D.C. combines all actions related to a divorce into one proceeding. Division of marital property, alimony, custody, and child support are decided all at once. This means that the child support payment is an integral piece that must be addressed as part of the divorce proceeding.
Regardless of the location of your child support action, we have the essential experience to assist with your case. Our attorneys only practice family law, and we have decades of experience in both Maryland and D.C. Our experience, knowledge, and track record of success is why our attorneys have been named to Washingtonian Magazine’s list of Best Family Law Attorneys for well over a decade. With systems, processes, and resources built exclusively for the practice of family law, we can help you settle or litigate your child support payment issues.
If you are struggling with a family law issue in Maryland or D.C., contact us so we can have a conversation. Our attorneys can advise you on the way forward and, should you choose to retain our firm, help resolve the matter in the best possible manner.