Child support orders are legally binding, but it's important for parents to realize that the orders can be changed. There is a variety of reasons that a parent in Maryland who is making or receiving child support payments can request a modification of a child support order. It's best to file these motions in court so that the modification is legally binding. Verbal agreements are more easily confused down the road.
Maryland parents who are contemplating divorce may be interested in how child support works in their state. Child support is, in part, monetary payments made to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent. Financial documents filed with the court are used to determine the child support amount. The documents are legal and binding, and if either parent provides false information it is considered perjury.
For noncustodial parents in Maryland, it may not always be possible to afford child support payments. In some cases, however, parents have gotten away with barely paying any child support by claiming low incomes only to give themselves away as making more money than they disclosed by bragging on social media. For instance, one case involved a father who had spent a total of $189 in child support on his 3-year-old son since the child's birth. The support payments averaged to just 14 cents a day, and the child's mother said that what the father had paid was just to keep himself out of jail.
Maryland movie fans are sure to be familiar with Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, who is currently married to Olivier Martinez and has an 8-month-old son with him. A Superior Court judge in Los Angeles, however, has recently approved an agreement that will have her making at least $16,000 a month in child support payments to her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry.
Divorce can be a fairly simple procedure in Maryland when the couple is somewhat amicable and they do not need to go to court. Papers are drawn up, assets and debts are divided, and legal fees are paid. In the end, while it can be emotionally painful, the legal process can be painless. This may not be the case when it comes to allocating and keeping track of child support.
Although non-custodial parents in Maryland could be required by a court to pay child support, it does not necessarily mean that they can or will. According to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, $108 billion in back child support payments was owed to custodial parents in 2009. Those who either cannot or will not pay child support might end up in jail; however, those who are owed the money for child care expenses might have limited options as far as collecting it is concerned.
Maryland residents who keep up with high-profile celebrity divorces may have heard about Charlie Sheen's July 10 request to pull child support payments from ex-wife Brooke Mueller. Sheen reportedly drafted the request to amend his child support agreement on July 1. The actor is currently paying his ex-wife Brooke Mueller $55,000 per month for the care of their four-year-old twin boys, but he is seeking a stop to the payments on the basis that the children are no longer in her care.
Maryland parents who are beginning the divorce process may have a lot of questions. There may be uncertainty about child support payments, alimony and child custody agreements. As other Rockville families who have gone through the divorce process know, there are a lot of issues to consider.