When a relationship that has resulted in children ends, the breakup can quickly become filled with legal problems in regards to custody and child support. In this kind of situation, it is always best to know what rights you have to make sure that you are paying or receiving the correct amount of child support. The Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) is available as a resource for Maryland residents who are dealing the child support issues.
Who Needs to Pay Child Support?
The parent that does not have primary physical custody of the child has to pay the other parent child support. This can be different if there is shared physical custody. It will be up to the court to determine how much financial support each parent will owe to the care of the child and to whom that support will be given.
How Can I Get Child Support?
In order to obtain child support, you will need to either fill out an application online through the CSEA website or through the mail. When you apply, you should include the full names of both parents, including nicknames, the last known addresses, and the name and address of the last known employer for both parents. The CSEA will also need the social security number and date of birth for both parents. Also, you need to provide either a description or photo of the other parent. If there is a marriage certificate, divorce decree, affidavit of paternity or any other legal paperwork regarding paternity, you need to provide that too. You also will be asked for the child’s birth certificate and social security number.
Can I Get in Trouble If I Choose to Not Pay Child Support?
There are risks to not paying child support, including having your income, bank accounts, and tax refund garnished. Other consequences include having your driver’s license, professional license, or recreational licenses revoked and being denied a passport. Your failure to pay will be reported to the credit bureaus, which will lower your credit score. The court can also hold you in contempt of court, which can lead to you being arrested.
Can My Visitation Be Stopped by Nonpayment?
As a parent, you have a legal right to be able to see your child. Even if you are behind on child support, the other parent cannot use that as a reason to deny you visitation. If you have been given a visitation order and the other parent is keeping the child from you, you can go back to court to have it enforced.
How Can I End Child Support?
It is very important that you do not stop paying support illegally. If you think you should not be paying child support you should speak with a lawyer, do not just stop paying. In Maryland, you cannot make an agreement to stop child support because under the law a child has the right to support from each parent. So, the only way to stop child support is to wait until the child has turned 18, unless you can show that you are not the child's biological parent.
Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?
Legal representation can make a major difference when you are in the process of setting up or changing child support. A Maryland family law lawyer can guide you through the process and help you avoid many of the common mistakes.