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Issues that affect your child support settlement

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Child Custody

When you filed for divorce, your children’s well-being was no doubt your highest priority. There is no way to legally end a marriage without it disrupting children’s lives in some way. However, with careful planning and well-formed decisions, there is no reason that your divorce has to ruin your children’s lives. Since child support is a central focus of Maryland custody proceedings, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind.  

The court focuses on what’s best for children 

In all custody matters, the court’s primary focus is the best interests of the children in question. Regarding child support, you and your ex might disagree as to what a fair amount would be in order to meet the financial needs of your children as you move on in life after divorce. Numerous issues may influence the court’s decision, including whether you and your ex will be sharing physical custody.  

If so, the judge might adjust the amount of child support being paid to reflect the time that your kids will spend in the custody of the paying parent. The lifestyle to which your children were accustomed during your marriage is also a factor of consideration to help determine how much child support is needed to meet their needs. In addition to basic child-related expenses, such as clothing and shelter, your children might have numerous other financial needs.  

Child support often covers extra expenses 

If your children have activity fees, expenses for sports equipment, dance or musical instrument lessons or other extracurricular programs, it is a good idea to bring it to the court’s attention. Various issues may arise down the line that are not present at the time of your divorce, such as a child who winds up needing braces on his or her teeth.  

It is important to make sure you clearly understand Maryland child support guidelines so that you can make informed decisions when custody proceedings begin. It is also possible that, at some point, you or your ex may request modification of an existing court order. At which time, the court will carefully review the details of the request and grant modification or deny the request.  

What happens if the court denies a modification request? 

If the latter occurs, both parents are obligated to continue adhering to the existing court order, no matter what. Disregarding a child support order or any other type of custody order will not be looked upon favorably by the court. It may also wind up prompting a judge to rule that a parent is in contempt of a court ordered agreement.