Child Support

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Bethesda Child Support Lawyers Helping Parents

Understanding Montgomery County rules for determining child support

Parents have a duty to provide financial support for their children. Raising a child costs a fortune. They need a place to live, food, clothing, medical care, and books. And those are just the minimal needs. Children have a right to the same advantages and enjoyments of life as their parents. This includes vacations, hobbies, electronic equipment, etc. According to the Department of Agriculture (in a report with CNN), for a middle-income, married couple to raise a child costs $233,610.

At McCabe Russell, PA, our Bethesda child support attorneys review the income and assets of the parents to determine what support should be paid. We do this by examining tax returns, business records, court records, and other documents. If we find outside sources of revenue, or differences in business valuations, we make sure they are included in the records, so that the court can make a fair assessment of what is due.

How is Maryland child support calculated?

Family courts used to examine how each parent spent their income before arriving at a support figure. Today, however, Montgomery County child support officers arrive at a support figure by making the following analysis:

  1. They determine the amount of income each parent has. This includes employee salaries, freelance income, business income, and investment income. Income also includes retirement benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, disability insurance, trust income, and other income sources.
  2. They determine how many children need support. This number includes children from prior parents or relationships.
  3. They then consult statutory guidelines that are used to figure the total income each of the children deserves.

The amount of support the non-physical custodian pays is based on the guideline figure and the proportional share of income the non-physical custodian earns. For example, if a wife earns $2,000 a month and a husband earns $3,000 a month, they earn $5,000 a month together. If there is just one child, and the guideline says the child should receive $700/month based on $5,000 in monthly income, then the father pays 60% ($3000/$5000) of that figure – 60% of $700 equals $420/month.

Child support does take into account a few other factors, such as:

  • The amount of alimony and child support a parent is already paying.
  • Adjustments for health insurance premiums, child care costs so parents can work, and expenses for children with special needs or unique medical problems
  • Adjustments if both parents have shared physical custody

Is it possible to change child support orders?

Child support generally lasts until a child reaches the age of 18 and graduates high school, or turns 19 – whichever is earlier. Once the order is final, it can be difficult to change. The payor parent would have to demonstrate a change in circumstances or need, such as:

  • The loss of a job
  • The loss of a home
  • Deteriorating health
  • A change in the income of one of the parties

Child support payments are often made through the Montgomery County Office of Child Support Enforcement, which then goes to the other parent. Payments are normally made on a regularly basis, such as monthly, weekly, or biweekly.

How are Maryland child support orders enforced?

Our lawyers bring court actions against parents who fail to pay support in which we may request that the paying parent’s wages be garnished or, in extreme cases, that the parent be sent to jail until the arrears are paid.

Types of Cases We Handle

Our Bethesda attorneys handle a variety of cases, including:

DivorceAsset DivisionAlimonyChild Custody
Child SupportSame-Sex DivorceSame-Sex Child Custody/Support

The support your children need from the lawyers you already know and trust

Parents must pay support to raise their children, even when the parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. The duty of support should not be bargained away. At McCabe Russell, PA, we fight for your child’s best interests and rights. We proudly represent mothers and fathers who only want to protect their children. Please call us at 443.917.3347 or use our contact form to make an appointment.


Bethesda Office

6701 Democracy One Plaza Loop,
Suite 300,
Bethesda, Maryland, 20817
Phone: (301) 888-6945

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Text Us443-917-3347