When Maryland parents are no longer together, they will need to establish a child custody agreement and child support payment amounts. This process might seem daunting, but once parents do reach an agreement and the court approves it, the wait time for financial support to begin is not very long.
When to expect payments to start
Child support payments should begin one to two months after the court issues the order. This provides plenty of time to also issue an Earnings Withholding Order, or EWO, and share it with the paying parent’s employer. An EWO instructs the employer to withhold the child support amount from the paying parent’s earnings. Even if the court does not issue an EWO, the parent responsible for paying child support must begin paying it on the date indicated in the support order.
How is child support established?
Child support, like all other child custody issues, centers on the best interests of the child. In some cases, even if parents are sharing custody, one of the parents might have to pay child support. When establishing support amounts, the court looks at several factors. These include:
- The income of both parents
- The basic costs of child-rearing
- The expense of the child’s education
- Any special needs the child may have
- How much time each parent shares with the child
Consequences of nonpayment of child support
Once the court issues a child support order, the parent responsible for payment must begin to fulfill the obligation specified. If the parent does not comply, there are a variety of consequences, including going to jail. The receiving parent must first petition the court to find the other parent in contempt for nonpayment of support.
Child support is important to maintain a child’s standard of living, especially after parents split up. On this matter, you can choose to deal with the court independently or with the assistance of a family law lawyer who might explain the state regulations and help you file the proper documents.