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Category: Child Support

Parental Rights of Unmarried Parents

on Jun 22, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support

Child custody, child support and establishing parenting time are frequently complicated and contentious when married parents go through a divorce.  When parents are not married, those issues surrounding parental rights often become even more problematic.  If the parents are not married, custody of the child is awarded to the mother immediately.  However, a father has rights to pursue through legal proceedings. Parental Rights of the Mother Unmarried mothers are granted primary rights to custody of the child.  As a result, she has the authority to make all decisions regarding her child.  Unless this changes by agreement of the parents or a court order, the child resides with the mother.  The mother makes all decisions about the child’s schooling and...

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Child Support: When Child Support Isn’t Paid

on May 29, 2017 in Child Support

General Authority As a starting point, the state of Maryland coordinates a statewide program for enforcing child support orders.  Maryland law calls for a central registry of records, which documents absent parents.  Additionally, Maryland law calls for the location of absent parents.  Once located, Maryland determines the ability of the parent to pay child support as ordered.  Maryland may also collect and disburse child support under this law.  Finally, the statute authorizes the state of Maryland to use established legal processes to enforce previously ordered child support. Collateral Consequences for Failure to Pay Child Support Consumer Reporting Agencies Once a child support obligation goes unpaid for 60 days or more, an obligor faces potential reporting of the arrears (the...

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Going to Court: Five Tips to Help You Succeed

on May 18, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Divorce is a stressful and challenging time in any person’s life.  Going to court for divorce proceedings tends to compound the anxiety and stress of the process.  Because of this, it is essential persons going to court be mindful of their own conduct.  Additionally, one should actively take steps to consider the choices they are making before entering the courtroom.  While proper courtroom behavior may not lead a party to prevail on any given issue, improper behavior can provide a lasting impression on the court – which could impact the court’s decisions in your case. 1.  Understand the Purpose of the Proceedings There are a few different reasons one may go to court during divorce proceedings.  Take the time...

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Divorce in the State of Maryland, Short Topic Answers – Pet Custody, Health Insurance, Child Expenses

on May 7, 2017 in Child Support, Divorce

Many topics on divorce in the state of Maryland require a lengthy explanation, often covering several pages.  This collection of topics are explained quickly and with relatively short answers.  As always, refer questions to your family law attorney and follow his or her advice.  These issues are not simple and this post is designed to quickly provide basic answers, and are not intended to reflect legal advice in your specific case. Pets In some marriages, the parties view their “fur babies” as their children.  The parties often become extremely attached to their pets, which causes strife during divorce proceedings.  However, despite the parties’ feelings, courts do not view pets the same as children.  The process for deciding “pet custody”...

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April is National Stress Awareness Month

on Mar 26, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Everyone has stress.  When you are going through a divorce, or living a life post divorce different than you planned, the stresses in your life increase. What is Stress? You might be thinking, “Ha!  I know it when I feel it,” but defining stress helps us identify it earlier.  Stress is “the body’s reaction to harmful situations – whether they are real or perceived.”  When someone perceives harm, regardless if the harm is actual or imagined, the body engages in a chemical reaction, known as the “flight or fight” response.  One’s heart rate quickens, breathing intensifies, blood pressure rises, and muscles tighten.   Over the long term, stresses manifest in other ways, both physical, cognitive, and behavioral. Other Physical Symptoms of...

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Potential Consequences for Failing to Maintain Child Support Obligations

on Feb 21, 2017 in Child Support

Previously, we wrote about child support in general, as well as frequently asked questions about child support obligations.  In this post, we discuss some of the potential consequences for failing to maintain one’s ongoing child support obligation. Child Support Obligations As a preliminary matter, this post presumes a court order is currently in place, governing the child support obligations of the parties.  Some couples, particularly those who separate amicably, operate on the presumption a private agreement between them will suffice – and it will, as long as both parties continue to agree.  However, should one party decide they no longer wish to abide by an informal agreement, it may be difficult, or even impossible to enforce the agreement.  Even couples who find themselves in...

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