Category: Child Support

Stepparent Adoptions in the State of Maryland

on Jul 30, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Stepparent adoptions in Maryland occur frequently in “blended families.”  The term “blended family” means a marriage after a divorce or other relationship that produces a child.   The non-biological parent, or stepparent, adopts a spouse’s child from the previous relationship.  In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent assumes both legal and financial responsibility for a spouse’s children.  Further, the non-custodial parent no longer has any parenting responsibilities or rights. Circumstances and Requirements for Stepparent Adoption in Maryland Many circumstances lead to families pursuing stepparent adoption.  In some cases, a mother remarries and her new husband wants to adopt her child or children.  Similarly, a father remarries and his new wife wants to adopt his child or children.  In other cases, same-sex...

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Parenting Planning: Back to School

on Jul 21, 2017 in Child Support, Divorce

Parenting Plans and Parenting Planning The end of July is almost here, which means school is right around the corner. Some families have kids in sports that may begin practices before school even begins. As the summer winds down, it is a good idea to take a look at the upcoming school year and start making plans. “Parenting plans” come in many forms, some quite detailed, and others more broad based. This depends on the lawyers, the court, and the preferences of the parents. At a minimum, parenting plans define “who has the child when.” The purpose of this post is not to discuss the fundamentals of an original parenting plan. More on that can be found in this...

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Selecting Your Divorce Attorney

on Jul 3, 2017 in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce

Why Selecting the Right Divorce Attorney Matters Whether you are only considering filing for divorce, or have already made the decision to divorce, selecting a divorce attorney is a critical part of the process.  If you and your spouse have children in common, you will be dealing with each other for years to come.  This won’t only include through the childhood years.  Parents who have children in common will share holidays, celebrate births, and grieve losses with their children into adulthood. Even people without children in common will live with the decisions made in the divorce decree for the rest of their lives.  Where the lawyers can’t come to a resolution, courts make determinations about alimony and property division...

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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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