Protecting Your Interests In Child Support
Child support is a legal obligation, not contractual. In other words, a court can decide whether or not to enforce an agreement among the parents. In doing so, the court considers the best interests of the children. Parents cannot waive their obligation to support their children, and both parents are obligated to support their children. The Law Offices Of Mariam Ebrahimi PLLC is committed to aggressive representation on all child support issues.
In Virginia and Maryland, the level of child support is determined by a statutory formula. The formula is based on gross income of each parent, the percentage of parenting time, the number of children, and expenses paid by either spouse toward child care or health insurance. However, it is not as simple as plugging data into a calculator. The veracity of the information is subject to evidentiary rules such as income claimed by a self-employed spouse.
The court can consider factors such as tax implications, the ability to pay, and the actual needs of the child in deciding whether to deviate up or down from the child support formula. Child support is also at times calculated from imputed income (capacity to earn rather than actual income) if the court finds that a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
Medical Insurance And Medical Expenses
In addition to ordering the noncustodial parent to pay a specified amount of money to the custodial parent each month, courts may order a parent to either obtain or maintain health insurance for the child and/or pay all or a portion of any health care expenses that are not covered by insurance.
Modification Of Child Support
Child support orders are subject to modification. Notwithstanding the general rule that a judgment is “final” and cannot be changed once the time for appeal has expired, the support provisions of an order can be modified later upon a showing of material change of circumstances relevant to the support obligation. This is done by serving and filing a motion to modify in court.
Some grounds for modification of child support are increased or decreased earnings of the obligor parent. A change in child care costs is also valid grounds for modification provided it is substantial. As with custody and initial child support determinations, a court will consider other factors so long as it is in the children’s best interests.
Contact Our Attorney For Legal Guidance
It is important that child support be fair and based on accurate information. To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about child support and other family law concerns, please contact us online or call 571-418-0324.