“How can we afford to support two households for our children when maintaining one household is already straining our resources?”
Divorcing parents each have a legal duty to provide necessary financial support for their children’s wellbeing, according to their respective earning capacities and time children spend in each household. Maryland and the District of Columbia have established statutory Guidelines based on parental incomes for the amount of child support to be paid to the parent with primary residential custody. Parents may agree to provide for additional support (e.g. private school tuition) or to provide college assistance, but Courts generally will not approve any parental agreement to pay less than the statutory Guidelines support (except where a parent continues to pay the family home mortgage). Child support may be modified by the Court only due to a substantial change in circumstances (e.g. significant change in income due to a parent’s job loss or promotion, or a child with emergent special needs). For clients who are significantly in arrears due to job loss, I can bring a motion to modify child support to avert contempt sanctions for nonpayment.