In this article, you will learn…
- Helpful tips on dealing with custody battles.
- How to address your child’s health insurance during a custody dispute.
- How child support is calculated in Maryland.
- How domestic violence factors into your custody case.
- And more…
How Do You Approach High Conflict Custody Battles?
High conflict custody cases are a challenge for any parent. At the Greenberg Legal Group, when a client comes into our office dealing with a high-conflict custody dispute, the client needs an aggressive yet calculated approach. Taking the right steps early in your case is important to make sure you put yourself in the best position possible with your custody case.
In the early stages of the case, it is important to make sure that you have filed all of the necessary documents with the Court to explain your side of the case. It may also be necessary to perform discovery – information-gathering procedures allowed by the Court – to obtain important information for your case. Failure to take these steps early on in your case can have negative consequences and possibly affect the outcome of your case. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can guide you through each step in the litigation process.
Who Is Responsible For Health Insurance For A Child After The Parents Divorce In Maryland?
In Maryland, there is no specification under the law about which parent must provide health insurance.
With that said, if both parents have health insurance coverage available to the child, the following may be considered:
- How much it costs each parent under their health insurance plan to cover the child;
- Which health insurance plan provides better coverage for the child;
- If the child has any specific medical needs which one health insurance plan might be able to address; and
- Any other specific details of each parent’s health insurance plan which could affect the child’s health insurance coverage.
Generally, one of the two parents will provide health insurance coverage for their child. If neither parent has health insurance coverage available to them through their employer, the parties can often look at insurance options through the State.
How Is Child Support Calculated In Maryland?
In Maryland, child support is calculated according to the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. The Child Support Guidelines take into account many factors that help to determine how much, if any, child support should be paid from one parent to another.
Two primary factors which are included in the child support calculation are the gross (before tax) incomes of each party, as well as how many overnights the child spends with each parent over the course of the year. If the child spends a roughly equal amount of overnights with each parent throughout the course of the year, it is likely that the recommended child support amount will be lower. Conversely, if the child resides exclusively with one parent or spends most nights throughout the year at one parent’s house, it is likely that the Maryland Child Support Guidelines will recommend a higher child support amount for the non-custodial parent.
The Maryland Child Support Guidelines also take into consideration other expenses, such as health insurance costs for the child, work-related childcare expenses and any extraordinary medical expenses. If one parent is paying for health insurance for the child, that cost gets factored into the Child Support Guidelines and the paying parent will get credit for that expense. Likewise, either or both parents may get credit for costs that they incur for childcare which becomes necessary so that parent can work. An experienced family law attorney can help you accurately calculate the Maryland Child Support Guidelines and assess how much you will receive or need to pay.
What Can You Do If Someone Stops Paying Court-Ordered Child Support?
Once a Court Order goes into effect requiring a parent to pay child support, that obligation continues until it is terminated or modified.
If a parent stops paying child support after the Court Order, they will begin to accumulate arrearages. “Arrearages” are past-due amounts of child support which have accrued due to non-payment. For example, if one parent has a Court-ordered child support obligation of $600 per month and they do not pay child support for 5 months, that parent would accrue $3,000 in arrearages.
If the non-payment of child support continues, the parent who is supposed to be receiving child support may have remedies with the Court, including a Petition for Contempt. If the Court finds that the parent who owes child support had the ability to pay their Court-ordered child support and willfully refused to do so, the Court may find that parent in contempt. In that case, the Court can Order the non-paying parent to resume paying their monthly child support obligation as well as additional monthly payments to account for any child support arrearages owed.
How Is Custody Handled With A Party Who Has Been Physically Abusive?
Custody is decided based on a number of different factors, including the past conduct of the parties toward one another and the child. Among other factors, the Court will consider any history of abuse and domestic violence between the parties. This is particularly true if there have been instances of abuse or neglectful behavior by one parent towards the child. If there have been any protective order proceedings in the past involving either of the parties, the Court may consider that as well.
For more information on High Conflict Custody Cases In Maryland, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (410) 673-4888 today.