The amount of child support the noncustodial parent pays each month is determined by the court following state guidelines. They include each parent's income and assets and the amount needed to maintain the children's pre -divorce standard of living.
Whether initially setting the amount of child support or modifying the court order, the services of A Baltimore child support attorney well versed in family law and child support issues can be of great help. The attorney can help you gather documents and personal information to support your contention and advocate your position to the court.
A judge will order child support payments to make sure all of your child's needs are met when you and your ex are no longer together and spending money. These payments can help cover expenses for your child like school, health care, food, clothing, housing, and more.
Each state calculates child support according to its formula. This formula will take into account your earnings, your ex's earnings, and your child's financial needs for things like school, health care, food, and other necessities. A child support lawyer will be able to better help you anticipate what you expect to either owe or receive in child support payments.
Because child support payments are solely for the child's benefit, they do not affect tax filings. If you pay child support, you cannot deduct those payments from your income, and if you receive child support, those payments will not count toward your taxable income. If you are late on child support payments, your state may intercept your tax refund to help pay off those debts.
If you feel you pay too much child support or receive too little, you must prove a "substantial" change in circumstances to change your child support obligations. This means major changes will need to happen to either your or your ex's income or your child's financial needs. Some changes that can bring about a modification of support could include a raise, losing a job, or a serious illness.
It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you've suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
For most consumer legal issues, the size of the practice is much less important than the experience, competence, and reputation of the attorney(s) handling your case. Among the most important factors when choosing an attorney are your comfort level with the attorney or practice and the attorney's track record in bringing about quick, successful resolutions to cases similar to yours.