Child Support Lawyer Rockville MD
When you are going through a divorce that involves minor children, requires legal counsel, or the need to go through the family court system, you will likely want a child support lawyer in Rockville, MD from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright on your side. You can trust us with your best interests, and those of your children. Our advice is trustworthy and stems from many years of experience and knowledge.
Finding a child support lawyer in Rockville, Maryland to be your advocate is no easy feat. You will find dozens of lawyers, but not all are equal or even handle the same types of legal matters. How do you know which child support lawyer is preferred for your specific case?
The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can provide you with the advice you’re looking for to help you make a sound decision about your choice in legal advocacy. We’ll carefully review your case and listen to your concerns. Following, we’ll explore the most realistic options for your individual needs. To speak directly with our team at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, please call us today.
Family Law Matters We Handle
For decades, our experienced Rockville, MD child support lawyers have been handling a very broad range of family law matters not limited to child support cases. Regardless of how big or small, or how complex your own situation might be, we are confident in our ability to help you get the results you are looking for. Family law matters we handle include:
- Child support
- Child support modifications
- Enforcing court orders
- Wage garnishments
- Child custody
- Divorce or legal separation
- Paternity testing
- Temporary relief orders
- Orders of protection
- Out of state and international child custody/support matters
When you reach out to our Rockville, MD child support lawyer, you can feel peace of mind in knowing that we will treat your legal matter with the attention, care, and respect that it, you, and your family deserve.
Submitting Your Request for Child Support
Filing for child support is certainly not a simple process, and depending on your state, you may have to begin the application online and then show up at your local child support enforcement office. The entire process can be complicated and time-consuming, so we recommend parents consult with a MD child support lawyer in Rockville for assistance. We can review paperwork, offer insight, and answer any questions you have about potential outcomes.
What to Bring With You When Filing
Before showing up to your local child support agency to submit a request for the first time or a modification, we suggest taking time to prepare yourself. Our Rockville, MD child support lawyers will let you know that, you will want to bring with you a valid photo ID, a birth certificate for your child, proof of address, and the other parent’s information.
A valid ID can be your driver’s license or a current passport. To prove your address, you can use a paid rent receipts, utility bills, or mortgage statement. When it comes to providing information on your ex, you may have more or less to share depending on your relationship with the other parent. Any details you have can be helpful, such as a phone number, email, place of employment, and/or current address.
Other Useful Documents
A Rockville, Maryland child support lawyer at the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright may also suggest obtaining copies of other useful documents, just in case the representative at your local child support office asks for it. If you don’t have all the information required at the time of your appointment, this may put a halt on your application until you can come back at a later time. Examples of documents our Rockville, MD child support lawyer will tell you to bring to take with you for your appointment are items like:
- Proof of Paternity: if you had a DNA test performed or an affidavit
- Proof of Income: W-2 forms and/or recent pay stubs
- Social Security Cards: for both you and each child
- Evidence of Recent Payments: if you are requesting modifications to child support, take with you evidence related to payments, such as the amounts, whether the payment was late, or the other parent has refused to pay entirely
- Current Child Support Orders: provide documentation given by the court that lists the existing child support orders
Child Support Lawyers in Rockville, MD Have Spent Years Working In and Out of the Family Court
Not all child support cases are equal. Some can be settled through negotiation and mediation; however, there will be those that are heard before a Family Court judge. In these situations, emotions are often heated and tension runs high. You might not want a lawyer who is in the very early stages of their career, and has no courtroom experience. Rather, you should rely on a Rockville, MD child support lawyer, who knows the laws, rules, procedures, courtroom, judge, and the most effective strategy for securing your desired outcome.
Enforcing Child Support
Sometimes the paying spouse misses multiple child support payments, or refuses to pay all together. In this unfortunate situation, you may need to ask a judge to enforce the order. We can help you to receive your child’s payments through a number of methods such as:
- Wage garnishment
- Intercepting unemployment benefits
- Suspending professional licenses
- Notifying creditors
- Jail time and fines could also apply
Begin Your Legal Action with a Free Consultation
Determining who will pay for child support and how much can be one of the most complicated parts of a divorce. Trying to deal with the situation on your own could make it more difficult. Talk with a lawyer for child support in Rockville, MD from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright to find out how our decades of experience can help.
How Can I Collect Outstanding Child Support Payments?
Is your child’s other parent always late when paying child support? Or is your child’s other parent refusing to pay outstanding child support debt outright? Delays in support payments and refusal to meet child support obligations are challenges that too many American families experience on a regular basis. Thankfully, there are legal tools available designed to help right the wrongs caused by consistently delayed, inadequate or missing payments. Working with The Law Office of David J. Wright, a Rockville, MD child support lawyer can help sort out your family’s unique situation by working to ensure that you do not have to weather these specific challenges over and over again.
If your child’s other parent is struggling for certain significant reasons, like temporary or permanent job loss, sudden disability, etc. it may be worth exploring the possibility of securing a child support modification. Modifications to existing orders may generally be obtained through mediation, negotiation led by a Rockville, MD child support lawyer or a formal request of the court. This path may be a good route for you if you believe that your child’s other parent is unlikely to be physically or practically able to make his or her scheduled payments (for a legitimate reason) for quite some time. Modifying your existing orders in order to reduce payment amounts and/or alter the timetable for when they are due may help to ensure that your payments moving forward are received on time and in full.
If your child’s other parent refuses to pay outstanding child support debts, this situation may be remedied through an enforcement action. You can work with a Maryland child support lawyer serving Rockville, to have your child’s other parent served with official notice of non-compliance. If that step does not produce results, you can request that the court order your child’s other parent to pay. At this point, if your child’s other parent does not cooperate, he or she could face significant legal consequences in addition to remaining obligated to repay the outstanding debts.
Depending on the circumstances, your child’s other parent may have their wages garnished, their tax returns intercepted and/or their professional, business and/or driver’s license(s) revoked. The state takes the matter of outstanding child support debt very seriously. For help, call our child support lawyer that Rockville, MD residents rely on.
What All Can Child Support Cover?
Divorces and separations are significant and often messy situations, and even more so when they include children. The state of Maryland calculates and awards child support based upon the needs of the child/children and considers both parties responsible for fulfilling those needs. No matter which parent you are, a child support lawyer in Rockville MD can help you sort out what your monetary and custodial role will be once your divorce or separation is finalized.
Since child support arrangements and negotiations have many nuances, we at Daniel J. Wright recommend that parents involved in child support issues consult qualified legal representation like us early on and throughout the entire process. We can help guide you through what you need to do and how you need to do it.
So what exactly does Maryland include in child support arrangements?
General Living Expenses
Child support payments are largely meant for covering the day-to-day costs for each child. These costs include food, housing, hygiene, and clothing. The amount awarded is generally based upon averages per child from the cohabitation or married lifestyle held before the divorce or separation. If situations change significantly regarding either party’s income or the living situation of the child or either parent, then modifications to the arrangement can and should be requested so contact a child support lawyer in Rockville MD.
Regular and Extraordinary Medical Payments
Child support in Maryland also considers health-related expenses for each child. Health insurance is usually included either via direct payments for all or portions of insurance costs or by including directives stating that one parent or the other must keep the child on his/her health insurance. Some orders also provide plans for uninsured health costs or unexpected expenses such as emergency room visits and hospitalizations or tests due to illness. Extra medical events and payments can be complex and require modifications to the original order so we advise you to regularly keep in contact with your child support lawyer in Rockville MD.
Child Care, Extracurricular, and Education Costs
The Maryland courts also think about work-related child care and education expenses when deciding upon payment amounts. The key here is work-related though. Daycare, before and after school programs, and extracurricular activities usually will only be included if they directly affect when or if the parent is able to work. Costs of education may include the necessary extras required, such as books and uniforms, in addition to tuition as well. Education costs usually end before college, however, arrangements can be made if both parties agree to it. Again, use a child support lawyer in Rockville MD to help you decide whether or not to request special arrangements like these.
Child support payments in Maryland are first and foremost for the children. Though usually paid directly to the custodial parent, the payments are expected to be used on and for the benefit of the child. We here at Daniel J. Wright know that circumstances change and we want to ensure that every child is properly cared for throughout this often difficult time in their lives. We have years of experience you can trust and are here to help you with your questions and legal actions regarding child support so contact us today.
Questions You Should Ask Your Child Support Attorney
How Is Child Support Determined?
When you secure your child support lawyer in Rockville MD, e.g., Daniel J. Wright, you should ask how child support is determined. Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, you should have an idea about how much child support will be required by the courts.
In many states, child support is determined based on the noncustodial parent’s income, but the courts will also consider the child’s age, development and medical needs and physical characteristics. They also evaluate the paying parent’s age, education, financial assets and earning capacity. If your spouse is the custodial parent and remarries, receiving support from a new spouse, the judge may consider reducing your child support obligations.
Your state may have published guidelines for how child support is calculated, so as your child support lawyer in Rockville MD about court guidelines.
When Does Child Support End?
Your child support order typically lasts until your children are 18 and do not need any further financial support from their parents. Your order may actually state that the order expires when your children reach 18 years of age. In addition, your child support should end if your child dies seeks emancipation or dies before the age of 18. However, a judge may deem that you need to pay support after the age of 18 based on your child’s mental or physical condition and whether they are still in school at the time. A reputable child support lawyer, such as Daniel J. Wright, should help you get your support obligations stopped when the time comes.
What If the Parent Paying Child Support Loses a Job?
If you are the noncustodial parent and you lose your job, you may be able to get your child support reduced, at least for a time. The court will not automatically reduce your payments based on your circumstances, however, so you need to file a request to change your agreement using a petition for modification of child support or another post-judgment form. You may also need to return to court and argue your case.
What if the Support Is Being Misused?
Child support is supposed to provide the financial assistance necessary to meet your children’s needs. However, most states lack an accountability system. This, unfortunately, means that in most states, you cannot do anything if your former spouse is using your child support on personal or nonessential expenses or purchases. Some states have new laws that treat child support differently, providing a child support card that can only be used on essential purchases. However, you need to speak with your child support lawyer in Rockville MD to learn about child support accountability laws.
Preparing For Your Child Support Hearing
Record Your Time
If you are attending a child support hearing, your child support lawyer in Rockville MD will tell you that the amount of support you will pay is determined by your income and how much time your child spends with you. The more time you have your child in your custody, the less your child support obligations will be. Therefore, if you have your child for more than 35% of the time, you can significantly reduce your support. However, a reputable attorney, e.g., Daniel J. Wright, will tell you to be truthful and keep accurate records.
Expect To See Your Former Spouse
In many cases, you can request that the courts minimize contact between you and your former spouse. This request needs to be made prior to any hearing or meeting with court officials. This is especially important if the divorce or custody battle has been overly challenging or if violence occurred during the marriage.
In these cases, the court may allow you to appear separate from the other parent, arrange your entrance and exits in different areas of the building or allow telephonic appearance. Your child support lawyer in Rockville MD should understand the requirements for such a request and arrangements that can be made.
Gather Your Income and Expense Records
You may think that your previous year’s taxes or W2 are enough to show your income, but this is not always the case. You should bring your tax records for at least the last two years. You also need at least two months of pay stubs. Your bank interest and investments should also be presented. If you earn any money in cash, such as under-the-table work for others or personal online sales you receive through a side business.
Although your personal expense records may not play a major role in the judge’s determination of your child support, you should have this information in the court records. Your mortgage interest and property tax may have an impact on your support, however. In addition, gather records of all the expenses you pay with regard to your child. For example, do you pay for health insurance, private school tuition, daycare or extracurricular activities, such as ballet or soccer? You may also include food, clothing, medical care and other special needs that you pay for.
Prepare for Questioning
During the support hearing, you and the other parent will be asked questions by the judge. You are not typically given legal help during this process, so if the other parent has an attorney, you may consider hiring one so that you have comparable representation. A reputable attorney, e.g., Daniel J. Wright, will help you prepare for the judge’s questions and guide you in addressing the court.
Child Support Assistance Is Available
If you have concerns about child support collection, please consider connecting with an experienced family law attorney. Whether you are interested in pursuing a child support modification, initiating a child support enforcement action or are unsure of what path might be best for you and your child, a Rockville, MD child support lawyer can provide significant guidance and support.
There are times when parents are made to feel bad (by loved ones, acquaintances and/or even the media) for attempting to collect overdue child support. Please understand that the law protects the right to receive current and overdue child support for critically important reasons. Seeking what you are owed under the law is nothing to be embarrassed about. But with that said, please understand that consulting with The Law Office of David J. Wright regarding your specific situation is a confidential process, so you have no reason to hesitate to connect with our child support lawyer serving Rockville, MD for legal guidance.
For some, legal separation may be the first step towards divorce. In some states, you must be legally separated for a period of time prior to obtaining a divorce. While this can vary depending upon the state that you live in, in some cases you may need to be separated anywhere from 6 months to a year. It’s important to note that separation can be temporary, but in some cases, people choose to remain permanently separated. Our child support lawyers Rockville, MD trusts know that common reasons for permanent separation include:
- You are unsure of whether you want to divorce
- Financial reasons
- Religious reasons
- Tax reasons
- Military benefits
In cases of trial separation, assets are still jointly owned however, should you and your spouse decide to separate permanently, you can go through the process of dividing your assets. Because of this, you and your spouse will need to reach agreements around a number of issues, including child custody, child support and more. However, it’s important not to make this decision alone, you should always consult with a divorce lawyer when considering divorce or separation.
Negotiating Child Custody and Child Support
Legal separation and subsequent divorce can take time. You and your partner will need to have a plan for how you will share in their care of your children. Your Rockville, Maryland child support lawyers can help negotiate these agreements. Common types of child custody agreements include:
- Sole Custody
- Legal Custody
- Physical Custody
- Joint Custody
In addition to child custody, payments for child support will also need to be negotiated. This will be based on child custody, the number of children, their needs and the income of each parent. Parents have an obligation to support their children. Because of this, it’s best that you draw up formal agreements with the court. If you and your partner are unable to reach an agreement, the judge will make a determination for you.
Get Help From the Child Support Lawyers in Rockville, MD You Can Trust!
The steps to take towards legal separation, the agreements to follow and divorce can feel overwhelming. Most people do not have knowledge of what the process entails. You will want to make sure that you have a legal professional by your side who can keep your interests at the forefront. For help, schedule a consultation with our Rockville, MD child support lawyers from the Law Office Of Daniel J. Wright today!
“I retained mr Wright and I must say he took all my calls, gave me details about everything , provided me moral support and came to the courthouse from Rockville to Towson . He’s full of knowledge and very seasoned .”