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Allocating support payments between child support and alimony is one of many tax-planning opportunities in divorce, but the structure must be done with great care.
If both parties are Maryland residents, the Plaintiff (person seeking support) may file for child support or alimony in the county where the Defendant (intended payor of support) resides, carries on business, is employed or habitually engages in business.
In 1990, Maryland enacted Child Support Guidelines in order to have appropriate and consistent child support awards. Unless application of the Guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the Court will apply the Guidelines when establishing child support.
Under new law in Maryland effective October 1, 2002, if a child turns age 18 while still enrolled in high school, the child support obligation can be extended by the Court until either the child graduates from high school, or age 19, whichever is first. Otherwise, child support terminates when the child turns age 18.
Child support can be modified by the Court if there is a material change in circumstances since the last Order for child support
Under federal law, the custodial parent is entitled to claim the dependency exemption on their tax returns, absent an agreement or Court Order to transfer the exemption to the non-custodial parent.
Under federal law, the child care credit may be claimed on either a joint tax return or on a separate return by a person eligible as Head of Household.
In Maryland, if child support is not paid, one can seek to establish or enforce the obligation by filing an action in the Circuit Court or with the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Agency.
In Maryland, the Court cannot order either parent to contribute towards college expenses of a child, since the obligation to pay child support terminates when the child attains age 18 (unless the child is enrolled in high school, then until the child graduates from high school or attains age 19, whichever is first).
Yes, in Maryland, the Court can order either parent to include a child on their health insurance policy if the child can be included at a reasonable cost to the parent.
Typically in Maryland, the custodial parent is responsible for payment of a minor child’s uninsured medical expenses (e.g. co-payments or deductibles) from child support paid by the non-custodial parent.
The Maryland courts will always determine child custody based on the best interests of the children.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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