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New law makes Maryland gamblers cough up child support

A recently passed law will soon require Maryland gamblers who owe child support to pay up. Beginning Oct. 1, Maryland residents will have to report their earnings from gambling as part of their income. In effect, the bill that passed the Maryland General Assembly will put an end to deadbeat parents taking advantage of a loophole in the system.

The bill's co-sponsor, Delegate Kelly Schultz, says that she has seen instances where people owing child support continually found ways to avoid their obligations. According to the Frederick County politician, those people need to place the daily needs of their children first. Shultz hopes the new legislation will close the loophole and eliminate having a lack of income as a common excuse for not paying child support.

Maryland, like many states, has set guidelines that govern the amount of child support a non-custodial parent should pay. Mostly, these amounts are determined by a person's income, although other factors can come into play. For example, according to Maryland's child support guidelines, a portion of the child's medical insurance costs and other daycare-related expenses must be factored into the formula.

There is also the matter of how much time that a parent actually has physical custody of the child. In Maryland for example, a parent who has custody of a child for 128 days or more per year may be eligible for a reduction of child support payments. An expert in family law can assist parents with child support obligations seek modifications to their current support plan. Alternatively, parents to whom child support is owed can use the guidance of an expert in the field to fend off challenges to existing plans.

Source:, "New Law Requires Deadbeat Parents to Report Gambling Winnings" Dawn White, Jun. 10, 2014

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