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Maryland residents should avoid dependence on child support

Creating a workable budget with two breadwinners can be tricky, but, for a single person, especially a parent, in Maryland, it is often a financial nightmare. There are 14.5 million single-parent families in the United States, and child support and spousal support may not be the answer when it comes to paying the bills. These parents often have lower incomes than their coupled counterparts with, on average, the same bills to pay.

There are several tips that can help these single-parent households survive. First, they must create budgets for their families and stick to them no matter what their lives throw at them. Second, they should create emergency funds for the unexpected, and they must prioritize building that fund.

Third, because so many parents fail to pay child support, single parents should not depend on child support payments to meet their monthly financial obligations. Fourth, they should consider not keeping the family home. It is true that many children would prefer to stay in the family home, but because it was likely bought with two incomes, keeping it may cause a single parent regrets or financial struggles in the future.

Fifth, single-parent households should plan ahead to pay taxes and other annual obligations. Sixth, these parents, with their children, can turn savings into games by having the children search for lesser-priced items at grocery or clothing stores. Lastly, single parents should always seek help if they find themselves facing insurmountable debt. .

Maryland parents who are filing for divorce or have already gone through the process may wish to speak to an attorney who can advise them about financial stability after marriage. In addition, a legal professional can also help them ensure their financial stability during the divorce process itself by requesting temporary child support or alimony. Regardless of where one is in the process, the help of a professional can sometimes be the difference between merely getting by and true security.

Source: kfvs12.com, "7 steps to successful single-parent budgeting", Andrew Housser, June 8, 2015

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