Child support can be a complicated topic, especially when you’re already dealing with divorce or custody issues. While mothers sometimes pay child support if the child lives with the father, most of the time the mother is the parent receiving the child support. Maryland laws dictate the conditions for child support to ensure the best interests of the child are prioritized.
How long does child support last?
Usually, the parent paying child support will do so until the child turns 18 years old. However, if the child is 18 years of age and has special needs or is still enrolled in high school, the noncustodial parent may still be obligated to provide financial support.
If a child enlists in the military before their 18th birthday, they will no longer be eligible for child support in most cases. Noncustodial parents will also stop making child support payments if their parental rights are terminated via adoption or if their minor child is granted emancipation by the court.
Custody decisions and child support
It is important to note that both parents are financially responsible for their children. When parents separate or divorce and one parent has physical custody, this parent has fulfilled their obligation to care for the children according to the court. This means that the parent who is no longer living with the children must consistently help meet the children’s financial needs.
If parents have joint custody, the court will decide how much child support each parent must pay. Each parent’s income is taken into consideration. The judge will also consider how much time the children regularly spend with each parent.