As a divorced Maryland parent, you likely either pay or receive child support. The amount of these payments was one of the things determined at the time of your divorce, with the calculation based on the Child Support Guidelines authorized by the State of Maryland. Generally, the payments reflect the income you and your former spouse earned at the time you divorced, plus the number of children involved and other facts applicable to your situation,
Given that your child support order remains in effect until your children reach their respective ages of majority, sometimes even longer, there may come a time when you feel the need to have the payments increased or decreased. The Children’s Rights Council explains that, in this event, you will need to file a motion for child support modification in the court that issued your original order.
It is not difficult to obtain a child support modification if you can show that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the time of the original order that makes such a modification necessary in the best interests of your children. Assuming you have custody of your children and your request is for an increase in child support, such material changes could include any of the following:
- The income of your children’s other parent has increased by 25% or more.
- The other parent recently inherited a substantial sum of money.
- You lost your job through no fault of your own.
- One of your children has become disabled or chronically ill.
- You have become disabled or chronically ill.
- The cost of living has dramatically increased since the time of your divorce.
Based on the evidence you present, the court will make the final determination of whether to issue a child support modification and the amount thereof.