Maryland Family Law Updates 2021

Thank you for joining me my name is LaSheena Williams and I am a Maryland family law attorney. My firm helps our clients take control of out-of-control domestic situations today we will be discussing updates in Maryland family law.

Maryland Family Law Updates 2021: Revised Child Support Guidelines

In Maryland child support is heavily based on the Maryland child support guidelines. The child support guidelines are statutorily based guidelines that takes into consideration key issues regarding making a determination for child support. Typically, the guidelines will take into consideration the income of both parents, any prior child support orders, any expenses paid on behalf of the child, such as health insurance, child care expenses, transportation expenses, and the overnight access with both parents when combined. The court will issue a child support order based off of that information and the guidelines. Prior to 2020, the child support guidelines were only mandatory for combined parental incomes of up to fifteen thousand dollars. If your combined income exceeded fifteen thousand dollars the further away it exceeded fifteen thousand the less mandatory or the less persuasive those guidelines would be in your child support case. Now the courts have issued this new legislation. The combined income will be up to thirty thousand dollars for a family, which means that there will be more consistent determinations for child support orders for families with a higher earning capacity.

Maryland Family Law Updates 2021: Child Support Suspension and Incarceration

Another important family law legislative update involves incarceration and suspension of child support obligations. Previously if you were incarcerated for more than 18 months you could request and have it ordered that your child support obligation was suspended, but as of October 2020 you now can request that your child support obligation is suspended, if you are incarcerated for at least 180 days.

Maryland Family Law Updates 2021: Increased Self Support Reserve Amounts

Currently the self-support reserve amount is approximately eight hundred sixty-seven dollars but starting October 1st 2021. The self-support reserve will increase to about one thousand one hundred dollars.

Maryland Family Law Updates 2021: Voluntary Impoverishment and Potential Income

One of the other pivotal updates in Maryland family law legislation is the new rule that voluntary impoverishment and potential income are now more properly defined. Previously when addressing issues for voluntary impoverishment or determining if potential income is a factor in a child support determination, the court relied heavily on case law. Now with the new statutory update the court now has a clear definition regarding voluntary impoverishment and potential income and the factors that should be considered when those issues are in play for child support determination.

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