Child support is paid by a parent to the other due to a divorce, or the parents were never married. Generally, the parent that does not have custody of a child pays the support to the parent that has primary custody of the child. Therefore, the parent that is not living/raising the minor must pay a set amount of money for the minor’s well being. However, juvenile maintenance may be paid in joint custody situations too. The parent receiving the money is the one that has custody of the minor most of the time. The minor must be the genetic or the adopted minor of the guardian paying juvenile maintenance. A stepparent is not required to pay minor support, unless he or she legally adopted the minor.
Juvenile maintenance laws confuse parents most of the time because of slight in the law from state to state. Juvenile maintenance may end at 21 or 18 years, depending on the state you live in. Juvenile maintenance might stop the moment your minor reaches a certain age or occasion, however, sometimes a parent takes legal action to end juvenile maintenance payment responsibility. In Maryland, the laws are more confusing than most due to the state’s attempted legislation in year 2011. Therefore, some parents are not aware or are confused by the current rules.
Under Maryland laws, a parent is entitled to pay juvenile maintenance until the minor reaches 18 years of age. If he or she turns 18 after high school graduation, your obligation to pay juvenile maintenance ends. However, if the minor turns 18 during his senior year, you are still required to pay support until he/she turns 19 or graduates from high school, whichever happens first. Juvenile maintenance ends if your minor quits school after his or her eighteenth birthday, but before age 19. From 2012, Maryland courts can allow juvenile maintenance after emancipation age, or college costs contribution, if parents agree to certain terms in a marital settlement agreement.
Maryland law is unclear about how to end your juvenile maintenance obligation after your minor’s emancipation. The state of Maryland requires that all parents (obligor) pay through state services, so when your child emancipates, you can inform the state that you no longer need to pay kids living expenses. If your former spouse does not disagree, you do not need to do anything about it, however, you must speak to a lawyer for advice and to be sure. If your ex-spouse objects, you may ask a judge to determine if your child is emancipated. If you are supporting more than a kid, you need to file a motion to modify juvenile maintenance as the emancipation of one child will not end your obligation towards the other children. It will likely reduce the payment amount of child support, but you must ask for a recalculation of your payment based on the number of remaining children you need to support.
If you have either a physically or mentally disabled child, and basically could not support him/herself, your obligation to support the child can extend past 19 years of age or graduation. It might be undetermined, therefore, for as long as he/she needs you.