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Does foster care alter child support payment requirements?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Child Support |

A parent might love a child very much but be unable to provide the necessary care. Sometimes, neither parent can tend to the child’s needs, so the young one enters the foster care system. If the parents seek a divorce in a Maryland courtroom, the decree could include paying child support. The parent obligated to make the monthly payments may wonder if the child’s placement in foster care reduces or eliminates the child support requirements.

Child support and foster care

The foster care system intends to provide a supportive home for the child in need of a caregiver. When accepting the young one in a home, the caregiver takes on many responsibilities, but the biological parents do not find themselves freed from financial obligations. If the parent must pay child support, the support order would likely remain in effect when the child is placed in a foster home.

Those who do not meet their child support payment obligations could find themselves in legal trouble. Falling behind in child support could lead to wage garnishments and arrests.

Troubles with child support payments

Any parent who becomes unable to make child support payments could seek a modification order from the court. Asking the court to lower child support payments because the young one is in foster care could be a dubious plan.

Likely, the court would require a significant change in a parent’s financial situation to approve any modifications. If the parent suffers a substantial decrease in income, the issue may warrant a reduction in child support payment amounts.

Anyone who has trouble making child support payments might benefit from notifying the court immediately. Failing to pay support could lead to liens and worse. Without any explanations about why the parent stopped making payments, the court would likely assume the parent chose to abdicate responsibilities rather than due to a legitimate decrease in income.