Questions and Answers

Can a correction be made on a recent child support order?

I recently (1mo. ago) agreed to a child support order. the order divided my medical payment according to how many were on the plan, I obtained this plan so that my child would have Ins.( I am a vet & covered by the VA Ins.not needed) also my current back payments (of child support) were not consideried toward the determination. How do I go about correcting? What’s the process?

ANSWER

The only way to modify your child support amount is to prove that since the entry of the child support order (one month ago) there has been a significant change in circumstances regarding income (either or both parents) or in the child’s expenses.

Any amount you owe on back child support is not considered in the Maryland child support guidelines. The Court can order you to pay up your monthly child support amount plus up to an additional 25% towards your back child support owed. If, on the other hand, you are paying court-ordered child support to another child, then that amount should have been entered as a data point into the child support guidelines.

It sounds like the only option you have is to file a Motion to Reconsider. You have 30 days to do this from the date of the entry of the Court Order. You will need to explain in your Motion that you have discovered some new information (perhaps the insurance information you mentioned) since the Order. However, since you consented to the Order it is highly unlikely that the Court will change the child support.

Finally, be careful what you ask for: the Court could raise your child support if it reconsiders all the information. This is especially the case if you get a new hearing or you file to modify and you show that something has changed in income or expenses. On October 1, 2010 Maryland changed its child support guidelines and for most obligor/paying parents. Accordingly their child support payments would increase if the issue was before the court now.

You can use free child support guidelines at www.dhr.state.md.us or consult a volunteer attorney at the courthouse’s family law assistance project to see if your child support amount would change if the court even considered it.

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