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New law regarding child support may survive change in government

Whenever there is a change in government leadership, there is always the chance that recent laws may be overturned or changed in some fashion. However, the recent rule regarding some aspects of how child support is paid may survive the recent shift in the government. Maryland parents who may benefit may be hopeful that the law remains unchanged.

The change concerned parents who were struggling to make their payments, whether due to poverty or incarceration. The law that was recently enacted calls for the states to take into consideration the non-custodial parent's actual financial situation before setting child support payments. Up until the recent legislation, many parents were caught in a circle of inability to pay, jail time and increased indebtedness based on their incarceration.

One study that was done several years ago, concerning late support payments, reportedly demonstrated that more than two-thirds of the parents who were late in making these payments lived on less than approximately $10,000. In addition, those parents' payment obligations comprised an estimated 83 percent of their total resources. Conversely, parents who can be classified as being in poverty often count on these monies to make ends meet for their households.

The National Child Support Enforcement Agency has expressed approval for the recent change, as it stated the system needed reform. Understandably, these child support payments are often vital for the child's well-being; however, when parents are unable to keep up with them, it may feel like it is impossible for them to ever climb out of debt. Maryland parents do have the option to seek modifications to their current payments, and there are knowledgeable professionals who can assist in this process.

Source: governing.com, "Trump Leaves Obama's Last-Minute Child Support Rule Alone", J.B. Wogan, Jan. 31, 2017

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