Facts about child support enforcement in Maryland

Generally speaking, the custodial parent of a child is usually entitled to some manner of child support payments from the non-custodial parent. Maryland law provides for strict penalties for failure to pay child support. For example, a delinquent parent may lose their driving privileges, have their income tax returns seized, and they may even face jail time.

With regards to intercepting tax returns, a non-custodial parent who owes more than $150 may have their state tax refund intercepted, and their federal income tax can be seized if they are more than $500 in arrears.

Additionally, a non-custodial parent who is not paying child support may also have their unemployment benefits, workers compensation claims and other funds debited. They can also be denied passports and have their hunting, fishing and other recreational licenses revoked.

Any Maryland resident who is currently acting as the custodian of a minor child may be eligible for child support enforcement services. This does not always have to be a parent and can include aunts, uncles, grandparents, court-appointed guardians and just about anyone who is the child’s custodian.

A Maryland non-custodial parent should know that they also have the right to avail themselves of the services provided by the child support enforcement administration. In some cases, a parent may be receiving child support, although they are not actually acting as the child’s custodian. For example, a mother receiving court-ordered child support may have since decided that she no longer wishes to be a parent and has since abandoned that duty to the child’s grandparents.

Whenever the custody of a child changes, the custodian is required to notify the court in writing of those changes. It may be a good idea to consult with your attorney if the custodial parent of your child is no longer actually taking care of the child yet still receiving your money. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to petition the court for a modification of your current child support payment order and perhaps even request a determination to become the child’s custodial parent.

Source: Maryland Department of Human Services, “Child Support Enforcement Administration” Aug. 15, 2014