Our Top-Rated Maryland Child Support Attorney in Elkton, Maryland
Focuses on Protecting What's Important!
The Law Office of Chelsea M. Sadler LLC is your trusted source for expert guidance and legal representation in Maryland child support matters. We understand that navigating child support issues can be overwhelming and emotionally challenging. That's why our dedicated team of experienced attorneys is here to support you every step of the way. we recognize the importance of securing financial stability for your child's well-being. Our extensive knowledge of Maryland child support laws enables us to provide tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of your family.
Whether you are seeking to establish child support, modify an existing order, or address enforcement issues, our compassionate attorneys will work diligently to protect your rights and ensure the best interests of your child are prioritized.
We offer comprehensive services that encompass:
Child Support Calculation: Our skilled team will assist in determining the appropriate amount of child support based on Maryland guidelines, taking into account factors such as income, expenses, and the needs of the child.
Support Order Establishment: We will guide you through the process of obtaining a child support order, ensuring that all necessary documentation is prepared accurately and efficiently.
Modification and Enforcement: If your circumstances have changed or if the other parent fails to comply with the support order, we can help you seek a modification or enforce the existing order to ensure your child receives the financial support they deserve.
Mediation and Negotiation: Whenever possible, we strive to resolve child support disputes amicably through mediation and negotiation, promoting cooperation and minimizing conflict for the benefit of all parties involved.
Court Representation: In cases where litigation becomes necessary, our skilled attorneys will provide strong advocacy on your behalf, presenting your case effectively to the court and fighting for a fair resolution.
At the Law Office of Chelsea M. Sadler LLC, we understand the profound impact that child support has on the lives of children and families. With our compassionate approach, personalized attention, and unwavering commitment, we are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of Maryland child support law and ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your child.
Take the first step towards securing your child's future. Schedule a consultation and let our experienced team guide you through the Maryland child support process with expertise and care.
Under Maryland law, your child has a right to receive financial support from his or her parents. If you and the other parent are getting divorced, have never been married, or you cannot get the other parent to help support your child financially, you need to speak to an attorney about seeking child support.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines
Maryland law holds both parents responsible for providing financial support for their children. Maryland Child Support Guidelines are set forth in Maryland Code Family Law §12-204. If both parents have a gross combined income higher than a certain amount, the Maryland Child Support Guidelines will not apply to the child support calculation.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines are based on a mathematical formula. To calculate child support under the guidelines, you will need to have the following information:
Gross monthly income of each of the parents
Amounts paid by either parent in child support for a child of another relationship or alimony to a previous spouse
Monthly costs for work-related daycare expenses
Monthly costs for the provision of health insurance coverage for the children
Maryland Code Family Law §12-204 provides a basic child support obligation, depending on the number of children and the adjusted actual incomes of the parties. Adjusted actual income is gross income minus any existing child support or alimony obligations. In cases where one parent has the child in his or her care fewer than 128 overnights per year, the formula provides that each party pay a share of the basic child support, daycare expenses, and costs for health insurance, based on the proportion of their adjusted actual income to the total adjusted income of the parties. Where parents share physical custody, defined as when the child spends at least 128 overnights a year in each parent's home, then each party's share of the basic child support obligation is multiplied by the percentage of time the child spends in the home of the other parent.
The parent owing the larger amount of the two resulting child support obligations pays the difference to the other parent. If either parent incurs work-related child care expenses and / or costs for providing health insurance coverage for the child, these costs are shared in proportion to the parties' adjusted actual incomes. The guideline child support amount is presumed to be correct. It will be ordered unless the opposing party can present sufficient evidence as to why the guideline amount is inappropriate or not in the child's best interest.
Modification of Child Support in Maryland
When and if changes occur to the financial circumstances of either of the parents or the expenses of the children, one party may be entitled to a modification of the child support amount to reflect the change in circumstances.
How will your estate be distributed if you die without a will?IF THE DECEDENT IS SURVIVED BY: Spouse and minor children of decedent — spouse receives one-half, children share remaining one-half Spouse and children (all adult) of the decedent—spouse receives $40,000 ($15,000 for a date of death prior to October 1, 2017) plus one-half of remaining estate; children divide balance (the interest of a predeceased child passes to issue of that child) Children only of the decedent — children divide entire estate (the interest of a predeceased child passes to issue of that child) Spouse and parents of the decedent — if married more than 5 years see No. 5, if married less than 5 years the spouse receives $40,000 ($15,000 for a date of death prior to October 1, 2017) plus one-half of remaining estate — both parents divide balance or surviving parent takes balance Spouse of the decedent without other heirs listed above — spouse receives entire estate Parents of the decedent without other heirs listed above — both parents divide entire estate or surviving parent takes all Brothers/sisters of the decedent without heirs listed above — brothers and sisters divide estate equally (share of deceased sibling goes to their issue - nieces and nephews of the decedent) Grandparents without other heirs listed above — grandparents divide entire estate or, if deceased, to their issue (see applicable law for details) Great-grandparents without other heirs listed above — great-grandparents divide entire estate or, if deceased, to their issue Stepchildren — if there are no heirs listed above No living heirs or stepchildren — if decedent was recipient of long-term care benefits under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program at time of death, net estate is paid to Department of Health. Otherwise, the net estate is paid to the Board of Education in the county of the decedent’s domicile NOTE: “Child” does not include a stepchild or foster child
Does having a Will mean I can avoid probate in Maryland?Not always, but with careful planning, your beneficiaries might be able to avoid the probate procedure. Your estate plan will determine if probate is required.
What does a Maryland Probate Attorney do?As Maryland probate attorneys we offer families and individuals legal guidance and support during the estate administration process. In addition to assisting with the management of the estate's assets and liabilities, we often assist with the filing of wills and other legal documents. We also offer guidance on dealing with tax matters and allocating the estate's assets to the right beneficiaries. As Probate attorneys we can also be used to resolve beneficiary disputes as well as represent the estate in court, if necessary.
How much does probate cost?Probate Attorney Fees Maryland statutes spell out the fees and commissions estate attorneys may receive for normal administrative tasks. Any fees above the maximum permitted amount require approval by the Maryland Orphans Court. Fees within the standard range do not require court approval if all interested parties' consent. The state formula for attorney compensation is 9 percent of the first $20,000 of the gross estate and 3.6 percent of the amount over $20,000. For example, the standard attorney fee for an estate valued at $1 million is $37,080. That breaks down to $1,800 for the first $20,000 at 9 percent, and $35,280 for the remaining $980,000 at 3.6 percent. All such estate attorney fees are paid by the estate. The state formula is not the only option. Attorneys may also charge by the hour, and this arrangement is more efficient for many estates and personal representatives. As of January 1, 2023 our firm's hourly Estate Administration fee is $300 per hour we run the calculation of hourly vs. the state formula and whatever is less is what we charge. Probate Administration Fees Under Maryland law, probate and estate planning attorney fees are based on the total gross estate. For example, an estate valued at a minimum of $250,000 but less than $500,000 must pay $500 in fees, while an estate worth at least $500,000 but less than $750,000 owes $750. An estate worth $2 million but less than $5 million pays $2,500. Estates worth $5 million and up pay a $2,500 fee plus 0.2 percent on any excess over $5 million. These Maryland executor fees don’t include additional Letters of Administration, certified mail fees, filing a will for safekeeping, entering claims or caveat papers and plain, certified or exemplified copies. Attorney expenses not considered part of normal estate administration include: Copying and printing expenses Automobile mileage Court filing fees Bond premiums Messenger services. Extraordinary Services Common tasks falling outside the scope of normal estate administration but often undertaken by the probate attorney for additional fees upon request of the personal representative include: Leasing or sale of estate property Appearances before planning or zoning boards Recovering assets belonging to the estate held by another party Defense of tax audits Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can protect what's important to you.
How long does probate take in Maryland?In Maryland, the probate process can take a year or more. After the date of death, creditors have six months to file a claim. Probate must be open for at least six months after the assets have been divided so that a creditor can file a claim. If the will is challenged or other delays occur, it might take considerably longer. Even with a smaller inheritance, creditors must be given a minimum of seven to nine months' notice.
What are the responsibilities of a Personal Representative in a Maryland?As the personal representative of an estate during the Maryland Estate Probate Process, there are several key responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. Here is a list of responsibilities for the personal representative: 1. Gather and safeguard estate assets: Identify, locate, and secure all assets owned by the decedent, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal property, and other valuable possessions. 2. Prepare and file the Petition for Probate: Work with our attorney to prepare and file the Petition for Probate with the appropriate Maryland court to initiate the probate process and obtain legal authority to administer the estate. 3. Notify interested parties: Provide notice to beneficiaries named in the will, potential heirs, and known creditors about the probate proceedings and their rights within the process. This may include publishing a notice to creditors in a local newspaper. 4. Create and maintain detailed records: Keep accurate records of all financial transactions, including income, expenses, and distributions made during the probate process. This includes maintaining receipts, invoices, bank statements, and other relevant documents. 5. Inventory and appraisal: Work with our attorney to compile a comprehensive inventory of the decedent's assets and their values. This may involve obtaining appraisals for certain assets to determine their fair market value as of the date of death. 6. Settle outstanding debts: Notify creditors of the decedent's passing and review and validate any claims submitted. Negotiate and settle legitimate debts using available estate assets, ensuring the fair treatment of creditors. 7. File necessary tax returns: Collaborate with our attorney and potentially a tax professional to prepare and file any required tax returns, such as the federal estate tax return (Form 706) or Maryland estate tax return, if applicable. 8. Distribute assets to beneficiaries: Once all debts, taxes, and administrative expenses have been settled, distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will or, in the absence of a will, in accordance with Maryland law. Ensure proper documentation and transfer of assets. 9. Prepare a final accounting: Work with the attorney to prepare a final accounting, which provides a detailed report of all financial transactions and distributions made during the probate process. 10. Obtain court approval and close the estate: Submit the final accounting and any other required documentation to the court for review and approval. Once the court approves, file the necessary paperwork to officially close the estate and be released from personal representative duties. It's important to note that the personal representative may have additional responsibilities based on the specific circumstances of the estate. Working closely with an experienced estate planning and probate attorney can help ensure that all responsibilities are fulfilled correctly and efficiently.