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Family Law Alert: Unpaid Child Support in Maryland

February 2012

A recently published article in The Baltimore Sun states that Maryland officials seized $400,000 in overdue child support from one parent, constituting the largest such collection in state history.

The Department of Human Resources, in conjunction with investigators from the Child Support Enforcement Administration, determined that the parent had the ability to pay child support, but still failed to meet his obligations. Therefore, the Department froze that parent’s private bank accounts to collect the money owed.

The state of Maryland considers failure to pay child support a very serious offense and, through both private and governmental efforts, there are several avenues to collect from a delinquent parent. If a parent obtains a judgment for unpaid support, collecting the funds may be done through a variety of methods, including garnishing wages, freezing assets, and intercepting the a tax refund or state lottery prize. Federal law permits a garnishment of up to 60% of disposable earnings for child support payments. In certain circumstances, a parent with child support arrearages could face a suspension of his or her driver’s or occupational license, or even criminal prosecution.

Although the collection process is not necessarily quick, it is often successful. If you would like additional information on collecting overdue child support, or any other family law issue, please contact Ferrier Stillman

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