International Aspects of Maryland Child Support

October 15, 2012

If you are involved in a child support case that is international in nature, searching for a Family Law attorney in the Maryland counties of Howard, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Montgomery Counties can be a challenge. You want an attorney with experience and demonstrated skills. It has been estimated by the Federal Commissioner of the Office of Child Support that less than one percent of child support cases in state courts are international in nature. However, these important types of cases are growing in number and complexity.

International child support cases often involve substantial sums. They may require careful analysis of state, federal and foreign law. Often times, judges, who infrequently see international child support cases, need briefs from experienced legal counsel that apply the applicable laws to the facts of an individual case. For child support lawyers in locations like Howard, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Montgomery Counties, changing demographics means more of these international child support cases. Another driver is that International mechanisms for establishing and enforcing child support orders are being strengthened.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement, an Office of the Administration for Children & Families in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Resources has responsibilities in this arena. A list of Foreign Reciprocation Nations can be found on its website at the Office of Child Support Enforcement website. Each of the Canadian provinces is separately listed because each operates under its own set of laws, courts and procedures, just as each of the U.S. states do. For each of these countries, the Office of Child Support Enforcement includes official reference documents that contain a wealth of information about child support laws and practice in each jurisdiction. For example, Maryland law does not normally provide for child support to support a child attending college, unless the parents have an agreement. On the other hand, an important issue in a case that my office has been working on, is that child support in a Canadian province may continue through graduate school. Similarly, the case workers guide to processing cases with the United Kingdom reveals that support can continue in Great Britain until a child finishes full time education. The case worker guides found on this website can provide a wealth of information such as whether there is a statute of limitations in claiming past due child support or claiming paternity, when and whether health care expenses can be added to child support calculations, whether child support be awarded for the period before it is claimed, how and when child support be modified This is an important source of information for individuals against whom child support is being claimed and persons seeking child support with an international aspect.

In some instances we have worked effectively with counsel in foreign jurisdictions. In other instances international cases have been successfully resolved with advocacy based upon state and federal law. Readers may also be interested in my prior posting on an international case involving a Pakistan divorce decree. There is also a prior posting describing a recent international child support case in which I submitted a memorandum of fact and law that convinced not only the presiding Master in Chancery but opposing counsel for the Office of Child Support Enforcement. This memorandum is attached to my website page on my International Aspects of Family Law page practice.