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Improvements continue for Maryland's child support system

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Previous posts here have mentioned the troubles that the State of Maryland's Department of Human Resources has faced in regards to child support in recent years. An audit found that there were a number of areas which needed to be addressed in order to improve services to Maryland residents. A recent report indicated that those improvements are coming, but there is still more work to be done.

Millions of Maryland residents depend on child support. The financial needs of a child, which can include every day expenses, medical needs and extracurricular expenses, are meant to be satisfied by both parents - regardless of the relationship between the two of them. Child support guidelines help courts decide how much the non-custodial parents should pay, and failure to pay child support can put the receiving party in an awkward position. Not only that, but the non-paying parent could face penalties as well.

With the needs of Maryland parents in mind, the Department of Human Resources - as part of the department's improvements - has made a sizeable effort to increase the amount of child support collected in the state. According to a recent report, the result has been a record high in the collections amount.

Despite the department's improvements, some state funds originally earmarked for the department will not be disbursed. Legislators have informed the head of the department that all of the recommendations detailed in the previous audit must be satisfied before the full amount of funds will be transferred for the department's budget. However, the legislators did recognize the positive improvements that have been completed thus far.

There are probably many parents in Maryland who are monitoring the progress made by the Department of Human Resources. When a parent depends on child support, every bit of progress can be important.

Source: The Daily Record, "Child support agency makes progress on reforms," Llana Kowarski, March 6, 2013

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