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Flexibility can help resolve a child support dispute

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When our readers hear about a child support dispute, they probably think of a non-custodial parent paying late - or not at all. There can be many reasons that lead to issues with delinquent payments or failure to pay child support, especially with the national economy still stuck in such a stagnant state of growth. However, as suggested in a recent article, issues with child support can be approached in a much more conciliatory manner if the parent who is to receive the child support payments maintains some flexibility in the process.

Most people know that child support is meant to provide for the financial needs of raising a child who is not in a two-parent home, including funds for medical needs, extracurricular expenses and things as simple as every day expenses. The amount to be ordered is determined based on child support guidelines that can be different depending on state law. Further, the regular news reports about "dead-beat" parents have served to educate most of our Maryland readers about the penalties involved when a child support payment is missed, which can involve a short stint in jail in the worst cases.

What many people may not know is that the parent who is receiving the child support payments may want to be flexible in allowing the paying parent grace periods from time to time if they are having a hard time financially. The recent article suggested that if the payment is only late by a couple of days, perhaps it is not in the receiving parent's best interest to make the issue a court matter, especially if the payment is made in short order. However, the article suggested that a delay of a month or more may make it more appropriate to alert the court and seek enforcement options.

As with most family law issues, flexibility between the parties can be the key to success. No one wants their children to see strife and discord, and seeing those issues between their two parents can be heartbreaking.

Source: The Gazette, "IT'S YOUR MONEY: Flexibility is key with child support and alimony," Linda Leitz, July 15, 2013

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