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WA divorce law or Florida or Maryland ? Also will the new spouse/partner’s income be used to calculate the child support?

Gaithersburg, MD |

Hi there, my fiance was married before and had one son with his ex wife. They got married and divorced in WA state. Fast forward years later since then, his ex and son moved to FL and we (my fiance and I) moved to MD. So, when we talk about child support and divorce law, are we supposed to follow WA state law then or Florida or which one?

Also, we plan to get married next year and I make 3 or 4x as much as him and likely making more than his ex as well. Will my income be used to calculate his child support then? I heard that having everything separate (tax, bank account, mortgage, etc) is our safest bet, is this really necessary? Should I be concerned?


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Attorney answers 1


In order to file for a divorce in Maryland, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. The requirements are as follows:

There is a 1 year requirement if the grounds for the divorce occurred outside the state of Maryland, otherwise if either spouse is a resident of the state of Maryland, he or she may file in the county in which either spouse resides. If you are filing for divorce under the grounds of insanity, the residency requirement is increased to 2 years. (Maryland Code - Family Law Chapter - Section: 7-103)

Child support is a court-ordered payment requiring one parent who does not have custody of the child to the other parent who does have custody of the child. A court may also order child support to be paid when parents share custody of a child. Child support payments help pay for the costs associated with raising the child. Children have the right to benefit from the incomes of both parents. A custodial parent is the parent who cares for the child most of the time. A non-custodial parent is the parent who does not have custody of the child and who cares for the child either some or none of the time. The state of Maryland has an income-shares model for determining child support orders - meaning that both parents are responsible for the expense of raising a child. If a non-custodial parent is ordered to pay $100 in child support for one child, then the custodial parent is also expected to contribute $100, assuming that both parents earn the same amount of income. The amount of money each parent is responsible for is based on the percentage of the total income they earn. If the custodial parent earns 40 percent of the total income, the custodial parent is responsible for assuming 40 percent of cost of raising the child.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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