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Child Support: Initial Orders and Modification

Maine has adopted extensive laws and guidelines governing child support awards and enforcement procedures. In any divorce with minor children and in any parental rights and responsibilities action, a court must determine whether or not child support is appropriate. Generally, child support is awarded to the children’s primary caretaker. Exceptions to this general rule include circumstances where parents provide substantially equal care of the children or where there are other grounds for increasing or decreasing child support (known as a deviation). Additionally, the court usually allocates responsibility for providing health insurance covering the children and addresses payment of uninsured medical, dental, orthodontics, counseling and vision expenses. Many cases also involve allocating responsibility for payment of children’s extracurricular activities, camps, and extraordinary expenses and a court may in some cases allocate federal and state income tax dependency tax benefits.

We represent clients in various cases involving initial child support awards. We also represent clients who have a valid basis for modifying or terminating existing child support orders.