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can a closed child support case be reopened in the state of

Customer Question

can a closed child support case be reopened in the state of maryland? if so, can arrears legally be calculated from the date the case was filed? Or must a new case be opened and should arrears dating back to the originally closed case not be permitted by law?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome to JustAnswer.com.

The answer depends on why it was closed. Why was it closed initially?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The child was born in January 2009. The custodial parent closed the first case (filed in July 2009) because she told the Master at the pre-trial hearing that she no longer wanted to pursue child support from me. At the time, we had an agreement and I was paying her the agreed amount every month. Then the following year, in March 2010, she opened another case. However, she apparently was permitted to reopen the case that was closed by the MD child support office the previous year. We went to the pre-trial hearing and she told the master that she wanted them to include her pre-natal medical bills (they totalled over $8000) in my support order. The bills were a lot of money because she kept going to the hospital for overnight stays because she was paranoid about the baby due to low amniotic fluid. The master said that I had to agree to that, but I refused. So we went to the hearing and that master told her that the pre-natal medical expenses are not included in child support orders and he told her that she could hire a private attorney for that.

Since she opted to do that, the state closed the case again. She hired an attorney and they were still referencing the 2009 case which was supposed to be closed. I went to a new hearing (this time at MD circuit court, because the child support case was closed) and the attorney requested calculation of arrears dating from the filing of the 2009 case. The master refused, and the attorney appealed the decision. An exception hearing was held with a circuit court judge and he ruled in their favor, and calculated arrears totalling over $9000 dating back to the filing date of the 2009 case that was supposed to be closed. The judge said that he was taking into consideration what was in the best interests of the child, and not what was more convenient for me financially.

So now, 2 years later, there is finally a child support court order established, and I am on record for being over $10,000 in arrears. The additional arrears increases my monthly support payment by $101.
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 3 years ago.
Often times they will continue to go back and re-open the original case in order to address the issues of child support. It is not required that a brand new case be opened for future issues. The ultimate standard in these situations is always what is in the best interests of the child. That being said, this is a rare situation that you've found yourself in and retroactive orders are indeed rare.

All you can do at this point is appeal the order to the Maryland appellate courts, and that is something you need a lawyer to do.

While I cannot refer you to anyone in particular at Just Answer, I can help you find a good attorney to consult.

There are two things you can do. You can contact the State Bar of Maryland Lawyer Referral Service (http://www.msba.org/public/referral.htm). They can assist in finding an attorney to help you. You will get multiple referrals, and in most cases, the initial consultation is free through the service.

You can also try Martindale Hubbell, which is what lawyers use when looking for out-of-state counsel for help with a case (http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx). Their entire business is rating lawyers. Simply search your state and the practice area you need. The best lawyers are going to be rated "AV".

As always, I will be happy to follow up with you if you have additional questions. In the meantime, please click ACCEPT so that I can get credit for answering your question. Of course, if you really liked what I could help you with, please consider a Bonus, too!

Thanks!

Nathan
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Are you licensed to practice law in Maryland?
Expert:  NateLawAnswers replied 3 years ago.
No, I am not, but domestic issues of support are largely treated similarly across state lines.

I will be happy to opt out to see if there is a Maryland expert online at present if that would be preferable; however, I am not sure that there is, so I cannot give you any guarantee as to your potential wait time.

NateLawAnswers, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10633
Experience: Over 8 years of legal practice.
NateLawAnswers and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If you could tell me how I can specifically request information from a MD licensed attorney, I would appreciate your assistance. In the meantime, I am accepting your answer. Thank you.

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