On February 10, 2012, House Bill 986 was introduced in Annapolis. If passed into law, this bill would significantly change current Maryland law regarding child support. Under existing law, child support is generally paid until a minor child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later (but does not run past the age of 19). Maryland parents currently have no legal obliigation to pay for their children's college or post-secondary education.
Under HB986, if a child is in college, child support would continue until the (now adult) child turned 21. This would have the effect of continuing child support for an additional three years for children enrolled in college or a vocationsal school. This is a big change for all parties involved.
Furthermore, the bill would apply to existing child support orders. So, for example, if a parent is paying child support under an existing support order, that parent might have to pay child support until the child turns 21, even though when the support order was first entered, support was to only be paid until the child graduated from high school.
Note that as the bill is written these extended support payments would continue to go to the recipient spouse, not the adult child.
For or againt the bill? Contact your representatives in Annapolis and let them know where you stand.