The courts of Maryland can order spouses to pay child support and alimony. There are also some cases where the courts can order for dividing the personal assets and properties. Paying alimony or child support is always tough for a person, as it involves giving up property or hard-earned money. When a person says that he can’t afford child support, it does not mean that the person does not love or care for his children; it is somewhat hard to maintain the obligation.

How Does the Court Determine Child Support?

In Maryland, you cannot just come to an agreement with your spouse on the amount of child support that you can pay. The court provides a worksheet to be filled by you with unique factors that determine the amount of alimony a court can order you to pay. It is not as easy as just filling a form, and many valuable inclusions or exclusions are often missed. For instance, the courts can consider other support obligations that are paid by you to a child by a different partner.

Any Minimum Amount Considered by Court?

The courts do order a minimum amount regardless of whether you are working or not. The alimony also depends on the number of children present and even factors such as obligations or other support payments made by you.

Can Bankruptcy Discharge Child Support and Alimony?

Under the Federal Bankruptcy law, child support and alimony are considered as a domestic obligation, and it is not possible to discharge them by bankruptcy. However, property division can be discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In this case, the property division should be strict about dividing assets and not for support. In chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have the provision of spreading the payments on debts over 3 to 5 years, and you are eligible for discharge once you complete the above program successfully. The discharging facility is not available in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What happens if One Cannot Pay Child Support?

There are cases where a person is forced to pay 50-60% of his income to his ex-spouse in the form of child support. There are chances that the court can re-hear your case and give modification when you say that you can’t afford child support. You should have good reasons to convince the court to modify the alimony based on your financial situation and circumstances.

Good Reasons to Seek Modifications

  • Major Finacial setback or loss of job
  • Major illness or disability
  • Earnings impacted due to severe injuries
  • You are in a situation of filing bankruptcy
  • You have survived a natural disaster
  • You retired recently

Some of the Bad Reasons to Seek Modifications

  • The decision of changing to a low salaried job and showing it as a cause for modification
  • Expressing a feeling that your spouse is doing well without your extra support
  • You feel that your ex is dating someone and getting help from the new person


You need to take the help of an experienced attorney to seek child support or alimony modification. After discussing the situation with an experienced men’s divorce attorney, you might be surprised at how much you could save on child support. To find out if there is an option for you to modify alimony, contact, or call us at (301)-515-1190 to Book an Appointment.