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Maine Child Support
Child Support in Maine
Maine uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. It is easy to do this using the Maine child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.
This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.
If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.
Maine child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Maine child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions.
Title 19-A, Chapter 63, which defines the Maine Child Support Guidelines, provides that the court many order either or both parents to pay child support, including medical insurance. Parents must look at deviation factors after the the appropriate amount of child support has been established. Unless it can be demonstrated that the amount is "unjust, inappropriate, or not in the best interests of the child under the particular circumstances in a case," the guidelines are presumed to be correct. You can get more information about Maine child support in the Maine state statutes.
Other Expenses and Deductions
Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare and extraordinary medical expenses are considered mandatory deductions.
Child Support Enforcement
The Maine Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery is the state-run child support enforcement office for Maine. The Office of Integrated Access and Support is required by federal law to provide services through Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery (DSER) and is funded by the federal government and the State of Maine.
A parent who fails to pay child support is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and Maine child support law to collect regular and past-due payments.
More information about Maine Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.
According to 19A MRSA 1653(12), the age of majority in Maine is 18. Unless the child is attending secondary school, child support terminates at 18. If he or she is in school, it continues until the child graduates, withdraws or is expelled from secondary school or reaches 19 years of age, whichever occurs first; becomes married; or becomes a member of the armed services.
A variety of issues may permit a judge to determine that a deviation from the guidelines is in order. These include the age of the child, cost of medical/child care, special educational needs, cost of transportation, amount of time spent with the parent and any other necessary expense of the child or any other factor deemed relevant in the eyes of the court.
According to Maine Revised Statutes Annotated; Title 19-A, Sections 2001 to 2009, deviation from the guidelines is allowed under the following circumstances:
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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