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How is Child Support Determined in Maryland?

In 1990, Maryland enacted Child Support Guidelines in order to have appropriate and consistent child support awards. Unless application of the Guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the Court will apply the Guidelines when establishing child support.

The Guidelines calculate child support based on each parent's respective gross income (before taxes), the number of children and other expenses, such as work-related child care, extraordinary medical costs and private school expenses.

There are two (2) formulas for Child Support Guidelines: Formula A for sole custody and Formula B for shared custody. The "shared" Formula B applies to reduce the child support obligation when both parents have the children overnight for more than 35% of the year (or 128 overnights per year).


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Under Maryland law, child support is determined based on the Income Shares Model. Therefore the monthly support amount for the child is proportionally shared between the two parents based on their incomes, past W-2s, and child support worksheets. One parent will then pay the other parent his or her share of child support. Considerations will also be made for existing debt, property settlement, mortgages, other children or any other financial considerations.
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