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Maryland Child Support
Child Support in Maryland

There are specific child support guidelines and charts supplied in the statute. There is a presumption that the amount shown for support in the guidelines is correct. However, the amount may be adjusted up or down if it is shown to be inappropriate or unjust.

Divorce and child support are described in the Annotated Code of Maryland; Family Law, Sections 8-206, 12-101, 12-201, 12-202, 12-203, and 12-204 and Maryland Rules; Rule 9-206 (Child Support Guidelines).

Maryland 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 Maryland 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.

Maryland child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Maryland child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions, etc. Once this amount is determined it is essential to take a look at any appropriate Maryland child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. You can get more information about Maryland child support in the Maryland state statutes.

Either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support, regardless of any marital fault. A support order may require that a parent be responsible for an insurance policy covering the child's medical, hospital, and other health care expenses. Title 19-A, Chapter 63 defines the Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines are presumed to be correct unless there is a showing that the amount would be unjust, inappropriate, or not in the best interests of the child under the particular circumstances in a case.

Calculate Maryland Child Support

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

When a noncustodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with federal and Maryland child support law to collect regular and past-due payments. Maryland child support enforcement measures include the federal and state income tax refund offset, passport denial, driver's license suspension, professional license suspension, financial institution data match (FIDM), wage withholding orders, credit bureau reporting, liens on real or personal property and seizure of assets, state lottery winnings intercept, collection of unemployment insurance, and intercept workers compensation awards.

More information about Maryland Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Emancipation

According to Article I, Section 24, Annotated Code of Maryland, the age of Emancipation, the age of Majority in Maryland, is 18. Unless a child is 18 and enrolled in secondary school, child support automatically ends at 18. A child in second school must be supported until he or she is 19 or no longer enrolled in school, whichever happens first. Parents may agree to support a child through college, and the courts may order support of a disabled adult. To provide for continuing support, orders handed down before Oct. 1, 2002 must be modified.

Deviation Factors

Child support may be adjusted up or down if it is shown to be inappropriate or unjust under the circumstances of the case. In making adjustments, the court considers:

  • the terms of any marital settlement agreement between the parents, including any provisions for payments of marital debts, mortgages, college education expenses, the right to occupy the family home, and any other financial terms and
  • the presence in the household of other children that the parent may have a duty to support.

The family home may be awarded to the parent who has custody of a child to enable the child to continue to live in the environment and community that is familiar.

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