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When Does Child Support End in Maryland?

Under new law in Maryland effective October 1, 2002, if a child turns age 18 while still enrolled in high school, the child support obligation can be extended by the Court until either the child graduates from high school, or age 19, whichever is first. Otherwise, child support terminates when the child turns age 18.

For child support orders entered before the new law went into effect on October 1, 2002, one party must file a request with the Court in order to extend the child support obligation beyond age 18.

Although the law sets limits on the duration of child support, parents can agree to go beyond those limits in a Custody or Separation Agreement, such as by agreeing to contribute toward college education expenses. In such event, the Court will enforce the parties' agreement pay child support beyond what is legally required.


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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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