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How do Maryland courts determine child support?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2021 | Child Custody

The state of Maryland’s Human Services department is clear about child support in a divorce. “Every child has a right to receive support from both parents even if the parents are separated, divorced, or never married.”

Of course divorcing parents want to have significant roles in their child’s life, even if they’re not going to be the custodial parent. Child support is one of the ways in which parents help to take care of their children.

Which parent receives child support?

Typically, the custodial parent (the one with primary physical custody) receives child support, with the other parent paying support.

There are exceptions, however, that depend on the incomes of the parents. There are also exceptions in cases in which parents share custody.

Determining the amount

Maryland uses the Income Shares Model to determine child support payments. The model goal’s is to ensure that each child receives after the divorce the same proportion of parental income that they would have received had the parents remained together.

The Department of Human Services has a child support estimator here to help you figure out how much your support payments will be.

What info does the court want from you?

In order to calculate child support payments, the court will ask for the following:

  • Actual monthly income: wages, bonuses, workers’ compensation benefits, Social Security benefits, etc.
  • Each parent’s adjusted actual income: your income minus existing child support or alimony payments.
  • Work-related child-care expenses
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Extraordinary medical expenses: these are costs not covered by insurance, such as counseling, dental treatments, physical therapy, etc.
  • Financial statement: this is required of those seeking child support. The state notes that “you could be charged with perjury if you lie on the form.”

The court might ask for additional information in order to make its final child support determination. The state advises you to contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement or to speak with a family law attorney about child support.