Maryland has enacted Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of support that must be paid by each parent within certain income levels.
The Guidelines also account for the determination of child support at higher income levels that are above the Guidelines.
The court bases a child support award primarily on:
- the parent’s income
- the number of children subject to the support order
- the amount of time a child will spend with each parent
The Guidelines also take the following into consideration:
- work-related child care expenses
- health insurance expenses
- extraordinary medical expenses
- other expenses incurred in caring for the child
The court has the discretion to deviate from the Guidelines, but must explain the basis for this deviation, on the record.
The court may also award use and possession of the family home and use of personal property to the custodial parent for a period of up to three years from the final decree, in order to promote stability for the children.
Child support continues until a child reaches the age of eighteen, unless they are still in high school, in which case it can be extended to age nineteen.
A child support determination that falls within the Guidelines, for the most part, is a numbers game.
Our attorneys do more than just plug in numbers into a program.
They fully discuss with their client all expenses and anticipated expenses to determine a true number that will represent payment for all of the child’s needs; this is especially important for the custodial parent as expenses normally exceed support payments.
Additionally, for families who have a combined income above the Guidelines or a complex income situation, a qualified attorney is essential in preparing the court paperwork and determining the appropriate income to use and the appropriate amount of child support.
You have fought hard for custody; our attorneys will help you achieve a fair support payment to ensure that each parent is assessed an amount that will meet their child’s needs.
The goal of a child support order is to allocate a fair amount to each parent based on his or her income, with the child’s needs factored into the final number.
Our attorneys with help you navigate through the mathematics and the reality of what it truly costs to raise a child, as well as analyze more complex situations that may not be easily determined from the Guidelines.
Our attorneys can also assist you if child support is not being paid.
As the custodial parent, payment is necessary to continue your child’s quality of life. We can assist you with filing an action in Circuit Court or with the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Agency.