Under Maryland law your child has a right to receive financial support from his or her parents. If you and the other parent are getting divorced, have never been married or you cannot get the other parent to help support your child financially, you need to speak to an attorney about seeking child support.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines
Maryland law holds both parents responsible for providing financial support for their children. Maryland Child Support Guidelines are set forth in Maryland Code Family Law §12-204. If both parents have a gross combined income higher than a certain amount, the Maryland Child Support Guidelines will not apply to the child support calculation.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines are based on a mathematical formula. In order to calculate child support under the guidelines, you will need to have the following information:
- Gross monthly income of each of the parents
- Amounts paid by either parent in child support for a child of another relationship or alimony to a previous spouse
- Monthly costs for work related day care expenses
- Monthly costs for the provision of health insurance coverage for the children
Maryland Code Family Law 12-204 provides a basic child support obligation depending on the number of children and the adjusted actual incomes of the parties. Adjusted actual income is gross income minus any existing child support or alimony obligations. In cases where one parent has the child in their care less than 128 overnights per year, the formula provides that each party pay a share of the basic child support, day care expenses, and costs for health insurance, based on the proportion of their adjusted actual income to the total adjusted income of the parties. Where parents share physical custody, defined as when the child spends at least 128 overnights a year in the home of each parent, then each party's share of the basic child support obligation is multiplied by the percentage of time the child spends in the home of the other parent. The parent owing the larger amount of the two resulting child support obligations pays the difference to the other parent. If either parent incurs work-related child care expenses and/or costs for the provision of health insurance coverage for the child, these costs are shared in proportion to the parties' adjusted actual incomes. The guideline child support amount is presumed to be correct, and will be ordered by the court unless the opposing party can present sufficient evidence as to why the guideline amount is inappropriate or not in the child's best interest.
Modification of Child Support in Maryland
When and if changes occur to the financial circumstances of either of the parents or the expenses of the children, one party may be entitled to a modification of the child support amount to reflect the change in circumstances.