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This brief article will discuss the Maryland Child Support Guidelines used to determine a noncustodial parents’ financial obligation to their children.

To view a complete list of the combined gross income child support chart (as of January 1, 2017), you may refer to the Maryland Family Law Code §12-204.

1. How is child support calculated.
a. Maryland Courts calculate child support by combining the gross (before taxes are withdrawn) income of both parents.

The child support calculation is pretty straightforward when both parents are employees and the combined gross income for the parents is not higher than $15,000.00. If one parent, or both of the parents are self-employed, the child support calculation may be a little bit more complicated as the Courts may have to decipher and “comb through” business related expense deduction(s), etc.

Also, if the combined gross incomes of the parents exceed $15,000.00, the Judge has more flexibility in considering other factors, as we have a child support figure that is known as an above guidelines combined gross income calculation.

b. Generally, child support is paid by the noncustodial parent to the parent who has the child(ren) the majority of the time (the custodial parent). Child support may be paid directly to the receiving parent or may be withdrawn and sent to the receiving parent by way of wage withholding…administered by the Maryland Office of Child Support Enforcement.

2. Child support credit for other children, health insurance, and child care.
a. Child support calculation not only takes into account the gross income of the parties but the Maryland child support guidelines calculation also factor in support of other children and may provide an income reduction for care of other minor children.

Also, the child support calculation takes into account the cost of healthcare insurance coverage paid by the parent and child support also takes into account all reasonable work related childcare expenses. Finally, child support takes into account all extraordinary medical expenses incurred on behalf of the minor child.

3. Shared and Sole Custody Child Support Guidelines.

a. Child support is calculated either of two (2) ways: sole custody child support guidelines or shared custody child support guidelines.

The determination of which is calculated is based on the time sharing of the parties. Shared custody is defined as a parent having the child(ren) living with them for at least 128 overnight stays. The calculation for child support is different for shared custody and sole custody.

4. Paternity.

a. If you have been served with a Complaint or Petition requesting child support and you have reason to believe you may not be the biological Father of the child(ren) in question, you may request that paternity be established by the Court prior to paying child support. If paternity is waived or not challenged it may be difficult to cease child support payments in the future.

5. Modification of Child Support.

a. Either parent may file a Petition to Modify Child Support if there is a material change in circumstance that has occurred since the first Order was put in place. For example, the parent earns substantially less than they did before.

6. Contempt

a. A party has the right to file a Petition for Contempt if they believe the Child Support Order is not followed. If the Judge finds that a party is in contempt of the Court Order, the Judge may award attorney’s fees, modify the Order to address the Contempt, and in rare cases request jail time for the violation.

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Legal Disclaimer: The above information is created for general information purposes only. As such, the information and contents should not be deemed formal legal advice; nor does the information and contents create a lawyer/client relationship between any party and the editors/creators”. We encourage persons accessing the Newsletter to seek the advice of counsel to discuss their specific legal issues/situation.

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