Understanding child support in Maryland
Child support is the court-ordered payment of money from one parent to another for support of children of a domestic relationship. Regardless of whether parents were married—or share custody—the court can still order child support payments.
Child support is not the same as spousal support, and is calculated based on guidelines developed by the Maryland legislature. While seemingly straightforward, the guidelines can be complicated when applied on an individual basis. We provide thoughtful representation to our clients dealing with the destabilizing process of divorce, including information about these guidelines:
- Maryland uses an income shares model when considering child support. This model bases support awards on the income of each parent, rather than expenses of a child. Maryland gives courts discretion to deviate from guidelines if needed.
- Parental income from all sources is considered, including salary, commission, dividend interest, trust income, social security, or other benefits. However, this excludes transitional emergency aid or programs like Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).
- The number of overnight stays impacts child support with shared custodial arrangements resulting in reduced child support awards.
- Child support generally continues until a child graduates from high school or turns 19 years of age.
By calling on the income and resources of both parents, Maryland provides a helping hand to children—to maintain and raise their standard of living during and after divorce. If you have questions about child support—whether calculation or enforcement—call our Baltimore child support lawyers today at (443) 589-0150 or contact us online. We can offer you a helping hand, too.