Child Support in Maryland – What you Need to Know

Maryland Law Blog

June 27, 2016
Category: General

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Child custody and support can be very complicated and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Maryland’s child support guidelines have been in effect since the early 1990’s, and help clarify any support questions. In Maryland, child support payments are based on a number of factors, including income, the number of children, alimony, etc. To determine child support payments, online calculators are available for support estimates based on these factors. Courts take all of these factors into account when determining child support payments, so it is essential to have a clear picture of what your financial obligations are. It’s also important to recognize that child support is not limited exclusively to a check each month, some other expenses may also be included based on the agreement. Let’s look at them more closely.

Income

First and foremost for calculating child support the court needs a record of the parent’s actual income. This number is determined by salary or hourly wages, but is not quite that simple. Things like bonuses, workers compensation, alimony and social security. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when determining child support payments because they are additional cash coming in each month. It gets even more complicated when one or both of the parties are self-employed.

Expenses

The child’s living arrangement is a big factor in determining child support payments. Overnight visits to the non-custodial parent’s house can impact child support payments, because they can impact the cost of utilities, food expenses, etc. Day care and insurance costs are also considered when calculating child support payments, because they are the responsibility of both parents. As mentioned above, previous child support and alimony agreements are also considered expenses, and are taken into consideration when calculating support payments.

Additional Child Support

In addition to a monetary payment each month, child support agreements may also require additional expenses as determined by the court. Things like travel expenses for visitation, health insurance coverage, and day care expenses can all be included in a child support agreement. In the case of health insurance, some agreements require the non-custodial parent to cover some or all health coverage. Some agreements also divide the expense of extraordinary health expenses, such as orthodontia or vision coverage. Child support agreements can be as simple or specific as the parents agree on, or as they court mandates.

When working out a child support agreement it is wise to be specific about what kinds of support are required, trying to plan for any unforeseen circumstances. Things like health insurance, daycare expenses, and travel expenses should be spelled out to prevent any issues in the future. Child support can seem complicated and overwhelming, but our Maryland attorneys are here to help you.

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