Child support payments require noncustodial parents to contribute financially to childcare. In Maryland, courts employ child support guidelines to calculate appropriate payments.
Parents in Maryland are responsible for supporting their children, including after divorce. Therefore, it is crucial for divorcing parents to understand how courts make child support determinations.
Calculating child support
Maryland’s courts use a formula to calculate child support. These child support guidelines account for the number of children, the custody arrangements and the parents’ incomes. If one of the parents is not employed, the courts may consider potential income. Furthermore, childcare costs, including health insurance and daycare, can impact child support decisions. Maryland’s child support guidelines aim to provide children with the same financial support they would receive in a two-parent household.
Child support modifications
Parents have the option to challenge child support determinations and seek modifications. A noncustodial parent can attempt to lower child support payments if the calculated amount is unfair. Courts are more likely to make modifications that improve the welfare of the children and family overall. For example, the court could lower child support requirements if a noncustodial parent needs additional resources to pursue career training that could lead to higher income.
The courts can also exempt parents who have no income and are currently disabled, institutionalized or incarcerated. In addition, high-income divorced parents sometimes pay more in child support than the amount the courts calculate using the guidelines.
The courts in Maryland calculate child support using a mathematical formula. Parents facing divorce or child custody issues can benefit from learning about Maryland’s child support guidelines.