Child Support in Maryland

Laws on child support in Maryland are established to determine as well as establish the right amount of money that a non- custodial parent should pay as a financial support for the child. The laws of the state of Maryland are tailored to create a firm and consistent system which can be used to measure and establish sufficient parental support that a child deserves. A legal formula has been established by Maryland calculate the support obligation of a parent to the child. As of 2011, approximately, there are 500,000 cases of child support in the state as estimated by the Department of Human Resources of Maryland. Half of this number is handled by qualified private lawyers while the other half is supervised by the Child Support Enforcement Administration of the state.

The first step in determining child support in Maryland is calculating the total of both parents’ gross earnings. This calculation takes into account the parents’ salaries and wages, revenues from investments and businesses, Social Security benefits, disability and unemployment benefits. The law of Maryland contemplates all the sources of income of both parents. However, gifts and bonuses are never included in the thorough review of the court.

The total of all of these earning is used for determining the total child support amount necessary to sustain the life of the child and satisfy all of his/her daily needs. The calculation is entirely based on the child support guidelines that that state of Maryland has developed. The state also calculates the percentage of total of earnings that each parent must contribute. The parent should be held accountable for making child support payments that are equivalent to the percentage of the total child support provided by the support guidelines.

The law of child support in Maryland contains a specific provision concerning the ‘potential income’. One of the common child support problems is that there are parents who are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed just to get rid of child support duties. In the event that the court finds out that a situation like this exists, the ‘potential income’ of that parent is necessarily determined. The determination of potential income is done by estimating the earnings that an individual can be able to make. Different factors are taken into account including occupational or professional qualifications, history of work and usual earning levels of people who live in the community where the parent lives in. Potential income is assigned for a parent who intends to become or stay unemployed/underemployed to avoid living up to his/her support obligations to the child.

Child support in Maryland provides different ways on how to enforce child support obligation to parents. These include withholding of wage, intercepting income tax refunds and imposing a jail sentence if a parent does not abide by the child support laws and fulfill his/her obligations even after an extension of time is given. In case the parent is imposed with a jail sentence, he/she will usually be placed in a certain work release program for the opportunity to earn significant amounts of money and make up for past due and present child support.

The state allows its court to order or parent to agree on a distribution of expenses of the child for private education. These costs are added to the base obligation of the parent. The private education expenses are divided between both parents depending on their income levels. The state of Maryland is home to numerous qualified child support lawyers. These professionals can help parents with their child support cases and issues. Bear in mind that you cannot obtain a specific lawyer with the help of the State Bar Association of Maryland.

NOTE: The information contained within and on this website is meant for informative purposes only. It is not meant to replace the information and advice of legal counsel. This website is not operated by lawyers and  does not offer legal advice.