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Child Support

In Maryland, child support is set according to the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. Guidelines are based on gross income, and income includes monies received from any source. If a parent is self-employed, then reasonable and necessary expenses related to obtaining income can be deducted from the business income.

The cost of health insurance is deducted from the gross income of each party. If one party or the other is receiving or paying alimony that also is included in the calculation of income. If someone is paying child support according to a court order for a child or children from another relationship, that is also taken into account in determining gross income. If a parent is the custodian of a child of the marriage and the child is less than 24 Months the court may not charge them with any income.

Once the gross income is determined, then calculations are preformed to determine what percentage of income each parent is making. For example, if the mother's gross income is $3,000 per month and the father's income is $2,000 per month, then Mom makes 60% of the income and Dad makes 40% ($3,000 + $2,000 = $5,000; $3,000 is 60% of $5,000; $2,000 is 40% of $5,000.)

The guidelines have tables which show that based on the total family income a certain amount should go to support the children. The amount increases based on how many children are in the family. For example, using the income above for one child, the total child support should be $670 per month. If there are three children in the family, the total child support should be $1304 per month.

Each party's child support obligation is based on their percentage of the total family income. Using this hypothetical, with a $5,000 per month total income, Mom's child support obligation for one child would be $402 per month (60% of $670). Dad's child support obligation would be $268 per month (40% of $670).

What if the child divides his or her time between both parents home to such a degree that he or she is in each home half the time, or close to that? Then the child support is adjusted to reflect the fact that both homes have higher expenses. Using the hypothetical we have developed here, if there was a 50/50 split of time, then Mom would owe Dad child support of $100 per month. (Remember Mom makes more money than Dad does, so she pays a larger percentage of the expenses even though the child is with each parent an equal amount of time.)

The guidelines also divide up, by percentage, other child related expenses such as day care and medical expenses. If you would like to calculate child support using your own income and expense information, or if you want more information on child support calculations, access the following web site: http://www.dhr.state.md.us/child/cs-guide.htm.


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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright 2002 by Barbara R. Trader, P.A. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.