Do You Have to Pay Child Support in Maryland?

Under Maryland law, child support continues until a child reaches 18 years of age. Learn more about how alimony awards and other factors can affect your obligation.

Do You Have to Pay Child Support in Maryland?

Under Maryland law, child support continues until a child reaches 18 years of age. It can extend to age 19 if the child is still enrolled in secondary school. If alimony is overdue, the agency will continue to demand payment until the arrears are fully paid, regardless of the child's age. Be sure to put your nine-digit number on your check or money order.

If one or both parents have had another child since the last child support order was issued, how will this affect child support? The child support order will remain in effect until it is modified. If either parent requests a modification, the Court may consider each parent's obligations to support other children. If there is a support order for other children, the amount of support will be taken into account when calculating the guidelines. Payments can be submitted online on the Maryland State Disbursement Unit website.

In Maryland, custody and visitation arrangements, alimony awards, and child support orders from previous relationships can affect support amounts. The joint custody formula begins by multiplying the basic child support obligation (according to the schedule of the guidelines) by 1.5.In other words, each parent will be allocated an amount of support based on the income sharing model, depending on their income. In most cases, the court will order child support based on the Guidelines, unless an interested party can show that the Guidelines would be unfair and inappropriate in a particular case. Section 10-203 of the Maryland Family Law Code sets out the penalties for not supporting a minor, making clear that all parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support to their children.

In general, the custodial parent (the parent who has primary physical custody of the child or children) will receive child support. These include an increase in the income threshold that is subject to the Child Support Guidelines, a legal definition of the term “voluntary impoverishment” and a new legal authority that gives the court or judge the discretion not to grant alimony. If you are a non-custodial parent who doesn't pay in full or on time, the alimony enforcement office will issue withholding orders to collect late support from various sources of income. The Family Law section of the Maryland courts website provides forms and instructions for parents handling their own child support cases.

Parents then divide this additional amount of support between them according to their income and parenting time (percentage of time or number of days per year that a child spends with each parent). You can deduct from your real adjusted income any alimony or alimony you pay as part of a previous court order. However, if a large amount is owed over an extended period or if there is a history of evading child support payments, stricter penalties generally apply. In most cases, maintenance obligations can be collected through withholding orders, ensuring that the custodial party pays promptly and that payments are tracked accurately.

If you are more than 60 days behind in paying child support, there are mechanisms for the Maryland Child Support Control Administration to notify the Motor Vehicle Administration and suspend your driver's license.

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