Calculating child support in Maryland requires a few steps. First, the real income of each parent must be determined. This includes income from all sources, such as paychecks, tips, bonuses, commissions, and rents. Each parent then subtracts any alimony or child support they already pay and adds or subtracts any alimony payments in the current case.
The combined amount is then used to determine the basic maintenance obligation of children according to the table of guidelines. The results provided by the Maryland child support calculator are estimates based on the information provided. The amount of child support that a court will order for a particular case may be different from the amount estimated by this calculator. It is important to note that these calculators assume that all children will primarily live with one parent and are not intended to estimate situations in which there is shared physical custody or divided custody. In Maryland, child support is the financial contribution of the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to cover the costs of raising the boy. The state expects both parents to contribute to the care of their children in proportion to their earnings.
The formula takes into account each parent's monthly income before taxes and also includes expenses related to child rearing. Critics of the revised guidelines argue that Maryland's child support guidelines were initially written to take into account annual inflation, since the matrix is based on the gross income of the parties, which increases with the cost of living. Low-income parents can benefit from a wider range of earnings, where judges are advised to assign a minimum pension for child support. The court may choose not to order alimony if a parent is unable to work due to incarceration, hospitalization, rehabilitation, or permanent and total disability. In general, child support expenses include basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, and health care. The non-custodial parent pays all or part of their share to the other parent as child support.
For Maryland and any state that balances its desire to strengthen child support with the harsh economic reality, legislation can be a double-edged sword for parents who must manage increasing payments with diminishing income. Critics also argue that in a recessionary or struggling economy, the increase in financial obligations associated with child support will simply burden parents who are already in financial difficulties, creating a surplus of bankruptcy cases and contempt proceedings. Different courts may adopt different interpretations of the new legislation on child support guidelines and to which cases the new guidelines apply. The law does not define substantial changes, but generally any change that causes at least 25 percent in parents' income or in the child's expenses will be taken into account. This number is only an estimate and does not guarantee the amount of child support that will be awarded.