Understanding Child Support Distribution in Maryland

Understand how child support is distributed in Maryland and how it affects your case. Learn about Child Support Guidelines and how payments are made.

Understanding Child Support Distribution in Maryland

When it comes to child support, it is important to understand the process of how it is distributed in Maryland. The state uses a formula called Child Support Guidelines to calculate the amount of support that is owed. This formula takes into account each parent's obligations to support other children, as well as the percentage of income that parents would spend on their children if they lived together. In most cases, the court will order child support based on the guidelines, unless someone can show that the guidelines would be unfair and inappropriate in a particular case.

The non-custodial parent is the one who will pay child support directly to another parent. Payments can be made by mail, deposited directly into the custodian's bank account, or added to the applicant's electronic payment issuance card (EPIC) program. If payments are not received, the Department of Human Services (DHS) can take action to garnish the payer's salary, money from financial institutions, or even Maryland state lottery winnings. The DHS is also responsible for helping parents obtain and enforce child support orders, including locating absent parents and establishing paternity if necessary. The court may also impute income to a parent who is choosing not to work or is choosing to work in a job with a lower wage than what they qualify for. This means that the court will act as if the father had income when determining the payment of child support.

In addition, if a court finds that a parent who owes child support has been “voluntarily impoverished”, they can impute income to father. It is important to note that all child support payments made in Maryland must include a nine-digit case number on the check or money order. If either parent requests a modification of the order, 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. The Family Law section of the Maryland courts website provides forms and instructions for parents handling their own child support cases. The Department of Human Services also has a child support calculator that you can use to estimate the amount of child support in your case.

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