How to Pay Child Support in Maryland

Learn how to make child support payments in Maryland and understand your legal obligations as a paying parent. Find out more about calculating and filing for child support.

How to Pay Child Support in Maryland

Making child support payments in Maryland is a straightforward process. The payments must be made in the form of a check or money order and mailed to the Maryland Child Support Account. It is important to include your nine-digit case number on all payments. Alternatively, payments can be made online on the Maryland State Disbursement Unit website.

All forms related to child support should be filed with the Family Department of the Circuit Court or on the Maryland Judiciary website. The Child Support Guidelines are used to estimate the percentage of income that parents would spend on their children if they lived together. Generally, the court will order child support based on these guidelines, unless it can be shown that they would be unfair and inappropriate in a particular case. It is advisable to speak to an attorney or someone from the Office of Child Support Control for more information about calculating the right amount of child support. Child support is a financial aid that the other parent who does not have custody of a child or children (the custodial parent) pays to a non-custodial parent (the paying parent). There is no legal obligation to pay child support until a court order is issued.

At a child support hearing, the judge will approve, reject, or modify the original claim based on the facts presented. Once all issues related to family cases have been considered, a child support complaint can be filed from the other parent who legally has a parental relationship with the child, in order to request financial support for raising the child. It is recommended to speak to an attorney or someone from the Office of Child Support Control for more information or if you have other questions. The court may reduce the amount of child support if it is in the best interests of the children. The Payment Incentive Program helps parents pay back any child support arrears they owe to the state of Maryland. Parents must pay child support until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later.

The parent who does not have primary physical custody of the children (the non-custodial parent) is responsible for making these payments. If it is found that a parent who owes child support has been “voluntarily impoverished”, then income can be “imputed” to them by the court when determining alimony payments.

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