Child support is managed at the state level, and Maryland has a set of specific guidelines for calculating child support payments. This method is simple: a fixed percentage of the non-custodial parent's income is paid monthly to the custodial parent to cover basic child support expenses. The percentage paid may remain the same or vary if the income of the non-custodial parent changes. All states have a method for modifying the amount of child support due in cases where the custody agreement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.
Maryland views extraordinary health care costs as a mandatory deduction from basic child support. This means that if the non-custodial parent pays the costs of child care, the portion of the total monthly child care costs attributed to the couple who has custody is deducted from the monthly child support payment of the non-custodial couple. If the custodial parent pays for child care, the non-custodial parent must pay his share in addition to the basic child support. Child care costs are treated differently with regards to child support in Maryland. Under IRS guidelines, the child support beneficiary does not need to pay federal taxes on child support payments, and the child support payer cannot deduct their child support payments.
This differs from federal taxes on alimony payments, which the recipient considers taxable income and can be deducted by the payer. Maryland tax law may vary in the tax treatment of maintenance. The Department of Human Services has a child support calculator that you can use to estimate the amount of child support in your case. The results provided by this calculator are estimates based on the pertinent information you provide. The court orders that the custodial parent be paid a fixed percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent's income for child support.
Because of the high costs of one-time child care, Maryland has specialized guidelines that consider the costs of child care separately from the general costs of raising a child for the purpose of calculating child support payments. If the monthly income of the non-custodial parent changes, so too will the dollar amount he pays for child support. Because child support guidelines differ greatly from state to state, it's important that you use appropriate guidelines to determine how support will be calculated for your case. Child support guidelines try to estimate the percentage of income that parents would spend on their children if they lived together. If a parent who owes child support has been “voluntarily impoverished,” then Maryland will “impute” an income to him for purposes of calculating his payment. The state uses an income-sharing method to calculate these payments, which is designed to ensure that both parents who have custody and those who do not have custody contribute to their children's maintenance.
Other special situations covered by Maryland's law include child care costs and extraordinary medical costs.