The guidelines for determining child support obligations in Maryland use parental income as the basis. Each parent subtracts any alimony or child support they already pay, and then adds or subtracts any alimony payments in the current case. The law does not define substantive changes, but generally, any change that causes at least 25 percent in parents' income or in the child's expenses will be considered. Parents who don't divorce can also file for child support when opening a custody case, or they can open a support case for the children.
In most cases, the court will order child support based on the guidelines, unless someone can prove that the guidelines would be unfair and inappropriate in a particular case. However, any decision the court makes to reduce the amount of child support must be in the best interests of the children. The costs of child care, health insurance, and extraordinary medical expenses are all taken into account when calculating the maintenance obligation. You may want to talk to an attorney or someone from the Office of Child Support Control for more information or if you have other questions.
The parent who does not have primary physical custody of the children (the parent who does not have custody) is the person who will pay child support. The local child support control office can also open a child support case on your behalf or help you enforce a child support order. Maryland expects both parents to contribute to the care of their children in proportion to their earnings. If the court finds that a parent who owes child support has been “voluntarily impoverished,” they can “impute the income to the father.” The court may decide not to order alimony if a parent is unable to work due to incarceration, hospitalization, rehabilitation, or permanent and total disability.
To open a child support case, file a child support claim (CC-DR-00) with the corresponding financial statement. Child Support Guidelines try to estimate the percentage of income that parents would spend on their children if they lived together. In some cases, the court orders that support be paid through a wage garnishment, and the amount is automatically deducted from the responsible parent's paycheck.
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