Maryland Child Support

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Maryland child support guidelines were formulated in 1989 by the state laws. The Maryland General Assembly has increased the number of guidelines during the 2010 legislative session. As per these guidelines, both custodial and non-custodial parents have child maintenance responsibilities. Maryland divorce child support issue encompass a number of matters like the amount to be disbursed, the method of payment, enforcement measures etc.

Overview of guidelines in Maryland Divorce Child Support

The process of determination of the support amount is mentioned below:

Finding out the gross monthly income of the father as well as mother

  • The following deductions are made from the two gross monthly incomes stated above:
    • Preexisting child support and alimony that is being paid to a third party
    • Medical insurance that is paid to the child
  • The alimony received in the current case is added to the two gross monthly incomes.
  • The two figures obtained after the above subtractions and deductions are called 'adjusted income'.

Both the father's adjusted income and mother's adjusted income are divided by the combined total adjusted income. In this way, percentage of income of each parent is determined.

The table that has been developed by the state is used to procure the basic child subsidy amount.

The following additions are made to the amount obtained from the table (if applicable):

  • Educational expenditure
  • Extraordinary medical expenditure
  • Work related child care expenses like daycare, after school etc.

The figure obtained after the above additions is termed as 'total support obligation'.

The product of the total support obligation and the percentage of each parent's share will give the 'precise amount of child support'.

Pertinent points regarding Maryland Divorce Child Support

  • A child, who is born from the marriage, and another child, who is born out of wedlock, are eligible for the same level of support.
  • If the monthly combined 'adjusted income' is more than 10,000 USD, the child maintenance guidelines are not applicable. In such a case, the factors taken into account for deciding the support amount are as follows:
    • Expenditure for education of the child
    • Age and physical condition of the parents
    • The financial conditions of the parents
  • Let us consider a child who spends more than 35 percent of overnights (i.e. 128 overnights per year) with each parent. For such a child, child support is calculated using special guidelines, which would be different from the original guidelines.
  • If a parent works overtime and earns money, this money is included in calculating child support payments. However, this additional income is not speculative or uncertain.
  • The following amounts are considered as 'actual income':
    • Maintenance or alimony received
    • Disability insurance benefits
    • Unemployment insurance benefits
    • Workers compensation benefits
    • Social Security benefits
    • Annuity income
    • Trust income
    • Interest income
    • Pension income
    • Dividend income
    • Bonuses
    • Commissions
    • Wages
    • Salaries
    • Some other categories like fringe benefits from employment
    • Depending on the circumstances of each case, the court regards the following as 'actual income'
      • Prizes
      • Gifts
      • Capital gains
      • Severance pay

Enforcement Measures

Maryland enforcement measures are developed to collect child maintenance amount from non-custodial parents. These measures are enforced in accordance with the Maryland Child support Enforcement Program. These measures are:

  • Denial of Passport
  • Interception of state lottery winnings
  • Federal and State income tax refund offset
  • Liens on personal or real property; seizure of assets
  • FIDM - Financial Institution Data Match
  • Interception of worker compensation awards
  • Suspension of professional license and driver's license
  • Withholding wages

In Maryland, if a court has personal jurisdiction over the parent, only then the court has authority to enforce child support over the parent. The term 'personal jurisdiction' implies that the parent, who is expected to disburse support, must have a connection with this state. Let us assume that a court has entered a valid child support order. Now, the state (wherein the court exists) is authorized to award and alter support, though there may not be any contact with the supporting parent or children at a later stage.

Parents who want to file child maintenance case and parents who have to pay the support amount must be aware of the basic aspects of Maryland divorce child support. You must make attempts that will guarantee a good future for your child. You must not escape your parental responsibilities. If you are unwilling to pay for your child's upbringing, you will be punished legally. Not only this, your act will make your child suffer physically, socially and emotionally.

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