Child Support in Maryland
When the child is born in a marriage, the law automatically assumes that the husband and wife are the parents. If the child is born to an unmarried couple, the first step is to establish paternity. Paternity can be established by the father signing a voluntary declaration or by utilizing genetic testing. Once paternity has been established, a court can order a parent to pay the other child support.
Maryland has a statewide formula used for determining the appropriate amount of child support to be paid. The parents are allowed to agree to a child support amount on their own, but the court must approve this amount of support if asked to incorporate child support into a court order. However, neither parent can simply waive child support. The court will always retain the power to order one parent to pay the other child support. If the parents of the child cannot agree to a child support amount, the judge will decide the proper amount based on guideline calculations.
The child support guidelines consider the following factors:
- How much money each parent earns, or is able to earn.
- How many children the parents have with each other.
- The amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren).
- Support of children from other relationships.
- Health insurance expenses for the child(ren).
- The cost of sharing work-related childcare and uninsured health-care costs.
- Other factors that are less common.
Only a judge can deviate from the guideline amount of child support in limited circumstances. I will help inform you of your rights or obligations for the payment or receipt of child support. Together we can run a guideline child support calculation for you to help you align your expectations with the actual amount. If you feel like you are overpaying child support or support, or if support is being underpaid, call me and I will help determine whether a child support order modification is appropriate.