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Child Support law varies greatly from state to state.
The information on this web site concerns Maryland law only.
The information regarding Maryland Child Support Law on this page is general, could change at any time without Notice, and is not meant to replace legal advice.
Maryland Child Support Law was changed in a few ways on October 1, 2010.
Maryland Family Law is drawn from the sources of the Maryland Code, Maryland Court Rules, and Maryland Case Law. Individual laws regarding Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Alimony, and Divorce cannot be fully comprehended without understanding how they interact with each other and within the elaborate Maryland Family Law Court system, and trying to interpret individual laws without understanding this could decrease the chance of achieving an outcome favorable to you in your case.
Child Support in Maryland is based on a formula, which is based on the factors of how many over-nights the child spends with each parent, the average monthly income of each parent, (or possibly how much either of them could make if either one is "voluntarily under-employing" "or voluntarily impoverishing" himself or herself), daycare expenses, medical expenses, and some other factors.
"Voluntary under-employment" and "attribution of income" are issues that are too complex to go into here. If you these issues may be involved in your case, you should discuss this with an attorney who has had experience with these issues in Maryland Family Law courts as soon as possible.
In Maryland, "income" for determining child support is any and all income "from any source derived." --So if you are getting income from a source in addition to your paychecks, the Master/Judge will include that in your "income" to be used for determining child support.
Child support in Maryland is calculated based on these specific things and not based on any of the possible labels involving "Legal custody."
The number of over-nights the child spends with each parent, which is a major factor that determines the amount of child support ordered.
See our page on Maryland Custody for an explanation of Maryland Custody terms such as "Legal" custody and "Physical" custody.
In Maryland, child support generally accrues from the date of filing, so if no child support is ordered before the Trial, the judge can order "back-pay" child support going back to the date of the filing.
Maryland Child Support laws apply to Mothers as well as to Fathers.
Child Support is separate from "Alimony" and/or "Monetary Award," and Maryland courts do not use a standard formula to determine Custody, Alimony, or Monetary Award.
Maryland Family Law decisions regarding Custody and Alimony are different than the issue of child support and are based on standards of and arguments of "equity," and/or "best interest of the child," rather than on specific formulas or rules. The complex interaction of the separate laws regarding Custody, Child Support, Alimony, and Monetary Award is one of the reasons why experienced Family Law attorneys usually avoid giving quick answers without discussion, analysis, or clarification. Another reason experienced attorneys usually refrain from giving quick answers is because they know that Maryland Law requires that each Family Law case must be judged independently from all others and each judgment must be based on the unique set of circumstances that are involved in each case. Accordingly, in order to give you the best advice possible (or even adequate advice) regarding your case, an attorney would need to find out all of the unique facts and circumstances involved.
Maryland judges can deviate from the Maryland Child Support Guidelines if they choose to do so. Judges have much discretion in Maryland Family Law courts.
The Maryland Family Law Court system is complex and Maryland Family Law requires judges to consider many variables and laws before making a decision in each Family Law case. Individual laws cannot be fully comprehended without understanding how they interact with each other and within the elaborate Maryland Family Law Court system, and trying to interpret individual laws without understanding this could decrease your chance of achieving an outcome that is favorable to you in your case. It is therefore in your best interest to have a full consultation with an experienced Family Law attorney regarding your particular case or situation before making any agreements or filing anything with a Family Law Court.
For more information on child support, please visit: