General Child Support Articles

  • Maryland uses a formula to calculate child support. This formula is called the Child Support Guidelines. The court will usually order the amount of child support that the Guidelines say is correct unless someone can show that the Guidelines would be unjust and inappropriate in a particular case.
  • When parents each have primary physical custody of at least one of their children, it is called “split custody.” To compute child support, determine what each parent owes the other. The parent who owes more will then pay what they owe, minus the amount that the other parent owes.
  • Frequently asked questions about child support in Maryland
  • In Maryland, each county has established a child support enforcement agency that can assist in collecting child support.
  • The law allows a larger amount of earnings to be garnished for child support or alimony than for ordinary debts.
  • Both parents have a legal duty to support their child based to their ability to provide that support. Since 1990, Maryland has had child support guidelines in effect, which provide a formula for calculating child support based on a proportion of each parent's gross income.
  • Changes can be made to the amount of child support ordered by a court. These modifications are usually based on a "changed circumstance" of one of custodial parents.
  • Establishing paternity is the process of determining who is the legal father of a child.
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