Maryland Child Support FAQs

March 07, 2018 - By: Stuart H. Grozbean

When does child support begin?
The Maryland Court may only help you with child support from the time you actually file a request for the Court to make a finding that child support is due. The Court does not go back to the date the parties separated if no case has been filed. A prompt filing is imperative for the Court to grant retroactive support.

Who is covered?
Any Child(ren) born to the parties whether they are married or not. If there is a question about the legitimacy of a Child the Court can Order a paternity test.

I just lost my job. Will the Court go back to date I was terminated?
No, a modification of a Maryland child support order runs from the date of actual filing for a modification. If you wait two months from termination to file for a change in your child support obligation the Court can only grant you relief from the date you filed your request, not the date you were terminated.

How does Maryland determine child support?
The Maryland legislature enacted a child support statute that encompasses child support guidelines. The guidelines are more complex then in many states that simply use a percentage. Maryland takes each parent’s actual gross income and then takes into consideration:

(A) preexisting child support actually paid;

(B) health insurance premiums;

(C) alimony (either paid in your current case or another case you are involved in);

(D) Work-related child care expenses (Daycare, After school, etc.;

(E) extraordinary medical expenses;

(F) additional expenses (which may include: special or private school, transportation between parents’ homes)

How do I determine “Actual income”? “Actual income,” consists of but not limed to:

(A) Salaries;

(B) Wages;

(C) Commissions;

(D) Bonuses;

(E) Dividend income;

(F) Pension income;

(G) Interest income;

(H) Trust income;

(I) Annuity income;

(J) Social Security benefits;

(K) Workers’ compensation benefits;

(L) Unemployment insurance benefits;

(M) Disability insurance benefits;

(N) Alimony or maintenance received.

(O) Regular payments received from a relative (You parents send you money every month);

(P) Other fringe benefits from employment, i.e. automobile, cell phone, cable or internet service etc. that you might have paid for even if you did not have your current job)

What about overtime?
If you get regular overtime and not occasional overtime the Court may include this as “actual income”. This is a case by case situation that need to be carefully looked at. If you get overtime once every 3 or 4 months for one hour will be looked at differently then 5 to 10 hours every week.

Will they consider private school?
If the parties had previously agreed on private schooling the Court will look at the past history and what is in the best interest of the child. However, if the parties can not afford to continue paying for private schooling the Court may decline to include the cost of private school. Again this is on a case by case basis.

What is the formula for Maryland Child Support Guidelines?
Maryland uses a table of mathematical numbers taking into account the number of children, overnights of greater then 128 nights and factors discussed in this FAQ article. Child support guidelines do not apply if the combined adjusted income in excess of $10,000.00 The Courts may, but rarely deviate from child support computations below combined incomes of $10,000.00 per month. Most Court use SASI-Calc software to determine the Maryland Child support. Http://

What is shared custody?
If the parties child(ren) spends in access of 128 overnights per year or 35 percent of the time with either parent the Court utilizes at separate formula recognizing more of a shared cost approach to determine Child support.

What if obligor quits his job to avoid paying Child support?
A person required to pay child support may not deliberately quit his job to avoid Child Support. This is called involuntary impoverishment. The Court can fine the non-paying parent in contempt of Court and incarcerate them. The Maryland office of Child support can ask for a tax intercept of any tax refunds, pull their right to drive in Maryland and even deny them the right to a certain travel/passport/visa rights if the arrearage reaches a certain amount thru state and federal reporting systems.