In this article, you will discover:
- How child support is calculated in Maryland.
- Whether child support paying parents have any way to ensure money is being spent as they think necessary.
- Expenses besides parents’ income courts use to determine child support.
How Is The Amount Of Child Support Determined In Maryland?
When child support issues in a Maryland divorce turn to encompass financial concerns, what is already an emotionally taxing experience becomes even more challenging. We hope to give you a decent overview that explains how child support is determined so you can better manage your expectations.
In Maryland, child support is determined using the Maryland child support guidelines, essentially a formula in Maryland statutes that instructs what a child support payment will be. The Maryland child support guidelines take the party’s gross income and some specific expenses into account to determine a number that the non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying.
There are some factors to consider when navigating child support guidelines. The statute instructs that children are entitled to a certain percentage of both parents’ combined income. Once calculated, this is broken down between the parties based on the proportion of the combined income that they earn. So, if the mother earns 40% of the combined income and the father earns 60%, then the father will be responsible for paying 60% of what the child is entitled to.
In addition, the child support guidelines take into account a couple of specific expenses such as health insurance, work-related child care, and private school tuition. If the child has a particular condition that requires additional medical expenses, they are also divided so that the parents pay their proportional share of each of those expenses.
Another thing that makes a difference in child support is the number of overnights. This is more important when it is unclear who will be responsible for paying child support. If a parent has the (minor) child for less than 92 overnights in a year, then the non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying child support. If a parent has more than 92 overnights in a given year, the case will move into shared custody for the purposes of child support. The child support would change based on how many overnights over 92 there are and on the parties’ incomes.
Do Parents Paying Child Support Have Any Say In How That Money Is Spent?
No, parents paying child support do not have any say in how that money is spent. When one parent is ordered to pay child support, it is most likely solely based on the Maryland child support guidelines and merely a statutory calculation. There is a presumption in the law that the parent receiving the child support will use that money for the care of the minor children.
There is no mechanism by which paying parents can know how the money is being spent or dictate how it should be spent.
There is little paying parents can do when they think the other may misspend child support money besides bringing it up as part of their testimony before the court in a custody or child support case. A judge can undoubtedly listen to the testimony and take it into account when they make their determinations.
For more information on Child Support Issues In A Maryland Divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (443) 300-2335 today.