Parents have an obligation to financially support their children until they reach 18 years of age. When parents are divorced or separated, child support ensures that the children’s financial needs are met.
In Maryland, an individual must be personally served with a notice of the child support proceedings. It is helpful to have current and accurate financial information from the non-custodial parent in order for the court to establish a timely child support order.
The court has the discretion to order child support retroactive to the date a complaint is filed with the court.
Income share model
Maryland uses an income share model for its child support guidelines. The guidelines take several factors into consideration to determine the proper amount of child support including:
- The income of both parents
- How many children they have to support
- The cost of health insurance for the children
- The cost of daycare
If a parent does not pay court-ordered child support, their wages can be garnished and the state may intercept their tax refunds. The parent may also have his or her professional license suspended, if applicable, and their failure to pay may be reported to credit bureaus.
Sometimes, the parents’ circumstances require that the amount of child support is modified. These must be based on a material change in one or more of the party’s circumstances and may include a significant change in income, changes in custody, changes in health care costs and changes to the children’s financial needs.
An experienced attorney can help parents with their questions about child support.