How the Maryland Child Support Calculator Works
One of the most commonly asked divorce questions will always be how much child support one party will be required to pay, or conversely, be expecting to receive. While there’s always going to be factors which affect each individual case in different ways, Maryland provides an online child calculator that you can use as a reference point for determining how much child support will be owed or paid. Here’s an introductory look at what it entails.
What is the Maryland Child Support Calculator?
The state of Maryland’s Department of Human Resources provides online worksheets for child support guidelines. Dubbed the Maryland child support calculator, it consists of two separate worksheets, one offering guidelines for shared physical custody, in which each party would have the child for at least 128 overnights per year, and one offering guidelines when one parent will be receiving primary physical custody. [UPDATE: Maryland is updating this requirement to 92 overnights as of October 1st, 2020.]
The concept of the calculator is fairly straightforward. It breaks down each parent’s income into a percentage of the whole. A basic obligation for child support is derived as a percentage of that total income, with each parent responsible for an amount proportionately equal to their slice of the income pie.
Expenses already paid by one party as it relates to matters such as health insurance expenses or work-related child care are deducted from each person’s obligations, while issues such as alimony paid are also factored in. The worksheets for shared custody are substantially more complex than what’s offered for sole custody, with an extra worksheet of adjustment calculations to be made based upon provided financial information.
Of course, as the calculator’s own disclaimer states, it reflects estimates and not a final answer. Individual factors may lead to court adjustments from small to relatively high levels, and as always, it’s import to consult directly with your attorney for more specific information. Unless you are intimately familiar with family law statutes, it’s also difficult to properly track what types of expenses qualify and in which ways, for instance. Further, if the two parents make over a certain amount of money per month, the percentages and guidelines provided by the calculator aren’t necessarily applied.
If you have any questions about calculating child support in Maryland, as well as the child support calculator itself, feel free to call our office at 240.395.1418 to set up your free consultation today.