Child Support Factors in Maryland With Rahul Kishore
I’m an attorney here in Maryland, I’ve been practicing for 28 years in family law. Today, I’m going to go over the factors that determine child support. You seek child support in Maryland if the parties are separated, and they’re not living under the same roof. The party who has physical custody or primary physical primary custody of the minor child or children in Maryland would seek child support.
Now today, what I’m going to share with you all is how Maryland child support will be determined. It is a formula. The factors involved are each party’s gross income, which includes their income from any position they have, salary, and also, income in Maryland considers other types of income that you earn, such as capital gains income, income from rental properties, etc. Under the statute, there are various other forms of income. To keep this simple today, if you’re both W-2 employees, we put your gross income (income before deducting taxes) into the child support calculator.
The second factor is we look at whether or not there are any childcare expenses. If you have a child less than six years old before going to elementary school, normally that expense is quite high, especially here in the state of Maryland. Childcare can range somewhere between $800 to $1600, or even up to $2,000 a month, depending on a program, we have to put that amount in that is paid for each child.
Then what we do is we look at the health insurance expense, and we figure out the exact amount that it will cost with a child. For instance, if you have health insurance, and you’re the mother, and the insurance policy is that you individually would pay $180 per month, but if you add a child and that expense is $375, then the difference between the $375 and the $180 would be the amount that is allocated to child health insurance expense.
These three things that I have brought up are the main things to determine child support. Other things can determine child support. Like for instance, if you have a special needs child or you have a fixed expense per month, that the child incurs due to health. Or for instance, if you and the other parent have agreed to have the child go to a private school, that can also be added in as an expense as a factor into child support.
That can also be a very highly litigated kid issue, going to private schools, because if one party doesn’t want to have the child go to private school then the issue could be litigated. Then the main factor that the court looks at is how many overnights the children have with each party. We have to actually put in the number of overnights in a year with one party compared to the other party, and then determine from there, what the child support would be for the party that has to pay.
Maryland Child SupportOverview
Now, in Maryland, child support is a very logical thing. What they do is, if you have a party that has more overnights compared to the other then generally speaking, that party would collect child support from the other party. It can of course also depend on the income of the parties. If you make $50,000, and you’re the party that has more overnights, and the other party makes $70,000, then the party that’s making the $70,000 would be paying more towards the child support.
Child support is based on the factors I’ve given you today. It runs on those four factors. It’s a pretty logical way that Maryland calculates it. There are many times when a client will ask me for a variance. Generally speaking, if you are over a certain threshold amount that Maryland determines, if both parties make over that threshold, then there can be a variance. The child support calculator determines from the threshold amount, an established variance going above that.
For parties that are above that now, the calculator determines how that variance goes up as the incomes of the parties go up. Now, if you’re below that threshold, normally the court doesn’t allow for a variance. If you’re above the threshold, there can be a variance. The only time you can have a variance if you’re below the threshold is if you show to the court that there is a legitimate reason.
For instance, if one party is picking up the camp expense for the summer and they want to pay let’s say $200 less a month because they’re picking up the camping expense. That’s an agreement that the parties come to, you can go into court and explain that to a judge and they would allow you to have a variance of the child support calculation.
Generally speaking, the issues of child support, if you are both W-2 employees and honest about your rental incomes and other amounts that are determinative, then it’s very straightforward what the calculation of child support will be. The only issue when we litigate child support cases is if one party alleges that the other party is making a lot of cash income and not showing it on their W-2, or their tax returns, and let’s say your one party is running a 7/11 and not reporting all of their cash income, then the other party would want to go in to litigate and do a full discovery on the child support case.
Those are the simple types of issues that can happen in child support. If you have a straightforward two parties with a W-2, and you know what the custody arrangement is, then it’s a pretty simple thing in Maryland to determine child support. You can always contact my office, we can run those numbers, and we can also litigate the child support issues that can come up.
For instance, if one party has to pay for the private school of the child, or if someone is getting paid under the table, under-reporting their income, those are the types of issues that do come up with child support. Also, a lot of people do discuss; I’m seeking custody, how’s it going to affect my child support? How many overnights? Do I need to get to determine the child support? I advocate as a lawyer that you should always determine custody based on what is in the best interest of the child, and not based on what the child support calculation determines. I always advocate for whatever’s in the best interest of children.
Contact Our Maryland Child Support Attorneys
If you have any additional Maryland child support questions, please feel free to call my office at 301-315-0001 or contact our law office here. We are open 24/7. I’m always available and we will get back to you as soon as possible at any time you give us a call. Thank you.