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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

How Is Child Support Calculated In Maryland Based On Income?


Maryland’s Child Support Administration reviews the child support guidelines once every 4 years to ensure the amount of child support paid keeps up with the standard of living in the state. The Child Support Administration conducts research and reports its findings to the General Assembly. The last time this happened was during the 2020 legislative session. The General Assembly passed changes to Maryland’s child support laws. These took effect on July 1, 2022. The Child Support Administration is set to review the matter again in 2024. The proposed changes would take effect in 2025. In this article, the Maryland divorce attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson Chartered will discuss Maryland’s child support laws and revisions made during the last legislative session.

Changes made during the last legislative session 

In 2022, legislators increased basic child support obligations for parents with a combined adjusted income greater than $19,200 per year. The change addressed cost of living increases for raising children in the State of Maryland. Prior to 2022, the child support guidelines provided a schedule of basic support obligations for parents with a combined adjusted income of between $100 and $15,000 per month. Under the older statute, the court was authorized to set a child support award when the combined adjusted income of the parents exceeded $15,000 per month. For parents between $100 and $1,200 per month, the old statute provided basic support obligations of between $20 and $150 per month based on factors such as living expenses and the number of children needing support.

The new version of the statute provides a schedule of basic child support obligations for parents with a combined adjusted income up to $30,000 per month or $360,000 per year. Essentially, the new rule doubled the income threshold. This ensures that more parents will fall within the schedule delineated by the child support statute. For parents with a combined adjusted income between $15,001 and $30,000 per month, child support awards will be more predictable as the court must apply these guidelines to calculate the amount of child support. Before the new statute took effect, the courts could apply their discretion to parents who fell within that range. The court may still use its discretion when the parents’ combined adjusted income exceeds $30,000 per month.

Maryland’s new child support laws also impact parents with lower incomes. Under the new rules, all incomes between $0 and $30,000 per month have a specific child support obligation listed in the schedule. The new rule also allows courts to employ their discretion when determining if the parent’s child support obligation would be unjust. The rule allows courts to consider whether the payer of child support would be left with an annual monthly income less than 110% of the poverty level for an individual. Currently, that figure is $1,145 per month.

Talk to a Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today 

Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered represent the interests of Maryland residents who are seeking to divorce. Call our Bel Air family attorneys today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your next steps right away.

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