How much child support will I have to pay?
August 10, 2011 Leave a comment
In Maryland, if the court awards child custody to one parent, the court will
almost certainly require that the other parent pay child support.
How much child support?
That depends. The court calculates the child support amount using a formula called
the Maryland Child Support Guidelines Formula. This formula is somewhat complicated,
but generally it requires only a few numbers. First, it requires the income of each parent.
Second, it requires the healthcare expense and daycare expense for the children, and it requires
any extraordinary medical expenses for the children. Based on these few
numbers, the court uses the formula to arrive at a child support amount that the
non-custodial parent will have to pay.
Unfortunately, the court rarely has the ability to change the child support amount that the formula
generates to accommodate individual circumstances. For instance, one parent may believe that
the formula is unfair because he or she has too many other bills and cannot
afford the child support amount that the formula gives. Unfortunately, the
court is not permitted to consider other financial circumstances beyond those
that the formula uses, and that parent will be forced to make tough decisions to
be able to make the child support payments.
The only exception to this rule is in a case in which the parties have a combined income that
exceeds $15,000.00 per month. In such a case, the court has the ability to consider the
parties’ financial circumstances and decide on an appropriate child support
amount. But even in this case, the court will likely use the formula as a guide
in reaching its decision.
Despite the court’s use of the formula in establishing child
support, an attorney can be very useful in a child support case.
An attorney can assist in establishing the income amounts, the expenses
related to the children, and the few other factors that go into the formula.
These amounts are often subjective and open to argument, and an attorney can
assist to ensure that the figures are determined in a way that is favorable to