When calculating child support in Baltimore and Maryland as a whole, officials use a system known as the Child Support Guidelines. While these guidelines are not always appropriate for every case, they form the most frequently used system. Typically, the parent with primary physical custody of the children receives child support from the non-custodial parent. This can change depending on the income from each parent, or if parents share child custody (with each parent keeping the child overnight for over 35 percent of the year).
The Information That Courts Need to Calculate Child Support
The court uses several factors to determine the amount of child support owed. The primary factors are:
- The “actual” monthly income for each parent. Actual income typically includes salary/wages, but also includes bonuses, Social Security benefits, alimony, Workers’ Compensation benefits, and more. Actual income does not take temporary cash assistance, food stamps, and other public assistance programs into account.
- The adjusted actual income for each parent. Adjusted actual income is actual income that takes any pre-existing child support or alimony that the parent actually pays into account.
- Work-related child care expenses, such as daycare.
- Health insurance expenses.
- Extraordinary medical expenses that are reasonable and not covered by insurance, such as orthodontia, dental treatment, asthma treatment, physical therapy, or psychological counseling.
- A financial statement, which courts require are submitted upon asking for child support. Lying on this form could lead to a perjury charge.
While these are the most important and typical factors that courts considered, it is important to talk to a child support lawyer to determine any additional details that may arise.
How the Court Calculates Child Support
Once this information has been compiled, the court then goes through several steps in determining the exact amount that is required for the child support. The court will:
- Figure out the actual income of each parent.
- Determine the adjusted actual income or imputed income for each parent.
- Add up both parents’ adjusted actual incomes or imputed incomes. The combined amount is put into a Guidelines chart to figure out the “basic child support obligation.”
- Factor in the additional expenses, such as health insurance, extraordinary medical expenses, and daycare costs. This generates the “total child support obligation.”
- The non-custodial parents is responsible for paying a percentage of this total child support obligation.
Baltimore Child Support Lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC Advocate for Families
There are many factors and details to fret over when figuring out a child support plan. If you are going through a fight over child support in Baltimore and need assistance, then the Baltimore child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC are ready to help you. From our offices in Stevenson, Maryland, we assist clients from throughout Baltimore County, including Baltimore and Stevenson. Call us at 410-602-9522 or contact us online for a consultation.