A court in Maryland uses several criteria to determine an appropriate child support order during a child support hearing. In Maryland, parents are obligated to support a minor child until the child reaches age 18. However, if a child is enrolled in a secondary school, the parent is obligated to pay child support until the child is age 19 or no longer enrolled in school, whichever comes first. Here is some more information about factors considered in a Maryland child support case:
In addition to gross income, as reported on a federal tax return, a court in Maryland will consider the following forms of payment as income:
- Workers' compensation
- Disability payments
- Pension and retirement benefits
- Unemployment payments
- Annuity payments
Child Support Factors
A Maryland court will consider the following factors prior to ordering child support:
- Parent's financial resources
- Child custody arrangements
- Child's expenses (i.e. daycare or medical)
Non-Income Based Child Support Factors
In addition to a monthly child support obligation, a judge may order a parent to:
- Add a child to the parent's health care coverage. If the non-custodial parent has access to health insurance, a Maryland court may expect the parent to contribute.
- Provide cash medical support. If a non-custodial parent does not have access to health coverage, a Maryland court may expect the parent to contribute to a public, managed care plan to support the child's medical needs
- Contribute to child care expenses. When a custodial parent is pursuing an education that will lead to employment, and incurs child care expenses as a result of the parent's absence, the court may expect the non-custodial parent to contribute to child care expenses.
- Contribute to school and transportation expenses.
For more information about child support factors considered in Maryland, parents should speak with a qualified attorney in Maryland or refer to the Maryland Annotated Code.