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What are the child support guidelines in Maryland?

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Child support is an important topic of discussion no matter where you live. It comes up with each divorce case that involves children. It also can become a heated point of contention, even if the family tries to put the needs of the children before all else. So, what are the child support guidelines in the state of Maryland?

One of the most important things you should know is that in Maryland, children have a right to receive support from both parents, even if they are separated, divorced or were never married at all. Parents are legally allowed to create their own child support agreement between each other so long as it does not stray too far from the guidelines set forth by the state.

Child support obligations in Maryland are determined by the combined adjusted actual income of both parents. Even if one of the parents is unemployed, child support payments can be determined based on the person's income earning potential.

When a child support order is issued, the following is included:

- Health insurance coverage

- Child care expenses

- Travel expenses

- Education expenses

- Medical expenses

A parent is required to pay child support in Maryland until the child turns 18 years old or 19 years old, if the child is still in high school. It also can end altogether when the child becomes emancipated from their parents.

Child support services in Maryland are handled by the Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA). The CSEA can be used for the following:

- Establishing paternity legally

- Locating the child's other parent

- Obtaining a court order for health insurance and child support

- Enforcing a court order for child support

- Collecting child support payments

- Adjusting the court ordered amount for child support after a review

The income shares model used by Maryland takes into account the following:

- Number of shared children who are minors

- Income of both parents

- Child support paid for other children

- Health insurance costs for the children

- Alimony being paid or received

Child support is a broad topic in Maryland so it is important to know your rights before opening a case.

Source: FindLaw, "Maryland Child Support Guidelines," accessed March 14, 2017

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