On this week’s #FamilyFriday article, the attorneys’ at ERA Law Group, LLC want to explain exactly how child support is calculated. Frequently parents are confused by the child support calculation when considering their other bills and obligations. What many don’t realize is that in nearly all scenarios the amount of child support ordered is determined by a calculator and factors such as “I have student loans” or “I have rent to pay” don’t necessarily matter.
Maryland uses a Child Support Guideline formula to calculate child support. Both parents are required to complete a Financial Statement which outlines the various components of that formula. First, the parents identify their actual monthly income. This would include salary, Social Security benefits, alimony, etc. Second, the parents then identify earlier child support or alimony obligations – per Court Order – which will reduce their actual monthly income. This is called their adjusted monthly income. Third, if there are any work related child care expenses, health insurance expenses, or extraordinary medical expenses such as braces, those will also be identified by both parents.
Once both parties’ have identified the above, the formula then predicts what percentage of the parents combined income would have been attributed to the child(ren) had they continued living together. This number is then used to determine the “basic child support obligation.” The additional factors such as work-related child care and health insurance are incorporated to determine the “total child support obligation” that the non-custodial parent would be responsible for paying to the custodial parent. Some exceptions exist, such as, if a parent receives Social Security Income, food stamps, or transitional services which would not be considered actual monthly income.
If you or a loved one need help obtaining child support for your children, call ERA Law Group today at (410) 919-1790 or visit our website at www.eralawgroup.com!