Child support is mandatory in Maryland and parents have a duty to provide financially for their children. While many parents believe that only the parent with whom children live must be financially responsible, that is simply not the case. Maryland has established guidelines to determine the amount of child support necessary to take care of children. Of course, the guidelines only work appropriately when the correct information is included in the calculation. All gross income must be included to determine the appropriate amount of child support, which may include income from jobs, side-work, investments and many other sources. Child support also depends on a number of expenses, including who provides health insurance for the children and the cost of any work-related child care that is necessary to allow both parents to work. Finally, the physical custody arrangement for the children will also affect the child support determination.
Finally, parents’ jobs and incomes may change over time and the Courts always have the ability to modify child support to adjust for these types of changes that occur over time. In addition, expenses such as work-related child care also change over time and parents may modify the physical custody schedule which could warrant a modification of the appropriate child support amount.