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Maine Child Support Guidelines

Parents are required to support their minor children, whether they remain a couple or not. Each state sets guidelines for determining parents' financial obligations under any child support arrangement. The guidelines of every state consider a parent's income in determining what a parent must pay. Read on to learn about child support guidelines in Maine.

In Maine, child support guidelines provide a standard by which the state's family law courts determine the amounts of child support awards. These guidelines take several factors into account, including how much each parent earns, the child(ren)'s estimated expenses, what type of custody was applied (joint custody is the most common), and other factors relevant to the family's finances. Usually, the parent who spends less time with the child(ren) will contribute more to child support, but this is influenced by the amount of time shared.

Child Support Guidelines in Maine

Trying to work through the specifics of child support guidelines can be difficult enough without having to deal with dense legal jargon. The table below briefly outlines Maine's child support guidelines in language that's easier to read and understand.

Determination of Basic Support Entitlement

The family court determines how much support each child is entitled to by following the steps below (Maine Statute 19-A.2006):
  • The annual gross incomes of both parties are added together to provide a combined annual gross income.
  • The combined annual gross income figure is then applied to the child support table in order to determine the basic support entitlement for each child.

Total Basic Support Obligation

The total basic support obligation is determined by using the Maine Child Support Calculation Worksheet, which adds the child care costs, health insurance premiums, and extraordinary medical expenses to the basic support entitlement calculated above.

Computation of Parental Support Obligation

As per Maine Statute 19-A.2001, the total basic support obligation is then divided between the parents in proportion to their respective gross incomes.

The court requires the non-custodial parent to pay their share of the total basic support obligation to the custodial parent. This is because the custodial parent is presumed to spend their share of the total basic support obligation directly on the child(ren).

Special Circumstances

The court will also consider the following special circumstances when determining child support:
  • If the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to support a child other than the child(ren) for whom the support order is being made
  • If the parents' combined annual income exceeds $400,000
  • If the annual gross income of the non-custodial parent is less than the federal poverty guideline
  • If the parents provide substantially equal care for the child(ren)
  • If each parent is the custodial parent for at least one of the children involved

Deviating From the Guidelines

In Maine, there is a rebuttable presumption that a child support award calculated using the guidelines outlined above is in the best interest of the child(ren). However, if the court finds that an order based on the support guidelines would be inequitable or unjust then the court will deviate from the guidelines. Revised Statutes section 19-A section 2007(3) outlines the criteria used for deviating from the guidelines.

Additional Resources

Have Questions? Consult a Family Law Attorney Near You

Almost every aspect of child support can be difficult to understand. Since state laws regarding child support are subject to change, you may benefit from working with an expert on the subject. For case-specific information regarding Maine's child support guidelines, don't hesitate to contact a local family law attorney.

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