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Maryland Child Support Guidelines

Each state uses guidelines to determine parents' obligations under any child support arrangement. Every child in Maryland has the right to receive support from both parents, even if the parents are divorcedlegally separated, or were never married in the first place. The guidelines use parents' income to determine child support obligations.

Maryland has fairly strict guidelines when calculating the appropriate amount of child support. Parents are permitted to create their own child support agreement, as long as it doesn't stray too far from the state guidelines. They may also request a court order.

Child Support Statutes in Maryland

The following table highlights the main provisions of Maryland's Child Support laws.

Who is Responsible?

Both parents

How is Support Calculated?

Formula in Maryland Family Law Article §12–204


Under MD Code, Family Law, § 12-202, obligations are based upon the combined adjusted actual income of both parents. Even if a parent is unemployed, child support may be calculated based on a determination of potential income.

What is Included in a Support Order?

Under § 12-201Rule 9-206, and § 12-102, the following are examples of what is included in a support order:

  • Child care expenses
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Medical expenses
  • Educational expenses
  • Travel expenses

How Long Must a Parent Pay Child Support?

Under relevant state law, child support obligations continue until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later. However, obligations will not continue if the child is older than 19. Obligations may end earlier than the age of 18 if the child becomes emancipated.

How Child Support in Maryland is Calculated


  • Maryland uses what's known as an "income shares model" for its child support guidelines.
  • This model takes into account the income for both parents, the number of shared minor children, the children's health insurance costs, any child support being paid for other children, any alimony being paid or received, and the children's extraordinary medical expenses.
  • The model is designed so that the child receives the same proportion of parental income as they would if the parents still lived together.
  • The CSEA provides a child support guideline calculator that can estimate a parent's share of support or what a parent might receive in child support.

Local Child Support Offices

Maryland Child Support Services

Maryland Child Support Formula

Maryland Child Support Calculator

How to File For Child Support in Maryland

The Child Support Enforcement Administration handles child support services in Maryland. Any custodian, including parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or court-appointed guardians, is eligible for services. The CSEA is a valuable resource for:

  • Locating the other parent
  • Legally establishing paternity
  • Obtaining a court order for child support and health insurance
  • Collecting child support payments
  • Enforcing the court order
  • Reviewing and adjusting the court-ordered support amount

To receive child support services, the custodian should complete the Application For Support Enforcement Services and file it with your local child support office.

Maryland Child Support Guidelines: Related Resources

Maryland's child support laws can be complicated, if you would like legal assistance with a child support matter, you can contact a Maryland family law attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's sections on Child CustodyChild Support Modifications, and Child Support Enforcement for more articles and resources on this topic.

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